In 1975, outlaw country singer, David Allan Coe, made his first mark on the country charts with "You Never Even Called Me By My Name."
After struggling to gain respect and trouble getting his music out there in the 1970s, Coe recorded "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" in 1975 to mock Nashville's music industry. At the time, pop music was being introduced into country, and it definitely seems that Coe was not impressed!
The song was the third single of Coe's career, and it became his first song to chart in the Top Ten, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Country Singles chart.
Written by John Prine and Steve Goodman, the sarcastic song describes itself in the lyrics as "the perfect country and western song." The song's second verse even includes impressions of some of country's biggest names at the time, including Waylon Jennings, Charley Pride and Merle Haggard.
After writing "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," Coe told Goodman that it wouldn't be a success because the song didn't talk about trains, trucks, prison or drinking. Goodman made sure to include Coe's thoughts, and mid-song Coe speaks,
Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
And he told me it was the perfect country & western song
I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was
Not the perfect country & western song because he hadn't said anything at all about mama,
Or getting' drunk
By the final verse, Coe made sure to include all the "necessary" elements to make it a perfect country western song,
Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train
Below, Coe gives a stunning performance of the controversial tune live in 1975.
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