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Music Singer, songwriter and actor Dwight Yoakam pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Birth name: Dwight David Yoakam.
Born: October 23, 1956 Pikeville, Kentucky United States.
Dwight Yoakam biography (bio):
Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky, and raised in Columbus, Ohio, growing up with his mother and step-father, who had a white-collar job in the automotive industry. He graduated from Columbus's Northland High School on June 9, 1974. During his high school years, he excelled in both music and drama, regularly securing the lead role in school plays, such as "Charlie" in the stage version of Flowers for Algernon, honing his skills under the guidance of teacher-mentors Jerry McAfee (music) and Charles Lewis (drama). Outside of school, Yoakam sang and played guitar with local garage bands, and frequently entertained his friends and classmates as an amateur comedian, impersonating politicians and other celebrities, such as Richard Nixon, who, at that time, was heavily embroiled in the Watergate controversy.
Yoakam briefly attended The Ohio State University, but dropped out and moved to Nashville in the late 1970s with the intent of becoming a recording artist. When he began his career, Nashville was oriented towards pop "Urban Cowboy" music, and Yoakam's brand of Bakersfield honky tonk music was not considered marketable.
Yoakam's recording debut was on the independent album A Town South of Bakersfield, planned and produced by Pete Anderson, in 1984. His debut LP was 1986's Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and it instantly launched his career. "Honky Tonk Man," a remake of the Johnny Horton song, and "Guitars, Cadillacs" were hit singles. The follow-up LP, Hillbilly Deluxe, was just as successful. His third LP, Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room, included his first #1, a duet with his musical idol, Buck Owens, on "Streets of Bakersfield". 1990's If There Was a Way was another best-seller.
Yoakam's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23" pays tribute to his childhood move from Kentucky, and is titled after a local expression describing the route that rural Kentuckians took to take to find a job outside of the coal mines. (U.S. Highway 23 runs north from Kentucky through Columbus, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio and through the automotive centers of Michigan.)
Yoakam has also taken some acting roles, most notably as the abusive alcoholic Doyle in Sling Blade, (1996) and as a sociopathic killer in 2002's Panic Room. He has also appeared in Southern California live theater, combining his acting talents with the talents of director Peter Fonda. More recently, he appeared in a cameo role as the doctor for Chev Chilios in Crank.
Having diverged from pop-icon status in country-western fare, Yoakam is today more likely to be identified as having an older, more traditional style. But along with his bluegrass and honky-tonk roots, Yoakam has written or covered many Elvis Presley-style rockabilly songs, including his popular covers of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in 1999 and Presley's "Suspicious Minds" in 1992. He recorded a cover of the Clash's "Train in Vain" in 1997.
Yoakam is currently touring in support of his new album Blame The Vain.
When asked by Larry King, Johnny Cash cited Yoakam as his favorite country singer.
Yoakam currently resides in Southern California, but still maintains close ties with his family in the Columbus area.
He is mentioned in the film Matchstick Men.