Dwight Yoakam born October 23, 1956 in Pikeville, Kentucky.  He was raised in Columbus, Ohio.  He graduated from Columbus's Northland high school in 1974.  Yoakam's flashy appearance distracted attention from his talents as a modern honky-tonk singer and songwriter who has incorporated the expansive harmonies of pop within the old-fashioned narrated rhythmic structures of Bakersfield country.

Stubbornly keeping his distance from Nashville, but nonetheless became one of the best-selling  country artists of the 1980's and 1990's.  Yoakam has flourished on the country charts.  There are three reasons for this, for one he rivals Randy Travis as the finest honky-tonk singer of his generation.  Yoakam's twangy tenor is simply too spellbinding for even country radio to ignore.  Two, the prime strength of Yoakam's song writing is his music, not his lyrics.  Three, Yoakam has clearly aligned himself with an enduring tradition, the Bakersfield sound of Owens and Haggard.

Yoakam has been active in the business since 1984.  Johnny Cash once said Yoakam is his favorite country singer.  Chris Isaak called Yoakam as a good songwriter that ever put pen to paper.  Yoakam has also stared in many films.  He also won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1993 for the song "Aint That Lonely Yet."

Join me for the life and music of Dwight Yoakam on Sunday, September 30th at 11 a.m. on the Country Classic Spotlight on 98.1 FM 98 Country.  It all starts at 9 a.m. with the Country Classic Show.