The Show: Wednesday, January 2, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Billy Bob’s

In 1978, when I was still new to Texas, I was the oldies buyer at Peaches (that is, the records were old, not the buyer), at Cole and Fitzhugh, in Dallas. It came as quite a shock to me when a few of my early customers approached me (not the new singles buyer, who was black) and requested a song called “My Wife Ran Off with a Nigger.” I sent them away and wondered who on earth would record a song with that title.

Of course, I later discovered that the artist was none other than David Allan Coe, the profusely tattooed, Harley-riding ex-con who had penned hits for Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, and Johnny Paycheck, among others. Naturally, Coe was associated with the “outlaw country” movement of the 1970s. Lately, it’s been really interesting to hear folks drawing parallels between the current Americana movement and those old outlaws. I wonder how comfortable the squeaky-clean Pat Green and Cross Canadian Ragweed audience would be with the composer of such immortal classics as “N——- Hatin’ Me,” “Who Likes a N——-?” and, of course, “N——- Fucker”? (In almost any context these days, the n-word is much more radioactive than the f-word, and deservedly so).

Luckily, Coe doesn’t perform any of these songs live — he has at least that much sense (or his handlers do) — but they’re easily available to the, uh, cognoscenti via the miracle of the internet. And I should point out that he has released a new recording — not of racist spew but of country rock — called Live from the Iron Horse Saloon, which includes two songs he co-wrote with that paragon of free speech, Kid Rock.

First Amendment advocates should turn out in droves, NWA and Body Count c.d.’s in hand. Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best: “It doesn’t take all kinds, there just are all kinds.”—Ken Shimamoto

10:30pm Sat at Billy Bob’s Texas, 2420 Rodeo Plaza, FW. 817-624-7117.


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