10 Songs About the Slammer: This Day in Country Music History
"I was drunk, the day my mama, got outta prison."
You know the rest. But what you may not know is that this weekend, 48 years ago, country singer David Allan Coe began serving a four-year prison sentence at the Ohio State Penitentiary for car theft, possession of obscene materials, and possession of burglary tools. The Akron native later (and still) claims that he spent time on Death Row for killing a fellow inmate during his incarceration, after the man demanded Coe perform oral sex. That claim has been widely disputed by prison officials and journalists. Coe's response? Well, he wrote a song about it called, "I'd Like to Kick the Shit Out of You." So David Allan Coe.
Here are the facts, in any case: David Allan Coe spent time in the pen. Merle Haggard spent time at Folsom State Prison. Johnny Cash did too, but only as a performer. For those who've gone down, for a long stretch or short, and for those who've merely fantasized about it, here are 10 Songs About Bein' in the Slammer.
He's in the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
Cocaine Blues - Roy Hogsed
San Quentin - Johnny Cash
Ol' Red - George Jones
A Week in a County Jail - Tom T. Hall
There Ain't No Good Chain Gang - Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash
Green, Green Grass of Home - Porter Wagoner
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Mama Tried - Merle Haggard
I Heard that Lonesome Whistle - Hank Williams
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.