Say It's Your Birthday: Dwight Yoakam

Today is the birthday of Dwight Yoakam, born this day 1956 in Pikeville, New

York. An unassuming country crooner with a dry sense of humor, Yoakam seems

an unlikely superstar, but superstar he is, with numerous gold and platinum

albums under his belt. Yoakam was one of the first of a new breed of country

artist to hearken back to the "real" country sounds of Merle Haggard, Buck

Owens and Hank Williams. Success has been steady for Yoakam since the 1984

debut of his first album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., , first

released on an indie label, before being picked up by Warner Bros. Able to

both poke fun at the oft-ridiculous world of country music stardom while at

the same time reaping its rewards, Yoakam had an enormous hit in his 1989

duet with Buck Owens on "The Streets Of Bakersfield" off the album Just

Looking For A Hit . The song was indeed about the streets of Bakersfield,

an unlikely subject perhaps, but Yoakam made it sound a sinister,

godforsaken land. In 1992 Yoakam released La Croix D'Amour , an even

more unlikely album which contained covers of everyone from the Beatles to

the Grateful Dead to Elvis Presley. Further fame awaited Yoakam the following

year with his release of This Time , and the spotlight shone even

brighter momentarily when he was linked romantically with virtuoso actress

Sharon Stone. Following these rumors Stone was much quoted as saying Yoakam

was as interesting as a dirt sandwich, a line that would do well as a Yoakam

lyric.