Sam Phillips (musician)
Sam Phillips is an American singer-songwriter. She began her career in the contemporary Christian music industry but, uncomfortable with that image and industry, she re-branded herself as "Sam"—transitioning into the mainstream market after meeting producer T Bone Burnett, her albums include the critically acclaimed Martinis & Bikinis in 1994 and Fan Dance in 2001. She has composed scores for the television shows Gilmore Girls and Bunheads. Phillips was born in Glendale, the second of three children, has a brother and a sister, she began her musical career in the early 1980s, singing background vocals for Christian artists Mark Heard and Randy Stonehill. Phillips was signed to a solo contract with Myrrh Records – under her given name – and recorded four Christian pop albums, Beyond Saturday Night, Dancing with Danger and White in a Grey World and The Turning, which teamed her with producer and future husband, T Bone Burnett. Several became Top 10 singles on Christian radio and Myrrh records promoted her as "the Christian Cyndi Lauper".
Phillips was never comfortable with this image, it was a bone of contention between her and her label. She began using the name "Sam" professionally in 1988 when she left Myrrh Records and signed with Virgin Records in order to distance herself from her prior persona. With The Indescribable Wow Philips moved into mainstream music; the album featured the orchestrations of Van Dyke Parks. Cruel Inventions was released in 1991, included a guest performance by Elvis Costello. 1994's Martinis and Bikinis was praised by music critics and was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1995, Phillips made her film acting debut as the mute terrorist Katya in the Bruce Willis blockbuster Die Hard with a Vengeance. In 1996, Phillips released Omnipop, which featured a song co-written by R. E. M.. Phillips made a cameo appearance in the 1997 Wim Wenders film The End of Violence, singing part of the song "Animals on Wheels" from Omnipop. After releasing a contractually obligated "best of" album in 1999, Virgin Records dropped Phillips from its roster.
In 2001, Phillips signed with Nonesuch Records, evolving her musical style to a stripped-down, acoustically-based sound on her album called Fan Dance, which featured some of her most critically acclaimed songwriting, as well as guest appearances from musical partners Gillian Welch on vocals & David Rawlings on piano, for whom T Bone Burnett had produced several years earlier. Phillips began writing music for and scoring the television series Gilmore Girls, appeared in the final episode of season six, performing "Taking Pictures" from her Fan Dance album. In 2004, she released A Boot and a Shoe, another collection of acoustically-based songs, similar in style to Fan Dance. After the release of A Boot and a Shoe, Phillips and T Bone Burnett, her longtime producer, although they continued to work together to finish her album, her album Don't Do Anything was self-produced and released in 2008. In October 2009, Phillips launched The Long Play, a music subscription service offering digital releases without a record label.
The first subscription only EP, Hypnotists in Paris, was recorded with the Section Quartet and a Christmas collection Cold Dark Night, Magic for Everyone, Old Tin Pan, Days of the One Night Stands followed, with the full-length album Cameras in the Sky being released in early 2010. In Spring of 2011 she issued Solid State, a public CD release comprising 13 of the best songs from her subscription service. In 2012, it was announced that she would be reunited with Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino by scoring music for the short-lived American TV show Bunheads. Phillips described her next album, Pretty Time Bomb, as being "a nostalgic sort of dream of being a pop star in the 60s and early 70s. It's a sweet kind of album and I don't know where it came from. I don't know. It's a bad idea, but every time I listen to what I've done, it makes me happy. So I figure, that must mean something and I should go ahead and put it out there."Push Any Button was released on August 13, 2013. Phillips has described Push Any Button in as ‘an impressionistic version of the AM pop radio playing inside her head’—a way of ‘looking at the future through the past.
For the vinyl release through her website, Phillips created a limited run of unique handmade collages on repurposed vintage LP sleeves sourced from flea markets. In 2015, a suite of these collage artworks were exhibited at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia in an exhibition called Lost and Profound curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham. Phillips reunited with Amy Sherman-Palladino as composer for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - a revival of the much-loved television series, which launched on Netflix on November 25, 2016. A few days earlier on November 21, Phillips released online an eight-track downloadable EP Human Contact is Never Easy, including four new tracks ahead of the album World on Sticks, to be released September 2018. Ahead of the release of World on Sticks, her first live concert film and album, Sam Phillips: Live @ Largo at The Coronet, was made available digitally through her website. Phillips married producer and musician T Bone Burnett in 1989, together they have one daughter, born in 1997.
Phillips and Burnett divorced in 2004, both have since remarried. Phillips has received one as Leslie Phillips and one as Sam Phillips, she was the 2011 recipient of the Denise Levertov Award from Image, "given annually to an artist, musician, or writer whose work exemplifies a serious and sustained engagement with the Jude
Spark in the Dark
Spark in the Dark is the second album by the rock band The Alpha Band, released in 1977. The core band members remained Steven Soles and David Mansfield. No less than five drummers were used on the recording, including guest Ringo Starr. "East of East" "Born in Captivity" "Blue Lonely Night" "Silver Mantis" "Honey Run" "Adrenalin" "You Angel You" "Not Everything Has a Price" "Love and Romance" "Mystified" "Spark in the Dark" "Jazz Hymn" T-Bone Burnett – vocals, piano David Mansfield – guitar, violin, pedal steel guitar, cello, violin Steven Soles – vocals, piano David Miner – bass Matt Betton – drums Bill Maxwell – drums Joe Correro – drums Geoffrey Hales – drums Ringo Starr – drums K. O. Thomas – keyboards Mike Utley – keyboards Osamu Kitajima – koto Cindy Bullens – background vocals
Bruce Randall Hornsby is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. He draws from classical, bluegrass, Motown, rock and jam band musical traditions. Hornsby's recordings have been recognized on a number of occasions with industry awards, including the 1987 Grammy Award for Best New Artist with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Hornsby has worked with his touring band Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and his bluegrass project with Ricky Skaggs and has worked as a session and guest musician, he was a member of the Grateful Dead from September 1990 to March 1992, playing over 100 shows during that period. His 21st album, Absolute Zero, will be released in April 2019 and features collaborations with Justin Vernon and Sean Carey of Bon Iver, Jack DeJohnette, Blake Mills, yMusic, The Staves, Brad Cook. Bruce Randall Hornsby was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, a son of Robert Stanley Hornsby, an attorney, real-estate developer and former musician, his wife, née Lois Saunier.
Raised a Christian Scientist, he has two siblings: Robert Saunier "Bobby" Hornsby, a realtor with Hornsby Realty and locally known musician, Jonathan Bigelow Hornsby, an engineer who has collaborated in songwriting. He graduated from James Blair High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1973, where he played on the basketball team, he studied music at the University of Richmond, as well as Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami, from which he graduated in 1977. In the spring of 1974 Hornsby's older brother Bobby, who attended the University of Virginia, formed the band "Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids" to play fraternity parties, featuring Bruce on Fender Rhodes and vocals; the band, listed in Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, performed covers of Allman Brothers Band, The Band, predominantly Grateful Dead songs. Although Hornsby's collaboration with Bobby Hornsby would be short-lived, Bobby's son R. S. periodically toured with his uncle. His performances were looked forward to by fans.
R. S. Hornsby died on January 2009 in a car accident near Crozet, Virginia, he was 28. Following his graduation from the University of Miami, in 1977, Hornsby returned to his hometown of Williamsburg, played in local clubs and hotel bars. In 1980, he and his younger brother John Hornsby moved to Los Angeles, where they spent three years writing for 20th Century Fox. Before moving back to his native Hampton Roads, he spent time in Los Angeles as a session musician. In 1982 Hornsby joined the band Ambrosia for their last album Road Island and can be seen in the band's video for the album's single "How Can You Love Me." After Ambrosia disbanded, he and bassist Joe Puerta performed as members of the touring band for pop star Sheena Easton. Hornsby can be seen in the music video for Easton's 1984 hit single “Strut." In 1984 he formed Bruce Hornsby and the Range, who were signed to RCA Records in 1985. Besides Hornsby, Range members were David Mansfield, George Marinelli, former Ambrosia member Joe Puerta, John Molo.
Hornsby's recording career started with the biggest hit he has had to date, "The Way It Is". It topped the American music charts in 1986; the song described aspects of homelessness, the American civil rights movement and institutional racism. It has since been sampled by at least six rap artists, including Tupac Shakur, E-40, Mase. With the success of the single, the album The Way It Is went multi-platinum and produced another top five hit with "Mandolin Rain". "Every Little Kiss" did respectably well. Other tracks on the album helped establish what some labeled the "Virginia sound", a mixture of rock and bluegrass. Bruce Hornsby and the Range went on to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987, beating out Glass Tiger, Nu Shooz, Simply Red and Timbuk3. Hornsby and the Range's sound was distinctive for its use of syncopation in Hornsby's piano solos, a bright piano sound and an extensive use of synthesizers as background for Hornsby's solos. John Molo's drumbeats were looped throughout the recorded versions of songs.
They are typical double-time beats, which allowed Hornsby and the rest of the band to do more with their solos. Hornsby and the Range's second album, Scenes From The Southside was released in 1988, it included "Look Out Any Window" and "The Valley Road" which many critics noted for their "more spacious" musical arrangements, allowing for "more expressive" piano solos from Hornsby. It included "Jacob's Ladder," which the Hornsby brothers wrote for musician friend Huey Lewis. Scenes offered further slices of "Americana" and "small-town nostalgia," but it was the band's last album to perform well in the singles market. In 1988, Hornsby first appeared on stage with the Grateful Dead, a recurring collaboration that continued until the band's dissolution. Hornsby went on to appear on stage as a guest before becoming a regular fixture in the touring lineup for the Dead a few years later. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Hornsby worked extensively as a producer and sideman, notably producing a comeback album for Leon Russell.
In 1989 Hornsby co-wrote and played piano on Don Henley's hit "The End of the Innocence", in 1991 played piano on Bonnie Raitt's hit "I Can't Make You Love Me". Hornsby continues to feature both of these songs in his own concerts
Lucinda Williams is an American rock, folk and country music singer and musician. She recorded her first albums in 1978 and 1980 in a traditional country and blues style and received little attention from radio, the media, or the public. In 1988, she released Lucinda Williams; this release featured "Passionate Kisses," a song recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter, which garnered Williams her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994. Known for working Williams recorded and released only one other album in the next several years, Sweet Old World, in 1992, her commercial breakthrough came in 1998 with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, an album presenting a broader scope of songs that fused rock, blues and Americana into a distinctive style that remained consistent and commercial in sound. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which includes the Grammy nominated track "Can't Let Go", became Williams' greatest commercial success to date; the album was certified Gold by the RIAA and earned Williams a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, while being universally acclaimed by critics.
Williams released the critically acclaimed Essence three years and the album became a commercial success. One of the album's tracks, "Get Right With God," earned Williams the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 2002. Williams has released a string of albums since that have earned her more critical acclaim and commercial success, she has won 3 Grammy Awards, from 15 nominations, received 2 Americana Awards, from 12 nominations. Additionally, Williams ranked No. 97 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1998, was named "America's best songwriter" by Time magazine in 2002. Williams was born in Lake Charles, the daughter of poet and literature professor Miller Williams and an amateur pianist, Lucille Fern Day, her parents divorced in the mid-1960s. Williams's father gained custody of her and her younger brother, Robert Miller, sister, Karyn Elizabeth. Like her father, she has spina bifida, her father worked as a visiting professor in Mexico and different parts of the United States, including Baton Rouge.
Williams never was accepted into the University of Arkansas. Williams started writing when she was 6 years old and showed an affinity for music at an early age, was playing guitar at 12. Williams's first live performance was in Mexico City at 17, as part of a duo with her friend, a banjo player named Clark Jones. By her early 20s, Williams was playing publicly in Austin and Houston, concentrating on a folk-rock-country blend, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1978 to record her first album, for Smithsonian/Folkways Records. Titled Ramblin' on My Mind, it was a collection of blues covers; the album title was shortened to Ramblin'. She followed it up in 1980 with Happy Woman Blues. Neither album received much attention. In the 1980s, Williams moved to Los Angeles, where, at times backed by a rock band and at others performing in acoustic settings, she developed a following and a critical reputation. While based in Los Angeles, she was married to Long Ryders drummer Greg Sowders, whom she had met in a club.
In 1988 Rough Trade Records released the self-titled Lucinda Williams, produced by Gurf Morlix. The single "Changed the Locks", about a broken relationship, received radio play around the country and gained fans among music insiders, including Tom Petty, who would cover the song, its follow-up, Sweet Old World produced by Morlix, is a melancholy album dealing with themes of suicide and death. Williams' biggest success during the early 1990s was as a songwriter. Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded a cover of "Passionate Kisses" in 1992, the song became a smash country hit for which Williams received the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994. Carpenter received a Grammy for her performance of the song, she duetted with Steve Earle on the song "You're Still Standin' There" from his album I Feel Alright. In 1991, the song "Lucinda Williams" appeared on Vic Chesnutt's album West of Rome. Williams had garnered considerable critical acclaim. Emmylou Harris said of Williams, "She is an example of the best of what country at least says it is, for some reason, she's out of the loop and I feel that that's country music's loss."
Harris recorded the title track from Williams's Sweet Old World for her career-redefining 1995 album, Wrecking Ball. Williams gained a reputation as a perfectionist and slow worker when it came to recording; the long-awaited release, 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, was Williams' breakthrough into the mainstream and received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Containing the single "Still I Long for Your Kiss" from the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer, the album received wide critical notice and soon went gold; the single "Can't Let Go" enjoyed considerable crossover radio play. Williams toured with Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, on her own in support of the album. An expanded edition of the album, including three additional studio recordings and a second CD documenting a 1998 concert, was released in 2006. In 1999, she appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parso
Christopher "Chris" Hillman is an American musician. He was one of the original members of The Byrds, which in 1965 included Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby and Michael Clarke. With frequent collaborator Gram Parsons, Hillman was a key figure in the development of country rock, defining the genre through his work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the country-rock group Desert Rose Band. Hillman, the third of four children, spent his early years at his family's ranch home in rural northern San Diego County 110 miles from Los Angeles, he has credited his older sister with exciting his interest in country and folk music when she returned from college during the late 1950s with folk music records by The New Lost City Ramblers and others. Hillman soon began watching many of the country-music shows on local television in southern California at the time such as Town Hall Party, The Spade Cooley Show and Cal's Corral. Hillman's mother bought him his first guitar. At age 15 Hillman went to Los Angeles to see the Kentucky Colonels bluegrass band at the Ash Grove, convinced his family to allow him to travel by train to Berkeley for lessons from mandolinist Scott Hambly.
When he was 16, Hillman's father committed suicide. He became known in San Diego's folk music community as a solid player; the band lasted two years, recording only one album. When the band broke up in late 1963 Hillman received an invitation to join the Golden State Boys, regarded as the top bluegrass band in southern California and featuring future country star Vern Gosdin, his brother Rex and banjoist Don Parmley. Shortly thereafter the band changed its name to The Hillmen; when the Hillmen folded, he joined a spinoff of Randy Sparks' New Christy Minstrels known as the Green Grass Revival. At this point a frustrated Hillman considered quitting music and enrolling at UCLA when he received an offer from The Hillmen's former manager and producer, Jim Dickson, to join Jim McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke in a new band, The Byrds. Hillman was recruited to play bass guitar. Thanks to his bluegrass background, he developed his own melodic style on the instrument; the Byrds' first single, a jangly cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man", was an international hit and marked the birth of folk rock.
During the mid-1960s the Byrds ranked as one of the most successful and influential American pop groups. Turn! Turn!", "Eight Miles High" and "So You Want to Be a Rock'n' Roll Star". Hillman kept a low profile on the band's first two albums, on which McGuinn and Clark shared lead vocals with Crosby adding high harmony and singing the bridge on "All I Really Want to Do". However, Clark's departure in 1966 and Crosby's growing restlessness allowed Hillman the opportunity to develop as a singer and songwriter in the group, he came into his own on the Byrds' 1967 album Younger Than Yesterday, co-writing and sharing lead vocals with McGuinn on the hit "So You Want to Be a Rock'n' Roll Star". Hillman wrote the minor hit "Have You Seen Her Face", "Thoughts and Words", "Time Between" and "The Girl with No Name", the latter two demonstrating his bluegrass and country roots. Hillman's prominence continued with the Byrds' next album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, on which he shared songwriting credit on seven of the album's eleven songs.
Internal strife dogged the Byrds, by the beginning of 1968 the band was down to two original members, with Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelley on drums. They hired Gram Parsons to replace Crosby. Hillman and Parsons changed the Byrds' musical direction, helping to usher in a new genre known as country rock when they recorded the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Once again Hillman seemed to recede into the background, leaving most of the vocals to Parsons and McGuinn and concentrating on bass and mandolin. Parsons left the band shortly thereafter. Hillman convinced Whisky A Go Go to give Buffalo Springfield an audition recording. Hillman teamed with Gram Parsons again to form the Flying Burrito Brothers. Further honing their pioneering country-rock hybrid sound by combining the energy and attitude of rock and roll with the issues and themes of country music, the Burritos recorded the landmark The Gilded Palace of Sin followed by 1970's Burrito Deluxe. Parsons was out of the lineup by June 1970 when the band toured Canada as part of the Festival Express tour, with Hillman reverting to bass guitar.
Hillman stayed with the band for two more records, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Last of the Red Hot Burritos. Before the Flying Burrito Brothers disbanded, Hillman joined Stephen Stills' band Manassas
Broken Trail is a 2006 Western television film directed by Walter Hill and starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. Written by Alan Geoffrion, who wrote the novel, the story is about an aging cowboy and his nephew who transport 500 horses from Oregon to Wyoming to sell them to the British Army. Along the way, their simple horse drive is complicated when they rescue five Chinese girls from a slave trader, saving them from a life of prostitution and indentured servitude. Compelled to do the right thing, they take the girls with them as they continue their perilous trek across the frontier, followed by a vicious gang of killers sent by the whorehouse madam who paid for the girls. Broken Trail weaves together two historical events: the British buying horses in the American West in the late 19th century and Chinese women being transported from the West Coast to the interior to serve as prostitutes. Filmed on location in Calgary, Alberta; the miniseries aired on American Movie Classics as its first original film.
Broken Trail received 4 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Part 1 In San Francisco in 1898, countless Chinese girls are sold into slavery and brought to the American West to live as prostitutes among the miners and railway workers. Capt. Billy Fender arrives in San Francisco and purchases five Chinese girls to be sold as prostitutes in Idaho. In southeastern Oregon, Prentice "Prent" Ritter, an aging cowboy, arrives at the Gap Ranch to inform his cowboy nephew, Tom Harte, that his mother died. Estranged from her son years earlier after he left the family ranch to become a buckaroo, she left behind a brief impersonal note informing her son that she left everything in her will to her brother Prent. Uncomfortable with her unfair decision, wanting to reconnect with his nephew, Prent tells him about his plan to transport 500 horses from Oregon to Sheridan, where he will sell them to the British Army.
He offers Tom 25 % of the profits. After purchasing 500 horses from various ranches in the region and Tom head out east with the herd toward the Idaho border. Along the way, Prent sends Tom into a nearby town to purchase supplies. At the local saloon, he purchases three bottles of whiskey; when the bartender attempts to throw out an Irish fiddler named Heck Gilpin, Tom intervenes and punches out the bartender. He hires the fiddler to accompany them on their venture. Back on the trail, they meet Capt. Billy Fender and his five Chinese girls. Fender asks if he can follow along and Prent agrees; that night, Fender offers the cowboys sex with one of the Chinese girls. Fender drugs the cowboys' whiskey, while they sleep, he steals their money and saddled horses and escapes with one of the girls, leaving the other Chinese girls behind; the next morning, the men realize what's happened, Tom rides off in search of Fender. He finds him in a drunken sleep. Tom heads back to camp with the girl. Meanwhile, Prent becomes acquainted with the Chinese girls who are taught to call him "Uncle Prent".
Unable to bridge the language gap, Prent assigns numbers to the girls, naming Ghee Moon #1, Mai Ling #2, Sun Fu #3, Ye Fung #4, Ging Wa #5. After Tom returns with #4, the group continues east across Idaho; as the oldest of the girls, # 3 explains to the others that these men will protect them. Along the way, Tom teaches #3 how to drive the wagon, Prent teaches #5 how to ride a horse. One night, #2 develops a tick fever. While Tom watches over her during the night, she dies; the next morning, after they bury her, Prent speaks over the grave: "We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house, from birth'til death, we travel between the eternities." Meanwhile, a hired killer named Ed "Big Ears" Bywaters rides into the town of Caribou City, Idaho where he meets up with "Big Rump" Kate Becker, the woman who runs the city and its illegal activities. Fender was supposed to deliver the five Chinese girls to Kate, she offers to pay Ed to bring the girls back to her, but he is more interested in abusing one of Kate's prostitutes, Nola Johns.
Back on the trail and his outfit meet up with two strangers, one of whom Prent identifies as Smallpox Bob, proceeds to gun him down. He orders Tom to kill his horse. Smallpox Bob infected thousands of Indians by selling them smallpox-infected blankets. Afterwards, they burn his companion and their horses and blankets; as the flames rise, the ghosts of their Indian victims dance over the flames. That night, #3 notices a hole torn in Tom's shirt, she mends the shirt while he sleeps. A silent attraction has grown between the two; the next day, Prent orders Tom and Heck to take the girls into the town of Caribou City and find someone who will take care of them. In town, after finding a room for the girls, Tom meets Lung Hay, able to speak with the girls in their native language. Lung Hay explains to Tom that the girls do not want to leave Tom and Heck—that they do not feel safe without them. At the saloon and Heck meet "Big Rump" Kate, who offers them one of her whores. After they decline, she demands that they hand over the Chinese girls whom she paid for when she hired Fender.
Back at the girls' room, three men break in and attack the Chinese girls wanting t
Dwight David Yoakam is an American singer-songwriter and actor, known for his pioneering style of country music. First becoming popular in the mid-1980s, Yoakam has recorded more than twenty albums and compilations, charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, sold more than 25 million records, he has recorded five Billboard #1 albums, twelve gold albums, nine platinum albums, including the triple-platinum This Time. In addition to his many achievements in the performing arts, he is the most frequent musical guest in the history of The Tonight Show. Dwight Yoakam was born on October 23, 1956, to Ruth Ann, a key-punch operator, David Yoakam, a gas-station owner, he was born in Pikeville, but was raised in Columbus, where he graduated from Northland High School in 1974. During his high school years, he took part in both the music and drama programs, having been cast in lead roles for the school's plays, including "Charlie" in Flowers for Algernon. Outside of school, Yoakam played guitar with local garage bands.
He attended Ohio State University but dropped out and moved to Los Angeles in 1977 with the intent of becoming a recording artist. On May 7, 2005, Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg, West Virginia and presented Yoakam with an honorary doctorate; when he began his career, Nashville was oriented toward pop "urban cowboy" music, Yoakam's brand of hip honky tonk music was not considered marketable. Not making much headway in Nashville, Yoakam moved to Los Angeles and worked towards bringing his particular brand of new Honky Tonk or "Hillbilly" music forward into the 1980s. Writing all his own songs, continuing to perform outside traditional country music channels, he did many shows in rock and punk rock clubs around Los Angeles, playing with roots rock or punk rock acts like The Blasters, Los Lobos, X; this helped him diversify his audience beyond the typical country music fans, his authentic, honky-tonk revivalism brought rock audiences closer to country music. Yoakam's recording debut was the self-financed EP Guitars, Etc. Etc. on independent label Oak Records produced by lead-guitarist Pete Anderson.
The record hit the market during a sea change in country music: the urban cowboy music was out of style, neotraditional music based on classic styles, such as Yoakam's honky-tonk inspired music, was now in demand. The LP was a breakout hit and spawned his first two hit singles: "Honky Tonk Man", a remake of the Johnny Horton song, the title track "Guitars, Cadillacs." His stylish video "Honky Tonk Man" was the first country music video played on MTV. The follow-up LP, Hillbilly Deluxe, was just as successful, his third LP, Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, included his first No. 1, a duet with his musical idol, Buck Owens, on "Streets of Bakersfield". 1990's. Yoakam's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23" pays tribute to his childhood move from Kentucky, is named after a local expression describing the route that rural Kentuckians took to find a job outside of the coal mines. Rather than the standard line that their elementary schools taught "the three Rs" of "Readin','Ritin', and'Rithmetic", Kentuckians used to say that the three Rs they learned were "Readin','Ritin', Route 23 North".
Johnny Cash once cited Yoakam as his favorite country singer. Chris Isaak called him as good a songwriter as put a pen to paper. Time dubbed him "A Renaissance Man" and Vanity Fair declared that "Yoakam strides the divide between rock's lust and country's lament." Along with his bluegrass and honky-tonk roots, he has written or covered many Elvis Presley-style rockabilly songs, including his 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, a cover of the Grateful Dead song "Truckin'", as well as Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me", he has never been associated only with country music. His middle-period-to-later records saw him branching out to different styles, covering rock & roll, punk, 1960's, blues-based "boogie" like ZZ Top, writing more adventurous songs like "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere". In 2003, he provided background vocals on Warren Zevon's last album The Wind. In 2000, Yoakam released dwightyoakamacoustic.net, an album featuring solo acoustic versions of many of his hits.
2005 saw the release of Yoakam's well-reviewed album Blame the Vain, on New West Records. He released an album dedicated to Buck Owens, Dwight Sings Buck, on October 23, 2007, his duet with Michelle Branch, a song titled "Long Goodbye", was released as a free download on her official website in early 2011. In July 2011, Yoakam re-signed with Warner Bros. Nashville and announced plans to release a new album. 3 Pears was released on September 2012 with twelve new tracks. Produced by him, it includes a collaboration with Beck. 3 Pears was released to resounding critical acclaim and earned him the highest-charting debut of his career on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Country Albums charts. 3 Pears reached #1 on the Americana Radio chart on October 29, 2012 and went on to break the 2012 record for most weeks at #1 on Americana Radio. By the end of 2012