Greetings from Asheville, where good music is on the turntable. This Classic 45 is a 1977 release that helped enhance the Johnny Paycheck image as an outlaw. Johnny Paycheck had been scoring hits since the mid 1960’s, and many of those were in the smoother veins of the Nashville Sound, under the direction of Billy Sherill. However, this track was different than any of those hits, a musical direction that had started with the previous year’s “Eleven Months And Twenty-Nine Days”.
Released by Epic in late Spring, 1977, “I’m The Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)” began a steady climb up the Country 40 in June, eventually peaking at eight in both Billboard and Cashbox. The song is a familiar theme in country; a man rejects his mother’s attempts to keep him on the straight and narrow, and now, he’s on his way to prison. A theme used many times, yet this is one of the more effective results.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, model railroader, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.