4 Timeless Dwight Yoakam Songs to Keep Your Toes Tapping

When it comes to great, toe-tapping, honky tonk, country music there are few better artists than Dwight Yoakam. His musical style blends several threads from the expansive quilt of American music including strands of bluegrass, neotraditional country, and the Bakersfield Sound. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing covers or originals, Yoakam always delivers the country goods.

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Yoakam has only sent two singles to the top of the Billboard charts. However, he has had several top 10 singles. More importantly, he is proof that sometimes chart success isn’t an accurate way to measure the quality of music. Here are four examples of Yoakam songs that never get old.

“Guitars, Cadillacs”—Dwight Yoakam at His Finest

Dwight Yoakam came out swinging with his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.  in 1986. More than his debut, it was the first of three consecutive albums to reach the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The second single and title track peaked at No. 4. However, it remains a highlight of the hit album.

In “Guitars, Cadillacs,” Yoakam signs about being heartbroken by a woman as well as Nashville. He refers to the town as Babylon and thanks her for showing him new ways to be cruel. To keep him from falling apart, he turns to guitars, Cadillacs, and hillbilly music. Who hasn’t been there at least once?

“Streets of Bakersfield”—Yoakam and Owens are a Winning Combination

Written by Homer Joy, Buck Owens recorded “Streets of Bakersfield” in 1972. Owens’ version of this song didn’t see much success. Then, more than a decade later, he performed it with Dwight Yoakam during a CBS TV special. Owens urged the young up-and-comer to cut the song for his next album. Instead, Yoakam convinced Owens to make the song a duet.

Yoakam released the duet version of “Streets of Bakersfield” as the lead single from his 1988 album Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room. It went on to become Yoakam’s first No. 1 single.

“A Thousand Miles from Nowhere”—A Song That Dominated ‘90s Country Radio

Yoakam wrote “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” and released it as the second single from his 1993 album This Time. It, like many others, became a top 10 hit peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Country chart. The song dominated country radio stations in the early ‘90s.

A heavy breakup song, “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” sees the song’s narrator feeling apathetic about life in general. To him, being a thousand miles away from anything is just fine because there’s nowhere he wants to be.

“I Sang Dixie”—Dwight Yoakam’s Second No. 1 Single

Dwight Yoakam wrote “I Sang Dixie” and released it as the second single from Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room. It was his second and final single to reach the top of the chart.

“I Sang Dixie” is a sad song. However, it’s not about heartbreak. Instead, it sees the narrator comforting a Southern man while he dies on the street in Los Angeles. The man had moved away from his home to L.A. and drank himself to death. The narrator sings the traditional song “Dixie” for the man during his final moments as everyone else just walks by. With his dying breath, the man warns the narrator to head south and flee the city before it does the same to him.

Featured Image by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

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