The King of Country Music Videos: The Five Most Quintessential Dwight Yoakam Clips

dwight_yoakam.jpg
Dwight Yoakam
Dwight David Yoakam, the modern savior of the Bakersfield-style of electric country music, is actually a native of Kentucky and he's now been a staple of Hollywood productions for years.

Such a quizzical mélange makes sense, really. Give a listen to the way in which Yoakam has blended so many styles of country music into his deep and often-times under-appreciated catalog, and it's easy to hear. Hitting the scene in 1986, during what Steve Earle has famously described as the "Great Credibility Scare" of the mid 1980s, Yoakam, more than any other country star of his time, utilized the video medium to convey his message and image in inventive, humorous and artful ways. And it's something he's continued to do wonderfully, even though his chart-topping days are sadly behind him and his leather pants.

With Yoakam shaking his hips through the metroplex this weekend, we thought now would be a great time to look at the five music videos that anyone -- Yoakam fan or not -- should see in order to really appreciate what the guy has done to promote his music, style and, perhaps most important, his personality through the medium that killed the radio star.

Jump with us for a walk down memory lane.

"Thousand Miles From Nowhere" (1993)
This was Yoakam's first foray into directing his own videos -- something he would come to do quite often with future singles. The signature guitar lick that opens the song also would become a staple of a classic Yoakam rocker.


"Streets of Bakersfield" (1988)
If someone were to ever seek visual evidence of what the "Bakersfield Sound" actually is -- and they couldn't find any clips of early Buck Owens or Merle Haggard -- this would serve as sufficient the proof. The first 15 seconds of music basically defines the classic sound. Aside from this tune shockingly being Yoakam's next-to-last No. 1 hit single, it's also notable as Yoakam's hero and friend, Buck Owens takes a well deserved victory lap in the fickle pool of the mainstream.


"Close Up the Honky Tonks" (2007)

When Dwight combines his effectively humorous comedic acting skills, with a tune from his dearly departed friend Buck Owens, the results are ingenious. Oh yeah, there's a hot chick in this one, too. Did we forget to mention that Fred "I Did It All For the Nookie" Durst directed this clip? Odd, but true.


"Blame the Vain" (2005)
Another self-directed video, this is a sadly overlooked song in Yoakam's catalog (as most of the singles from the last decade are, actually). This clip has it all: Yoakam's aforementioned signature "rocking tune" vibe, hot girls, a title that's a great pun and, yes, blue suede boots.


"Honky Tonk Man" (1986)
While an unremarkable clip from a production standpoint, this video served as Yoakam's introduction in the public consciousness, and it would present the public with a few Dwight-specific trademarks that would become synonymous with him over the years. The swivel hip action (which, as with Elvis decades earlier, managed to stir up some controversy for a short while), the tighter-than-tight jeans, the hair that couldn't be tamed by a mere cowboy hat and, of course, his ability to take the sounds of country music's past and make them Top 40 relevant in the present.


Dwight Yoakam performs on Saturday, July 9, at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie
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11 comments
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bowhunter3
bowhunter3

george jones is the king of country music

ChrisU
ChrisU

great that Dwight and Steve Earle both in town this weekend, but not real crazy about the venues they've chosen this time around.it's been about six years since Dwight has put out an album of original material! but that's okay he had a pretty solid output for about twenty years before the last one.

Michelle Garcia
Michelle Garcia

Dwight is my Idol, I love his music and acting, everything he does love it.

Alpone
Alpone

Dwight is also an excellent actor.

W.A. Fite
W.A. Fite

Thanks for this article. Now I gotta go dust off "Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room" and give it a new ear.

Tizzybo
Tizzybo

I already loved the split look of the Nowhere video, then I heard him tell the story of it. He and director Carolyn Mayer (who died in 9/11) each shot their takes on the song, and when compared were struck with how similar they were and decided to combine them.

Robert
Robert

Favorite Dwight Yoakam video - Hey Good Lookin with Buckwheat Zydeco and David Hidalgo.

Favorite Yoakam song - Fast As You or maybe What Do You Know About Love? It's difficult to choose only one. A Thousand Miles From Nowhere is great too.

None of my choices fit you Bakersfield Sound theme I suppose.

Kelly D
Kelly D

Hi, Robert - Those are all great, also. I'm with 'ya. Really, while it's basically indisputable that Dwight's a master of the Bakersfield sound, you'll notice that videos on the list like "Thousand Miles..." or "Blame The Vain" arent a part of a "Bakersfield Theme", either, as that really wasnt my intended goal. I just wanted to provide as wide a scope of Dwight's video career as I could within a 5 song list (which, as I mentioned in my comment above was tough :-)

TNDYfan
TNDYfan

Don't be so sure that Dwight's chart topping days are behind him!!! He is working on a new album now and I have a feeling it will be even better than all the others! :)

Nick R.
Nick R.

Nice one Kelly. This one, has always been a favorite too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Kelly D
Kelly D

Thanks, Nick - I like that one too. This would've been a lot longer list had I gone with a "Kelly's Favorite Dwight Videos" theme instead. I figured I'd challenge myself come to some tough conclusions :-)

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