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The Dwight Stuff

April 18, 1993

The strength of Richard Cromelin's intelligent piece lies in the fact that he let Dwight Yoakam speak for himself. His words pack a hardy punch and reveal not only "The Solitary Outsider," but also the thinking, feeling human being that lives beyond the image.

However, there are points on which Cromelin and I disagree. Yoakam's songwriting depth is obvious, the most recent examples coming from his new album, "This Time." The control and spectrum that Yoakam exhibits vocally are worthy of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and the original honky-tonk man, Johnny Horton.

Let's face it. If there hadn't been a Dwight Yoakam, there wouldn't have been a Garth or a Billy Ray or an Alan Jackson. Country music would still have been mired in the stagnation of the '70s.

Call him an outsider, a rebel or even an "Outlaw in a White Hat," it really doesn't matter. Yoakam is still the man who kick-started the heart of country and made it possible for other artists on the edge to stand tall after long years of being overlooked by the Nashville Establishment.

JANA PENDRAGON

Long Beach

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