What happened to David Allen Coe?

CINCINNATI -- David Allan Coe, a country music singer known for his renegade persona who penned the country hits "Take This Job and Shove It" and "Would you Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)", pleaded guilty to IRS obstruction in Cincinnati Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Coe could face up to three years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for not paying his taxes in more than seven years, according to the office of U.S. District Attorney Carter Stewart.

Coe, 76, grew up in Akron, Ohio, where he was "in and out of reform schools, correctional centers and prisons" starting at the age of nine, according to Rolling Stone and CMT.

"If the notion of any current country performer labeling himself an outlaw was ever laughable, it would never be more so when considering David Allan Coe," the Rolling Stone wrote in a Coe profile less than a month ago.

Coe did a stint in the Ohio State Penitentiary during most of this 20s. During his incarceration, he learned to play the guitar. His album Penitentiary Blues, re-released in 2005 but supposedly recorded 1969, was penned behind prison bars, Coe said.

Coe's sentence in the state penitentiary was extended, he said, after he killed another inmate who approached him in search of oral sex. The "death row story" -- chronicled in his original song "Death Row" -- has been debated for its legitimacy. Coe's website even calls out one Rolling Stone reporter who asked Coe if the story was true, and said that the reporter's inquiry prompted Coe to write the song "I'd Like To Kick The S*** Out Of You."

What happened to David Allen Coe?

After a string of convenient circumstances apparently led to Coe's release from death row -- but not before he met his biological father, a fellow death row inmate, according to the singer himself -- he was paroled in 1967, "whatever the truth of the matter," his website bio apathetically says. He then found music producer Shelby Singleton who recorded two of Coe's songs in the late 60s.

Coe's popularity as a singer and guitarist maintained a sort of cult following, and Coe had trouble breaking into the Nashville music scene, according to CMT. He did have major success as a songwriter and penned the country No. 1 classics "Take This Job and Shove It" by Johnny Paycheck and Tanya Tucker's "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)".

Coe then took to writing, singing and performing more explicit and offensive material, which was criticized as being racist and violent, but he toured with artists like Willie Nelson, Kid Rock and B.B. King. The IRS Cincinnati field office estimated that Coe performed at least 100 concerts yearly throughout the U.S. from 2008 to 2013.

"Coe either failed to file his individual income tax returns with the IRS (from 2008 to 2013)," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release. "When Coe did file his individual income tax returns with the IRS, he failed to pay the taxes due and owing. In addition, during this same time period, Coe also owed money to the IRS for prior years of taxes due and owing.  Instead of paying his taxes in full, Coe spent the money earned from performing concerts on other debts and gambling."

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Coe owes the IRS $388,190.94 from 2009, $35,640.10 from 2011 and $42,733.82 from 2013.

No documents exist supporting Coe's claim that he lived in a cave after the IRS took his house in the 1980s, but his Key West home was repossessed and his guitar was taken from him by "Feds" during a 1900 performance, CMT said.

"All taxpayers, regardless of their profession, must comply with their federal tax obligations," said special agent Kathy Enstrom from the IRS Cincinnati Field Office.

August 30, 2021Country Legend David Allan Coe Hospitalized with Covid-19

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What happened to David Allen Coe?

What happened to David Allen Coe?

81-year-old Outlaw country legend David Allan Coe is currently in the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. He is receiving treatment, including oxygen, high doses of vitamins, and is being fed intravenously. But Coe is not currently intubated, is said to be awake, alert, and talking to doctors according to his wife Kim and a family friend. His condition is said to be improving.

It was first announced on August 16th that live appearances by David Allan Coe scheduled for August 20th and 21st would be postponed due to concerns over rising cases of Covid-19. “This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the safety of the band and crew, and you, the fans, at the heart of our concerns. We will work with the venues to reschedule the show and notify you of any updates,” a statement said.

Then it was announced on August 20th that all remaining shows in August and September had been postponed as Coe, his wife Kimberly, and the family had tested positive for Covid-19. Both Kimberly’s son and grandson tested positive for the Delta variant as well, and have been recuperating at their home in Ormond Beach, Florida.

David Allan Coe also cancelled and postponed some dates in July due to an undisclosed illness. “Rescheduled dates and more information will be posted as soon as possible,” a statement says.

Born in Akron, Ohio, David Allan Coe spent much of his youth and young adult life in and out of reform schools before getting out of prison for good in 1967, and moving to Nashville to pursue a country music career. Writing Tanya Tucker’s #1 hit “Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)” in 1973 put Coe on the radar of Music Row, and by the next year he was signed with Columbia Records, and became part of country music’s “Outlaw” movement, releasing his signature song “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” in 1975 co-written by Steve Goodman and John Prine.

Coe has had numerous ailments over the years, including needing knee replacement surgery in April 2019. He was also diagnosed with an inner ear infection in February of 2018 that was first falsely reported as a stroke. Up to his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Coe continued to tour and perform regularly.

© 2022 Saving Country Music


David Allan Coe

How old is David Allan Coe now?

83 years (September 6, 1939)David Allan Coe / Agenull

Who is David Allan Coe's wife?

Kimberly HastingsDavid Allan Coe / Wifenull

Is David Allan Coe still married?

David and Kimberly have been together for 19 years and were married in Las Vegas on April 18, 2010.

Is David Allan Coe still an outlaw?

If he wasn't badass enough yet, David Allan Coe is a retired member of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club.