Country outlaw Coe to hit the stage in Sasser

Photo by Ricki Barker

Photo by Ricki Barker

SASSER, Ga. -- If you wonder where Outlaws go when it's time to hang up their spurs, you can leave David Allan Coe off your list of people to ask.

The controversial country legend, who's been in his well-lived life a biker, a prison inmate, a lightning rod for controversy and, oh yeah, one of the genre's most prolific songwriters, is still out there on the backroads of America, going from town to town to perform for crowds that want to hear him sing.

Coe will travel up U.S. Highway 82 Saturday to perform for what is expected to be a large and raucous crowd at the Sasser Flea Market here.

"We've had more requests to have David Allan Coe here than anyone else," venue owner/manager Dee West said. "He's had his own big hits, he's an excellent songwriter and he's one of the most unique performers in the history of country music."

"Tickets are really selling fast for his show."

Coe is perhaps best known for his classic country hit "You Never Even Called Me by My Name," but he's also hit the charts with memorable tunes like "The Ride," "Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile" and "If That Ain't Country." Among the songs he wrote that were recorded by other artists, "Take This Job and Shove It" (Johnny Paycheck) and "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" (Tanya Tucker) are among the best known.

Some of Coe's more underground material has made him a lightning rod of controversy over the course of his career, and West said that is why she is not allowing anyone under 18 to attend Saturday's performance.

"It's not about drinking, it's some of the colorful language David has in his songs," West said. "This is the only concert where we've had an age limit, but I don't want kids around any kind of bad language, at least not in front of me. A lot of people have told me they didn't mind if their teenage kids went, but I'm not going to let in anyone under 18.

"We had originally said this was a 21-and-over show, but young people who are 18 are old enough to die for their country, so we're not going to limit them."

Tickets for Saturday's show are $25 in advance and are available at Flint River Harley-Davidson, The Exchange, the Albany Visitors Center, Chances R Bait and Tackle, Leesburg Flowers and Gifts, and Cuttin' Up Salon in Americus. Tickets will be $30 the day of the show.

"David has a big following among bikers, so we're going to have a special parking area for them Saturday," West said. "Members of the local Harley Riders Association have said they plan to come out as a group."

Gates open Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and the Joey Robinson Band is scheduled to open the night's music at 7. Also on the bill are Cole Taylor and Running Down Romance.