Country singer Paycheck's legend
may extend even to Nanty Glo lore

 

Letter No. 308 | March 8, 2003

At three score and ten, I find myself engaging more and more in Nanty Glo lore. The latest tale relates to the following:

Johnny PayCheck, 64, an outlaw country singer, recently died in Nashville, Tennesee. His most famous song was "Take This Job and Shove It." Born Donald Eugene Lytle, he took the name in the '60s of a boxer KO'd by Joe Louis in March, 1940.

What does Johhny PayCheck have to do with Nanty Glo? Even before the country singer changed his name, I had previously heard the name "Johnny Paychek" back in the '40s and recall a man with this name. Having a sinewy build with tatooed arms, he was a fixture on Nanty Glo's Shoemaker Street ("Barbary Coast") where he liked to drink at the many bars.  Strangely enough, I always heard the tale that this person was a former prize fighter who might have become "punch drunk"  from taking frequent punches. If he faced boxers like Joe Louis, this in understandable. Except for the brief "three minutes fame" in  his boxing match, there is little known about the Johnny Paychek, the challenger to Joe Louis crown, or the Nanty Glo pugilist who remains a mystery.

Best regards,
Frank Charney

Webmaster's postscript: Somewhere in our four-year sojourn through Blacklick Township High School, my 1960 class was joined by a handsome newcomer to Twin Rocks named John Pisacek (spelled "something like that" and pronounced "paycheck"). When I first heard of "Take This Job and Shove It" and its rising-star purveyor, my thought was that it was nice that at least one of the classmates had made the big time!—jk

 

 

 
 


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