February 22

David Allan Coe’s “The Ride” Co-written by the Ghost of Hank Williams

Have you heard of David Allan Coe‘s song “The Ride?” If you haven’t, you better take the time to listen to it. “The Ride” has an interesting and chilling story behind its making. Even the song itself will give you goosebumps when you listen to it.

Come, let’s take a look at it together.

David Allan Coe’s “The Ride”

In 1983, Coe released his chilling single “The Ride.” The song became a part of one of his highest charting albums Castles in the Sand. When Coe released the song on the same year as a single, it immediately secured a spot on the Billboard chart. “The Ride” reached number four on the country chart and number two on the Canadian chart.

david allan coe the rode gary gentry
Photo Credit: David Allan Coe/ Official Facebook Page

The Making of the Song

The song was written by Gary Gentry and J.B. Detterline. But how the song came to life is actually an interesting, crazy, but at the same time an amazing story. Gentry shared the process behind the writing of “The Ride” with the Tennessean.

Gentry met Detterline while filming the movie Hank Williams Tribute-The Man and His Music. Detterline encouraged Gentry to write a song about Hank. Detterline is a big fan of Lefty Frizzell, while Gentry was a fan of Hank. The two ended up writing a song about their idols that night. But, Gentry said to Detterline that the song was not enough for Hank. However, Detterline thinks that the song was already perfect, so he left.

That time, Gentry drank a lot. On the night he wrote “The Ride,” Gentry lit candles in his apartment, and he kept on shouting for Hank to show up. Eventually, he said that he saw a shirtless Hank Williams sitting on his couch. It may be Hank sitting on the chair, or it may be that Gentry was excessively drunk, but what came out at 4 in the morning was a masterpiece.

“I was drinking in those days, and doing other things…And I was mad, and I was drunk. Thank God I haven’t had a drink since 1984, but in those days, it was pretty wild. I said, “Hank! Why were you so big? Just because you died young? Show yourself! Help me write this song.” I looked down that long hallway, and Hank was sitting there without a shirt on, on my couch, in the living room.”

A Spooky Performance at the Grand Ole Opry

Coe performed the song at the Grand Ole Opry once, and during his performance of the last part of the song, the power shut down. Gentry thinks that it was because Hank wants to inform them he won’t be coming back.

Hank was asked to leave the Opry because he constantly missed his show because of alcohol.

Whether the song was written alone by the songwriter, or with the help of the ghost of Hank Williams, it was a sensational piece indeed.

hank williams the ride david allan coe
Photo Credit: Hank Williams Sr./ Rock Hall Library and Archive


David Allan Coe, hank williams

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