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Lyrics reference Knoxville, a county name you can find in several states including Tennessee, and then of course, the biggest clue of all, the supposed Copperhead Road itself.
"I don't know of another Copperhead Road there could be somewhere, but this is our Copperhead Road."
Back in the '80s, Rolling Stone called a now classic country rock song "power twang."
"Johnson County was known for quite a bit of moonshine back in the early '40s back in that era you know, then they kind of moved on from the moonshine to the marijuana."
"It had all the great ingredients. It talked about moonshine and heading down to Knoxville with a weekly load, and then it talked about marijuana, and a lot of our listeners seemed to enjoy that at the time," explained Williams.
The county sheriff knows that first hand.
Certain lyrics match places around the community.
find a street sign. Certain die hard music fans make that nearly impossible.
More than 150 miles away from Knoxville, high in the mountains, you'll find Johnson County, Tennessee. It's known for sweeping views and high valleys, and some say the county serves as the setting for Earle's rough and rowdy rock and roll song.
So, what's the story behind the song?
But the song isn't just about places, it also tells the story of an overall shift in society.
At the end of Copperhead Road sits an old empty school. Current plans are for it to become a winery. It's part of a local vineyard and the man who owns it all has a history closely tied with the tale of Copperhead Road. He's a retire ATF agent.
Tennessee Truth or Tall Tale
But above all, Johnson County has the iconic road where Earle's tale of moonshine, marijuana and revenuers went down.
After the old days of moonshining faded away, law enforcement faced a new battle with the growth of a new illegal home made product.
The name Copperhead Road is on mailboxes along the road, but don't' expect to Skechers Go Walk 3 Black
Phil William's career in radio spans 30 years, and as a DJ, his playlists once included Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road." He says it's a story some just couldn't get enough Vans Peach Blush Mono
"Well, you know everybody listened to it. Of Vans For Boys 2017
Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" and its music video tell the story of three generations of the same family: two bootleggers, and one who turned to a different illegal activity.
course they used the Johnson County sheriff's wrote on the side of their car that they ran moonshine with. They mentioned Skechers Basketball Shoes Mens the Masonic Hall and all that," said Sheriff Mike Reece.
These days though, the sheriff says the road and its residents are pretty calm. DEA helicopters no longer circle above, young families have moved in, and a new kind of business calls the area home.
And that kind of criminal activity has also taken place along Copperhead Road over the years.
Some say the lasting legacy of it all moonshine, marijuana, and now legal wine make the story behind Steve Earle's iconic song a Tennessee truth.
"As fast as they put them up, they take them down."
"I guess since I've been in office, we've probably put, I'm guessing, eight signs up down there," said Sheriff Reece.
Even more than 20 years after the song hit airwaves, the posts are bare because fans are still taking the Copperhead Road street signs as collectors' items. It's something that keeps the Johnson County highway department pretty busy.
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