“Coca-Cola Cowboy“ is a song written by Steve Dorff, Sandy Pinkard, Sam Atchley and Bud Dain….and recorded by American country music artist Mel Tillis…..as seen performed live on stage at Austin City Limits in this video herewith….as it was released in June 1979 as the first single from Tillis’s album Mr. Entertainer. The song was featured in the film, Every Which Way but Loose, starring Clint Eastwood…. plus in the film Bandit Goes Country….in which Tillis also appeared while starring Brian Bloom. “Coca-Cola Cowboy” was Tillis’ fifth # 1 on the U.S. country singles chart….where it spent one week at the top…. and a total of eleven weeks on the chart.
Following his heyday in the 1970’s….Tillis remained a songwriter in the 1980’s….while writing hits for Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis. He also wrote his autobiography called Stutterin’ Boy….as the title comes from Tillis’ speech impediment. Tillis appeared as the television commercial spokesman for the fast-food restaurant chain Whataburger during the 1980’s…..as he continued to record and have hits through the decade….with a top-10 hit coming in 1984….and his last top-40 country hit in 1988….for like most country artists of the classic era….his recording career was stunted by changes in the country music industry in the early 1990’s. He also built a theater in Branson, Missouri….where he performed on a regular basis until 2002. In 1998, he teamed with Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Reed to form The Old Dogs…..and the group recorded a double album of songs penned entirely by Shel Silverstein…. when in July 1998, Old Dogs Volumes 1 and 2 were released on the Atlantic Records label. A companion video, as well as a Greatest Hits album….which was composed of previously released material by each individual artist….were also available. In the 1990’s, Tillis’ daughter Pam, became a hugely successful country music singer in her own right….with Top Ten hits like “Maybe It Was Memphis”, “Shake the Sugar Tree” and the # 1 “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)”.