Tyler Mahan Coe
Tyler Mahan Coe is the host, writer and producer of the podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music. Though it remains an independent, one-man operation, within a year of debut the program's first season rose from country fan favorite to international phenomenon. Assisted by glowing reviews in such mainstream media outlets as The New Yorker and The Guardian, Cocaine & Rhinestones soon became the #1 Music podcast on Apple's charts in the US and UK simultaneously.
After several years of research and writing, Tyler returned with the podcast's second season: a 30+ hour epic covering "the greatest country singer ever," George Jones. No ordinary biography, the narrative takes several centuries' worth of detours through the histories and cultures of such topics as moonshine liquor, Spanish bullfighting, chivalric knighthood, Machiavellian politics, soap opera and the Protestant Reformation, subtly insinuating the ways these events created the American 20th Century, the stage which played host to the dramatic lives and careers of George Jones and his once-wife Tammy Wynette. This idiosyncratic approach brought extensive and favorable coverage from GQ, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, Fortune and others.
Many would say Tyler is uniquely positioned to tell these stories, having spent a lifetime in and around the country music industry. Born the son of controversial country artist David Allan Coe, Tyler was made a performer in his father's act at the age of 3 in the late 1980s, then later worked for thirteen years as touring guitarist and bandleader of the DAC Band, frequently interacting with most of the legendary figures now discussed on Cocaine & Rhinestones. However, the program does not exclusively rely upon these years of immersion in the field, instead prioritization a synthesis of all available sources with original research in order to separate the facts from the sensationalized mythology, exploitative gossip and biased reporting which have plagued the published history of this genre. The aim is to strike a happy medium between education and entertainment, never sacrificing one for the sake of the other. According to Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO, Kyle Young, "[Tyler] is both a storyteller and a tenacious reporter, and he cuts through myth and hype in order to find truth and beauty and danger and other things that are at the heart of this music. He doesn’t glad-hand or favor trade. He’s after the real deal and won’t stop until he lands on it, until he conveys it to all of us in ways that haven’t been approached in the past. His show’s enormous success is proof that country music’s characters and history have relevance today […]"