The Story Behind Moe Bandy’s “I Cheated Me Right Out of You”

The Story Behind Moe Bandy's “I Cheated Me Right Out of You”
Photo: Moe Bandy/Facebook
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Moe Bandy‘s early hits carved a niche with a recurring theme of “cheating,” though it wasn’t a deliberate plan. The songs simply found their way into his repertoire and played a pivotal role in launching his career. However, it’s essential to note that Moe never endorsed the act of cheating, always quick to make that distinction.

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His debut on Billboard’s “Hot Country Singles” chart in 1974 with “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today” marked the beginning of a string of successes. Country songwriters flooded him with tunes about illicit affairs, leading to consistent appearances in Billboard’s Top Ten. Notably, “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life” and “It’s a Cheatin’ Situation” peaked at #2 in 1976 and ’79, respectively. The pinnacle came with “I Cheated Me Right Out of You” in ’79, securing Moe’s sole solo number one hit. Another chart-topper followed, a duet with Joe Stampley titled “Just Good Ol’ Boys,” also in ’79.

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Born on Lincoln’s birthday in 1944 in Meridian, Mississippi, Moe’s roots intertwined with country legend Jimmie Rodgers, thanks to his grandfather’s work on the railroad. The Bandys later moved to San Antonio, where, in 1972, Moe met producer Ray Baker, who agreed to record with him under the condition that Moe foot the bill. In a somewhat “suspicious” deal, Moe sacrificed his furniture to scrape together $900 for the session, resulting in “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today.” Despite its success, it took over a year for Moe to climb out of debt.

For years, Moe upheld country music traditions, earning the title of the official “King of Honky Tonk” from the Texas State Legislature. His hits continued until 1983, followed by a resurgence in 1986 with a new contract and a shift toward more positive songs under producer Jerry Kennedy. Hits like “Till I’m Too Old to Die Young” and “Americana” graced the top ten. Noteworthy among his later works was the gospel-tinged “Many Mansions.”

Opening a country music theater in family-oriented Branson, Missouri, Moe curated lengthy shows featuring his later “positive” songs. Notably, he refrained from performing the earlier “cheatin'” hits during live shows, aligning with the city’s push for a “family-friendly” atmosphere at the time—a policy that has since eased in Branson.

Moe Bandy – I Cheated Me Right Out Of You

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind Kenny Rogers’ Holiday Song “Mary, Did You Know”


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