So You Want to Be a Redneck

Rednecks are In. Here’s how to tell the imitation from the real thang.

August 1974By Comments

*Disclaimer: This article contains language from a different era; some phrases may be offensive. 

Rednecks are more confused than ever. First Nixon’s peccadillo, then King Redneck George Wallace voluntarily sitting on the same stage with Teddy Kennedy last July 4th, and now that kid down the street whose daddy owns the hardware store comes home from college looking like a lineal descendant of Natty Bumppo with his Big Mac overalls and blue work shirt and red bandana, smoking that nasty roll-your-own BuIl-of-the-Woods cigarette, squinting a lot, and asking about pickup suspension loads.

In a masterpiece of irony, the culture has spawned the Pseudo-Redneck, a hippie look-alike who yearns to spend his days staggering under a wheelbarrow of manure, grubbing under the topsoil, and listening to Merle Haggard, all financed by pa’s hardware store.

Here in the mid-Seventies we discover that the latest Guru is the Man of The Soil, The Real Man. He is known by his ringing ax and long Kentucky rifle, a romantic hybrid of Lester Maddox and Euell Gibbons.

Because the twain seldom if ever meet, Rednecks don’t know they are the subject of this furious adoration. They continue to eye the vermin with the benign twinkle of a pit viper and go on hating queers, niggers, welfare, rock and roll, and the press.

They, as well as you, need a guide to tell the shamans from the sod busters. Study the Guide on the next two pages and turn your crafty, slow-witted peasant smile into a cynical knowing sneer when addressing the next fresh-faced Jack Armstrong on the manufacture of smearcase and clabber.

Bumper Stickers 

Real Rednecks: If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns – Pseudo Rednecks: Farenthold

Soda Water 

Real Rednecks: Big Red – Pseudo Rednecks: Dr Pepper


Real Rednecks: Union (plumbers,electricians, etc.) – Pseudo Rednecks: Students; carpenters


Real Rednecks: Harley Davidson-hog – Pseudo Rednecks: Honda; Yamaha

Vacation Spots 

Real Rednecks: Six Flags; Astrodome – Pseudo Rednecks: Galveston; Mexico

Games Played 

Real Rednecks: Dominoes; pool; bowling – Pseudo Rednecks: Foosball

Conversational Topics 

Real Rednecks: Sex; jobs; cars; hunting; football – Pseudo Rednecks: Themselves; music

Favorite Black

Real Rednecks: Hank Aaron; Charlie Pride – Pseudo Rednecks: Redd Foxx; Charlie Pride


Real Rednecks: Liver Ailments – Pseudo Rednecks: Ulcers; hemorrhoids


Real Rednecks: Ex-Lax – Pseudo Rednecks: Prunes and Meditation

Leisure Wear 

Real Rednecks: Jump suits; Budweiser hat – Pseudo Rednecks: Cut-off jeans; overalls

Recreational Vehicles 

Real Rednecks: Pickup with cabin – Pseudo Rednecks: VW van

Favorite Illegal Activity 

Real Rednecks: Dynmaite fishing; cock figts; night hunting – Pseudo Rednecks: Smoking dope


Real Rednecks: Texas City; Monahans – Pseudo Rednecks: Austin

Breeding Grounds 

Real Rednecks: Mobile homes – Pseudo Rednecks: Garage apartments; water beds, or any flat surface

Favorite Sex Symbol 

Real Rednecks: Raquel Welch; Dolly Parton – Pseudo Rednecks: Tina Turner; Mick Jagger


Real Rednecks: Muhammed Ali; George McGovern – Pseudo Rednecks: Narcs; real rednecks

Favorite Pet 

Real Rednecks: Mongrel bird dog; miniature poodles; Chihuahuas – Pseudo Rednecks: German shepherd; armadillos

Favorite Art 

Real Rednecks: Bullfight scene on velvet; crucifixions; garage calendars – Pseudo Rednecks: Posters

Fashion Store 

Real Rednecks: K-Mart; Gibson’s – Pseudo Rednecks: Army-Navy Surplus


Real Rednecks: Bill Anderson; Webb Pierce – Pseudo Rednecks: Willie Nelson; Jerry Jeff Walker


Real Rednecks: Dodge Charger; Plymouth Fury – Pseudo Rednecks: Chevy Camaro; 1963 MGB

Night Clubs 

Real Rednecks: Gilley’s; Dance Town USA; Dewey Groom’s Longhorn Ballroom – Pseudo Rednecks: Armadillo World Headquarters; Liberty Hall


Real Rednecks: Stock Car; roller derby; pole fishing – Pseudo Rednecks: Football; streaking


Real Rednecks: Sardines; mashed potatoes; catfish – Pseudo Rednecks: Mexican food; yogurt


Real Rednecks: Budweiser – Pseudo Rednecks: Shiner


Real Rednecks: 1974 Dodge with gun rack – Pseudo Rednecks: 1958 Dodge with tape casettes

Rear View Mirror Implements 

Real Rednecks: Graduation tassles; hairy dice – Pseudo Rednecks: Love beads

Haido (Men) 

Real Rednecks: Grease; “Roy Clark” sideburns – Pseudo Rednecks: Long; stringy

Hairdo (Women) 

Real Rednecks: Bouffant; teased – Pseudo Rednecks: Long; shag


Real Rednecks: Rubbers; saran wrap – Pseudo Rednecks: The Pill


Real Rednecks: Gent; Argosy; Modern Screen; Progressive Farmer – Pseudo Rednecks: Rolling Stone


Real Rednecks: Bourbon and anything – Pseudo Rednecks: Tequila and anything

Favorite Movies

Real Rednecks: Walking Tall; Patton – Pseudo Rednecks: Billy Jack 


Real Rednecks: Bob Hope; Lieutenant Calley; John Wayne – Pseudo Redneck: George Wallace; Larry Mahan

Favorite Movie Stars 

Real Rednecks: John Wayne – Clint Eastwood

Favorite Philosopher 

Real Rednecks: Norman Vincent Peale – Pseudo Rednecks: Khalil Gibran

Favorite Poet 

Real Rednecks: Does not apply – Pseudo Rednecks: Rod McKuen

Women’s Pants 

Real Rednecks: Pedal pushers – Pseudo Rednecks: Bell-bottom jeans

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