Bubba Shot the Jukebox

Mike Hawkburn, contributor


On September 11th 1992, 9 years before 9/11, Country music star Mark Chesnutt released the now well known hit single “Bubba Shot the Jukebox.” The song that reached #4 on Country Music Charts tells the story of how Bubba gets angry at a sad song that “made him cry,” so naturally he shoots the jukebox with a gun that he’s got in his truck. Since the Jukebox was on its own private property, Bubba ends up getting justice:


They dragged him right out of Margie’s

Told him “Don’t play dumb with us, son.

Know damn well what the charge is.”


On May 23rd, 1991, songwriter and part-time jukebox repairman Dennis Linde received an early morning call to repair a jukebox at the Owl Bar in Houston. Owl Bar staff was very reluctant to give any details on what had happened, which Linde noted was odd at the time. The jukebox was in such bad shape it took 3 days to repair it. Over the course of the repair he slowly learned all the details of an incident involving 2 brothers. Apparently the older brother hated the song “Fortunate Son,” and the 2 brothers were bickering as it came on. The bartender said, “CCR is from San Francisco; who gives a shit.” This sent the older brother into a fit of rage, and you know the rest of the story. Dennis penned a song about this and sold it to Mark Chesnutt.

Fast-forward 20 years to 2002 — Mark Chesnutt was served papers by then-president George W. Bush alleging that “everyone knew that he was Bubba since he and his daddy had the same name and everybody called him Bubba.” Mark Chesnutt didn’t back down, and that’s why you’ve never heard of him. “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” is about the Bush brothers, God bless Texas!

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