Directed by Jay Sheridan
Nashville Rebel (1966) finds young ex-GI Arlin (Waylon) hitchhiking, guitar in hand. He’s picked up by a convertible full of drunk rednecks who force him to drink Jim Beam, then punch him in the groin several times, roll him and leave him by the side of the road. He wakes up in a woman’s bed; after she’s nursed him back to health, he tries out for a talent show and is soon snatched up by a big-time Nashville manager. From there, he learns how sleazy the music world can be.
In order to take Arlin down a peg, his manager gets him a Chicago gig, then hires Henny Youngman to make fun of his act. From there, Arlin hits the bottle and winds up looking all greasy in a flophouse before getting straightened out again.
It’s easy to picture this movie playing on humid summer nights at Southern drive-ins. Think of it as a second-rate Elvis flick, shopworn plot and all, with Waylon in the Elvis role; he certainly had the looks back then, and he sings the title song at least five times before the movie’s end.