Singer Paul Cauthen, best known for his high tune, "Cocaine Country Dancing," was arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, as well as manufacturing and possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute in Schedule I, II and III in Isle of Palms, SC on May 18.
According to his publicist Mary Moye via Saving Country Music, that substance was cannabis.
“Paul was arrested for marijuana possession in Isle of Palms, South Carolina on Thursday morning. He is out on bond now and looks forward to telling the rest of his story soon.”
Cauthen posted $27,275 bail – $2,275 for the possession charge and $25,000 for the manufacturing and distribution charges – and was released on May 18.
Possession of one ounce or less is a misdemeanor in South Carolina, punishable by a maximun of 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. It's unclear how much he was possessing and how the arrest went down. The manuacturing charge indicates he might have been growing cannabis. Sales or trafficking (less than 10 pounds) and cultivation (less than 100 plants) are felonies punishable by maxes of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
As a result, Cauthen canceled shows on May 19 in Knoxville, TN and on May 20 at the Tennessee Motorcycles & Music Revival in Hurricane Mills, TN. His next show is scheduled on June 2 in Paso Robles, CA.
Born and raised in Tyler, TX, Cauthen, 36, has released four solo albums since 2016. Room 41 in 2018 features his most famous song, the catchy "Cocaine Country Dancing."
I said, a-twist for me, baby
Hit a rip for me, baby
Take another shot, get lit for me baby, ooh-wee
It's a quarter to two
What you wanna do?
Cocaine country dancing with you
I think a bit of cocaine country dancing will do
In 2021, Cauthen told Cowboys & Indians that he "turned 20 in prison."
The mag reported: "He was arrested in high school for possession of marijuana and after parole violations in college was imprisoned on a six-month sentence. After his release he moved to Colorado where he says he began building on both his music and his outlaw careers."
Cauthen explained: “I started getting into that bluegrass hippie scene, taking a lot of acid and mushrooms and experimenting with my life. I was just floating by the seat of music – and selling a lot of fucking weed.”
The mag added: "He was part of a larger operation spread out across several states, but instead of splurging with the money he made, he began investing it in his music career."
The article's subhead notes that Cauthen "transformed from pot slinger to outlaw country singer."
Expect Willie Nelson to take notice and for Cauthen, who's nicknamed Big Velvet due to his baritone voice, to appear with Nelson on tour in the near future.