Several decades before the crossover popularity of C.W. McCall's "Convoy," country music and truck driving had already reached an intersection. Regionally itinerant country musicians, touring the signal range of radio giants like WSM, WWVA, and KWKH, found themselves pounding the same pavement as America's truckers, and wrote the same travelin' hardships into their songs of life on the road.
As early as 1939, "Truck Driver's Blues," featuring vocals and piano from Moon Mullican, provided a lyrical template for the road ahead: weary, lonely days relieved by a cup of coffee, a honky-tonk gal, and a couple of drinks before saddling up for the next day's ride. Many of these jukebox hits were aimed at gear-jammers themselves, celebrating the trucker as the last of the American cowboys, navigating the frontier of commerce as they raced home to their loved-ones. Art Gibson's "I'm a Truck Driving Man" recalls the romance of early cross-country travel, and Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home" barrels down the road with a rockabilly beat.
By the 1960s, Dave Dudley, Dick Curless, and Red Simpson were scoring frequent trucking-themed hits. Curless' "A Tombstone Every Mile," written about a tragically dangerous section of Route 2A in Maine, may be the only song to ever help get a US interstate built. Kay Adams' "Little Pink Mack" provides a proto-feminist view, and Bobby Braddock's "Gear Bustin' Sort of a Feller" takes a run fully fueled on coffee, pills, and sheer adrenaline.
These twenty tracks mix classics ("Six Days on the Road," "Roll Truck Roll"), early rarities, and original versions made popular as covers. Liner notes from label Diesel Only's Jeremy Tepper and vintage publicity shots round out a full load.
What the Fork - March 24, 10:21 AM
Seven Days - March 22, 5:57 PM
Seven Days - March 22, 5:38 PM
Seven Days - March 21, 8:22 PM
Seven Days - March 21, 7:27 PM