Trucker




In the Golden Age of the LP, country music reputedly was the most popular idiom in North America, although sales may not have so reflected. One of the most enduring offshoots of country proper, "truck driver's music" continues to percolate interest, and not just among country or rockabilly fans. As with biker and hot-rod music, trucker songs reflect the inherent macho quality of a fiercely independent and rugged lifestyle, filled with diesel and dangers on the road. On the other hand, few occupations lend themselves as readily to the contemplative; rambling reflections on waitresses, hitch-hikers, and even phantoms abound.

Trucker music ranges every place from weepers about lost loves and family to hard-driving rockabilly and bluegrass instrumentals. Anything that rolls or merely exists down the road becomes fair game as subject matter. Any great yarn distilled to perfection through endless truckstop retellings makes a candidate for song. There are "answer" songs to several of the many hits and spoofs of all kinds, such as the "gay" smokie ruse in Rod Hart's idiom-killing "C.B. Savage." No activity or icon of restlessness, such as a piece of apple pie, pinball machine, or teddy bear, could be considered safe from the sages of the asphalt.

The major country labels knew and cultivated their audience from the beginning. Truckers and the roadside institutions supporting them consumed a great deal of country records. Though marginal, music for "gear jammers" came into its own partly as tribute to the first major users of America's then-new interstate highway system. The leading lights of Nashville recognized trucking music in awards and new songs long before "Convoy" canonized the idiom in the 1970s. Since the mid-1970s, however, truck driving songs have been negligible despite incredible growth in trucking itself.

Trucker songs are fun, and no punches are pulled. If a man means to confess he has a stimulant habit, he does so directly. But among all the tawdriness and sensationalism, the underlying message is that truckers, those mysterious strangers in intimidating rigs, are mainly just normal people paying their dues -- while hearing, telling, and inacting great tales of the American road. Then when you get C.W. McCall rapping about hippies and proto-New Age jive, hoo boy!

Buying: Compilations and reissues are common, with much overlap. The King/Starday (& Nashville/Gusto) material is the most collectable, but equally good are several acts with other labels such as MGM and Capitol. For the advanced collector, 45s are fertile territory.


[Partly] Trucker LPs

Rating
8Kay Adams: Wheels & Tears; Capitol/Tower ST-5033
6Kay Adams: Make Mine Country; Capitol/Tower T-5069 ("Six Days A'Waiting"--answer to "Six Days on the Road")
8The All Nite Truck Stop Combo w/The Fiestas: Truck It/Truck Driver Love Songs; CDM, Inc. CU-171; 1982
7Charles Bernstein: Gator ST; United Artists UA-LA646-G; 1976; (country funk/trucker/jazz funk/sitar; "Ballad of Gator McKlusky")
7Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen: Hot Licks, Cold Steel, & Truckers Favorites; Paramount PAS-6031; 1972 (live trucker/country-rock)
6Stompin' Tom Connors: Bud the Spud; Boot BOS-7114; 1972 ("Bud the Spud"; Canadian)
8Leon Copas: Truck Driving Man & Other Truck Driving Favorites; Crown CST-595
7Country Road: Big Rig Hits; Pickwick JS-6185; 1976
8Country Road: Teddy Bear's Last Ride; Pickwick JS-6198; 1976
7Dick Curless: Tombstone Every Mile; Capitol/Tower T-5005; 1970
8Dick Curless: Hard, Hard Traveling Man; Capitol ST-552; 1970
8Dick Curless Live at the Wheeling Truck Drivers Jamboree; Capitol ST-11119; 1973/1972 (live)
7Dick Curless: 20 Great Truck Hits; Capitol 7C-062-85894; (compilation of recordings 1970-74)
7Dick Curless/Curtis McPeake & the Nashville Pickers: CB Special; BD Communications R-BS-106; 1976
6Big Dave & the Tennessee Tailgators: Hits for a Truck Driving Man; [Stereo] Gold Award GA-29 (D.L. Miller; jacket stickered "Shorty Long & the Sante Fe Rangers featuring Slim Lehart")
8Dave Dudley [Sings]; Soma/Golden Ring LPGR-110 (original version of "Six Days on the Road")
Dave Dudley: Greatest Hits (Six Days on the Road); Nashville NLP-2065
8Dave Dudley: Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun; Mercury SR-61028
5Dave Dudley: Dave Dudley Country; Mercury SR-61133 ("Trucker's Prayer")
7Dave Dudley: Thanks for All the Miles; Mercury SR-61172
Dave Dudley: George & the North Woods; Mercury SR-61242
Dave Dudley: The Best of Dave Dudley; Mercury SR-61268
Dave Dudley: The Pool Shark; Mercury SR-61276
Dave Dudley: Listen Betty (I'm Singing Your Song); Mercury SR-61315
7Dave Dudley: Will the Real Dave Dudley Please Sing; Mercury SR-61351; 1971 (w/steel & sitar)
7Dave Dudley: Original Traveling Man; Mercury SR-61365; 1972
6Dave Dudley: Keep On Truckin'; Mercury SRM-1-669; 1973
5Dave Dudley: Special Delivery; United Artists UA-LA366-G; 1975 (remakes "Six Days on the Road" yet again)
7Rod Hart: Breakeroo!; Plantation PLP-500; 1976
6King Henry & the Showmen Vol. VIII; KHP 376 ("Roger Dee & the CB Band"; lounge act from Easton, PA; spy/Moog-ondioline/disco/trucker/novelty)
5Scotty Howard & the Truck Drivers: More Truck Driver Songs; Custom CS-1077 (nice jacket photo of a truck, but strictly country music)
6Steve Jeffries: Trucks 'n' Country Go Together; Crusade Enterprises LPS-751
8Jim & Jesse: Diesel on My Tail; Epic LN-24314
6The Land Rovers: Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun [& Other Songs of the Road]; Diplomat DS-2367
6The Lonesome Valley Singers: Truck Driving Songs; Diplomat DS-2620
7Jodie Lyons ["The Music Man"]: Talkin' Smokey; Smokey Enterprises 2001; 1975 (stickered "The first REAL CB'ers album")
9Cledus Maggard & the Citizen's Band: The White Knight; Mercury SRM-1-1072; 1976 (Jay Huguely)
7Cledus Maggard: Two More Sides; Mercury SRM-1-1112; 1976 (Jay Huguely)
7Buzz Martin: The Singing Logger; Ranwood R-8117; 1973 (C&W/truck; "Dump Truck Drivers"; w/the Larry Booth Band)
6Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys Sing; Decca DL-74536 (bluegrass; MCA 101)
8C.W. McCall: Wolf Creek Pass; MGM M3G-4989; 1975
7C.W. McCall: Black Bear Road; MGM M3G-5008; 1975 (w/"Convoy")
8C.W. McCall: Wilderness; Polydor PD-1-6069; 1976 (w/mouth harp)
8C.W. McCall: Rubber Duck; Polydor PD-1-6994; 1976
7Moore & Napier: Songs by Moore & Napier for all Lonesome Truck Drivers; King 936 (w/the Dixie Boys)
7Nashville Country Singers: Truck Driving Songs; Mountain Dew 7035
6Nashville Country Singers: I'm a Truck; Mountain Dew 7054
5Nashville Country Singers: Truck Stop; Mountain Dew 7066 (covers)
6Jim Nesbitt: Truck Drivin' Cat with Nine Wives; RCA/Chart CHS-1005; 1968
7Pat Patrick: ABC's in Bubbaville; Kimbo Upbeat Basics KUB-0002; 1986/1981 (kid funk/beatnik/disco/truck/crime/exotica/DJ; 28 career choices)
6Pepsi: Sepcial Convention Disc 1977 Radio Commercials; SDC-1780; 1976 (commerce; 1-sided; "Pepsi C.B./Country")
7Jerry Reed: East Bound & Down; RCA AHL1-2516; 1977 ("East Bound & Down"; reissues 7 cuts & adds 3 from movie "Smokey & the Bandit")
7Del Reeves Sings Girl on the Billboard; United Artists UAS-6441
8Del Reeves: Looking at the World through a Windshield; United Artists UAS-6674; 1968 (Capitol ST-91630)
6Del Reeves: Trucker's Paradise; United Artists UA-LA044-F; 1973 (Capitol SW-1-95023)
7Reno & Smiley: On the Road w/Reno & Smiley (Songs Truck Drivers Love); King 911 (trucker-themed bluegrass)
5Tex Roe Sings Fire Shootin' Pony; Mark IV MF-4514 (prod. Link Wray; w/Cliff Coldiron & the Countrymen)
5Johnny Russell: Here Comes Johnny Russell; RCA Victor APL1-1211; 1976
7Larry Scott: Keep On Truckin'; Alshire A/S 208; 1973
8Red Simpson: Roll, Truck, Roll; Capitol ST-2468
7Red Simpson: The Man Behind the Badge; Capitol ST-2569 (salute to smokies)
8Red Simpson: Truck Drivin' Fool; Capitol ST-2691
7Red Simpson: Truckers' Christmas; Capitol ST-11231; 1973
8Red Simpson: I'm a Truck [& Other Songs of the Road]; Capitol SM-881 (compilation except "I'm a Truck" & 1 other)
7Red Simpson: I'm a Truck; Corral CLP-106; 1977 (new recording of 5 Simpson originals & 5 standards)
7Red Simpson Sings "Hello, I'm a Truck"; Portland SLP-1003 (repeats 2 from the Corral LP; 8 new)
Red Sovine; Nashville NLP-2033
7Red Sovine: Giddy Up Go; Starday SLP-363; 1965 (ST-90712)
Red Sovine: Town & Country Action; Starday SLP-383
Red Sovine: The Nashville Sound of; Starday SLP-396
7Red Sovine: I Didn't Jump the Fence; Starday SLP-405
7Red Sovine: Phantom 309; Starday SLP-414
Red Sovine: Classic Narrations [Featuring Phantom 309]; Starday
Red Sovine: The Best of; Starday
7Red Sovine: Teddy Bear; Starday/Gusto SD-968X (or 989); 1976/1975
6Red Sovine: Christmas with Red Sovine; Starday/Gusto SD-1040; 1978 ("Here It Is Christmas" mentions a truck)
Red Sovine: I'm a Truck; Corral CLP-106; 1977 (seems to be different than the Capitol material)
7The Swinging Ambassadors [Play Your Requests]; Audio by De Vir, Inx. AbD-9 (lounge act covers "C.B. Savage" & does a "Peterbilt Medley")
5Charlie Walker: Charlie Walker's Greatest Hits; CBS/Epic BN-26343 ("Truck Drivin' Man")
7The Willis Brothers: Give Me Forty Acres! [to Turn this Rig Around]; Starday SLP-323
7The Willis Brothers: Travelin' & Truck Driver Hits; Starday/Nashville NLP-2040 (compilation)
7The Willis Brothers: Road Stop--Juke Box Hits; Starday SLP-353
7The Willis Brothers: Hey, Mister Truck Driver!; Starday SLP-428
7Uncredited: Everything You Need to Know to Operate a C.B. Radio; Gateway GSLP-4500; 1976 (spoken; narrated guide to CB talk & rules; terrific glossary & other info in the liners)
7Uncredited: How to CB; Doodah/Pickwick CBLP-001; 1976 (spoken; narrated guide to CB talk & rules; w/exhaustive brochure)
4Uncredited: Songs for Truck Drivers; Custom CS-1073
8Uncredited: Thunder Road & Other Country & Western Favorites; Modern Sound MS-608 (D.Scaife's "Truckin" plus covers of C&W hits)

Trucker Compilation/Various-Artists LPs

Rating
716 Greatest Truck Driver Hits; Starday/Gusto SD-3024; 1978
722 High-Ballin' Hits!; GRT-2103-709; 1976 (2-LP)
724 Great Truck Drivin' Songs; K-Tel WU-3320; 1976
40 Miles of Bad Road; Starday/Gusto
8All Ears--10 New & Original Songs with a CB Theme; Realistic 50-6002 (truck/CB/country funk; Shirley & Squirrely: Hey Shirley (This is Squirrely), Randy Goodrum: Honey Bee, Bob Gelotte: Come On Come On CB Baby, Ed Bernet: Everybody's Somebody [in our CB World], The Night I Talked to the Lord, Johnny Hemphill: Hey Good Buddy (Where's My Baby), The Handles Hall of Fame, Mac Wiseman: Listenin' CB Blues, Curtis Young: Ain't Ever Gonna Be Lonely Again, Oscar Ray: L.J.'s CB Radio)
8Big Rig Special; Capitol/Hilltop/Pickwick PTP-2073 (2-LP)
6Cowboys & Trucks ["Riding Hard"]; Starday/Gusto GT-0082; 1981
7Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves [& Other Truck Driver Favorites]; Starday SLP-250
7Heavy Haulers; Starday/Gusto/Power Pak PO-290; 1975
6How Fast Them Trucks Go!; Starday/Gusto GT-0055; 1979
7Keep on Truckin'; Capitol Special Markets/Realistic SL-8121; 1979 (10 cuts, some common, some obscure; Dave Dudley, Red Simpson, Del Reeves..)
8Keep on Truckin'; RCA International INTS-5076; 1981/1954-77
7Let's Hit the Road!--More Truck Driving Favorites to Keep the Big Rigs Rolling; Starday SLP-306
The Man Behind the Wheel; Starday SLP-404 (Willis Bros., Dave Dudley..)
6Overloaded Diesel; Starday/Gusto/Power Pak PO-222; 1973 (Gusto reissue has artists listed on jacket, not disc)
7Put the Hammer Down!; Capitol Special Products/Realistic SL-8017; 1976
7Radar Blues; Starday/King KSD-1050
8Road Music; Starday/Gusto GTV-107; 1978 (2-LP)
Roadrunner; Starday/Gusto
7Six Days on the Road, Six Trucker Stars; Pickwick JS-6134; 1976 (claims to have been previously released on Capitol)
Sleeper Cab Hits; Starday/Gusto
8That's Truckdrivin'; Capitol/Starday DT-90617
8Thunder on the Road!; Starday SLP-386
Travelin' & Truck Driver Hits; Starday/Nashville NLP-2040
8Truck Driver Songs; Starday/King KS-866 (early classic!; 1st jacket has sketches/liners on back; 2nd has LP thumbnails)
8Truck Drivers Queen; Starday/Nashville NLP-2075 (compilation; Jimmy Logsdon/Moore & Napier/Reno & Smiley)
8Truck & Country; Starday/Nashville NLP-2066
7Truck Drivin' Man; Starday/Nashville NLP-2034
8Truck Stop; Starday/Nashville NLP-2052
7Truckin' On; Capitol Special Markets SLB-8016; 1976 (2-LP)
7Truckin' On; Starday/Gusto GT-0054; 1979
7Truckstar Music; Dominion/Era BU-4640; 1982

Trucker 45s

Rating
8Urel Albert: Break One Nine (Help Me Find the Grand Ol' Opry)/Sunshine Day; Column One 198; 1976 ("World's Greatest Country Imitator"; A-side originally by Boxcar Willie)
7Norman Andre: Big Rig Man/Gotta Keep on the Move; Palomino BR-4501; 1966 (picture sleeve; from ST to Hollywood-Continental film "Big Rig")
8Ralph Carlson: The Johnson Family/Transport Blues; 20th Century Fox 6696
7Tommy Collins: Wine, Take Me Away/Roll Truck Roll; Columbia 4-44113
6Mary Dallas: Truck Driver's Women/Dancin' with the Devil Again; Delta 1126
7Marcy Dickerson: I Wanta Be a Truck Driver's Sweetheart/The Face of a Man; Plantation PLA-6 (trucker/yodel)
6Jimmy Doyle & the Arkansas River Bottom Band: Good Time Truck Drivin' Man/Anything She'll Do for You; Music City Records MC-JD-9-15-75-45
8Dave Dudley: Six Days on the Road/I Feel a Cry Coming On; Soma/Golden Ring 3020 (original version of A-side)
8Dave Dudley: Rollin' Rig/Six Days on the Road; Rice RR-5064; 1973(remake of B-side)
7Dave Dudley: Fireball Rolled a Seven/Blue Bedroom Eyes; United Artists UA-XW630-X; 1975
7George Ann Edwards: Two Shadows on the Ceiling/Red Hot Mama; Travel TRC-6001; 1976 (female vocal; B-side CB era)
7Johnny Exit: Dedicated to the ATA/I've Just Gotta Get Home; Chart CH-5111; 1970
6Webb Foley: Man on the Road/Who Are You Foolin' Now; Munion 601
6Stan Hardin: Truck Driving Man/Johnny Singer: It Pays to Advertise; Country & Western Hits 315
7Tiny Harris: Double Clutchin' Truck Line/Endless Black Ribbon; Stop ST-141
7Larry Higgins: CB Blues/Pedal-Pete; Original 1006; 1977 (trucker/dobro/yodel)
5Stan Hitchcock: Let Me Roll/same; Cinnamon C-754; 1972
6Pete Holden & the Baux Mountain Boys: Truck Driver's Vow/The Legend of Charlie Monroe; Stark SR-100; 1975 (South Carolina bluegrass)
7Bethel King: Addicted to a Truck/I'm Gonna Walk; King 6156
7Carl Knight: Peterbilt/mono; RCA JH-10612; 1976 (live)
6Cledus Maggard: The Farmer/same; Mercury SRM-1-1072; 1978 (Jay Huguely; not trucker but in the style)
9Cledus Maggard: The Liquored Up Pick 'Um Up Truck/21.9; Mercury 55067; 1979 (Jay Huguely; both sides hip early raps about alternative fuels!)
8C.W. McCall: Round the World with the Rubber Duck/same; Polydor PD-1-6069; 1976 (promo)
7Navajo Jo & Co.: Trucker's Bible/Help Me Make it Through the Night; Sadbird SA-4101 (our copy signed "to Seahorse, my favorite girl")
7Patti Powell: Long Haul Widow/To See the Kids Again; Hickory 45-K-1602
7Sue Reno: Trucker's Holiday/My Favorite Waitress; Sureshot SS-0627
7Wayne Richey: Happy Truckin' Silly Goose/Diesel Truckin' Man; Nashville Goose NGR-102 (stereo; CB-era)
7Tommy Riddle: No Right to Cry/Truck Drivin' Ain't What it Used to Be; Train 1205 (produced by Johnny Russell)
8Johnny Russell: I'm a Trucker/mono; RCA JH-10563; 1976 (from "Here Comes Johnny Russell")
6Jerry Scoggins: The Ballad of "The Trucker" (compact-33); 3M (commerce; produced for the ATA and a 1968 TV commercial; music by Jack Fascinato; oversized gatefold pic sleeve)
7Red Simpson: Those Forgotten Trains/Milesaver Man; Capitol P-3495; 1972
6Red Simpson: Awful Lot to Learn About Truck Drivin'/You Still Got a Hold On Me; Capitol P-3616; 1973
6The Singing Trucker "Dean Hetrick" & the Ramsacks: Happy Birthday America/[Goin' Down the Road] Feelin' Good; Marjon International MJ-533 (Custom Series)
5Red Steagall: Truck Drivin' Man/Neons and Nylons; ABC/Dot DOA-17634; 1976
6Laverne Tripp: Ole Truck/I Found the New Way; QCA QC-408; 1973 (male vocal)
7Leroy Van Dyke: There Ain't No Roses in My Bed/Who's Gonna Run the Truck Stop in Tuba City When I'm Gone?; ABC/Dot DOA-17597; 1975 (CB style)
7Kitty Wells: You Want Her Not Me/My Big Truck Drivin' Man; Decca 32247
6E.P. Williams & the Tucker Junction Boys: Truck Drivers Baby/Little Country Village; Blue Jay 101; 1966 (bluegrass)
7Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys: St. Louis Blues/I've Got a New Road Under My Wheels; MGM K11832 (B-side, not really truck per se but nice)
7Coleman M. Wilson: Radar Blues Parts 1 & 2; King 45-5388 (2:25/2:45; B-side not on LP)
7Al Workman: The Whole Thing/Hornet; WASP WR-130 (B-side about a car but narrated trucker/CB style)


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