Jon Remembers Those Great Truck Drivin’ CB Radio Songs
This morning on the show, Leslie and I featured a name generator as our Facebook Jon & Leslie Wat To Know question that give you your official retro CB handle. The CB craze really kicked into high gear in 1975 thanks to a song called CONVOY by C.W. McCall about a gigantic convoy of trucks that got a little out of hand. The song hit the charts in November of 1975 and stayed at number one on the charts for six weeks and was a gold record for McCall, but McCall was anything but a budding country star.
McCall’s real name is William ‘Bill’ Fries and he was an advertising agency executive. Fries was working on an ad campaign that required a certain type of character, so he created C.W. McCall for the ad and things just took off from there.
‘Convoy’ was his only number one record, but in 1977, ROSES FOR MAMA went to number two for McCall and he had a few more top 20 hits including WOLF CREEK PASS and CLASSIFIED. It also got me to thinking about some of the great truck drivin’ CB songs of that era and my favorites are listed below.
- TEDDY BEAR by Red Sovine. This song is about a wheel chair bound little boy who gets on the CB to talk with the truckers because his dad was a trucker, but was killed in a wreck before he could take his son on a run.
- PHANTOM 309 also by Red Sovine. This song is about a hitchhiker who catches a ride with a strange trucker who drops him off at a diner and gives him money for a cup of coffee. When he orders the coffee he tells the server who gave him the money and everyone stops. They let him know that the driver had been killed some years back, but still occasionally picks up hitchhikers.
- GIDDY UP GO - Red Sovine. Sovine made a career out of these types of songs and this one is about a driver who came home to find his wife and son gone. His son named his truck Giddy Up Go. Years passed when he sees another truck named Giddy Up Go, finally catches up to him at a truck stop only to find out the young driver is his long lost little boy…..great and touching story.
- SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD- Dave Dudley. Dudley was a country radio DJ turned recording artist. Six Days was released in 1963 and became somewhat of an anthem for truck drivers and sent Dudley on his path of truckin’ songs and was considered the pioneer of those songs. Dudley was elected to the Nashville Teamsters Truck Drivers Union and received a gold membership. By the way, Dudley was never a truck driver.
- EAST BOUND AND DOWN - Jerry Reed. This song charted in August of 1977 and became an instant hit on the radio mainly because the song was the theme song for the motion picture “Smokey & The Bandit’, which starred Reed alongside Burt Reynolds and helped propel the CB craze to new level.