Well, now there are many things people enjoy and trucking songs is most defiantly one of them. You know I am right! We might not agree on which political party is best. We might not agree on which government agency has had the greatest impact on the trucking industry (positive or negative). We might not all agree on which is the best trucker movie.
Heck, we most likely can’t even agree on which the best trucking songs are! But we all can agree that trucking songs are great. They often are more honest about the industry than the recruiter that originally got you to sign-up, figure out how to get your CDL, find the best trucking company, and then spend your life on the open road.
So what are some of the things that make some songs better than others?-you might ask, and here is my answer:
- How they rated on the music charts;
- How many times they have been played on the radio;
- Perhaps, it’s the movie that they are most associated with;
- How many times it has been rerecorded by another artist;
- Or is it just a matter of personal preference.
Some might even go so far as to say it’s a combination of all of those.
Now the thing with truck driving songs is they have a life all on their own. But they are actually a sub-genre of music called truck-driving country .
Now country western music is most associated with the trucking industry and therefore, the sub-genre is mostly country music.
But there have been other songs that truckers have related to their industry.
Some of the more popular artist to write and sing about trucking is:
- Junior Brown – Jamieson “Junior” Brown is born June 12, 1952 in Cottonwood, Arizona. He is an American country guitarist and singer that had released total of nine studio albums in his career, and has charted two times on the Billboard country singles charts.
- Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen – This is an American country rock band founded in 1967 which founder is George Frayne IV. The band’s style mixed country, rock ‘n’ roll, Western swing, rockabilly, and jump blues together on a foundation of boogie-woogie piano. They become well known for their marathon live shows.
- David Allan Coe – He is born September 6, 1939 in Akron, Ohio. He is an American songwriter, guitarist and country music singer who achieved great popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of his biggest hits include: “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile”, “She Used to Love Me a Lot”, “The Ride”, “Longhaired Redneck”, and “You Never Even Called Me by My Name”. Some of his well known compositions are “Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)” that was later recorded by Tanya Tucker and “Take This Job and Shove It” which was also recorded by Johnny Paycheck and inspired a hit movie where Coe and Paycheck had minor parts in.
- Merle Haggard – Also known as “The hag” was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. He was born April 6, 1937 and died on April 6, 2016 (on his 79th birthday). In his long and reach music career he received many honors and awards for his music. Some of them are: Kennedy Center Honor in 2010, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in2006, a BMI Icon Award in 2006, and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame received in 1977, Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997.
- W. McCall -C. W. McCall is the pseudonym of William Dale Fries, Jr. This American singer, activist and politician is born on 15th November, 1928 in Audubon, Iowa. He is well known for his truck-themed outlaw country songs.
- Minnie Pearl – Her full name is Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon. She was born October 25, 1912 in Centerville, in Hickman County, Tennessee and died March 4, 1996. This well known American country comedian appeared for over 50 years at the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ and on the television show ‘Hee Haw’ from 1969 to 1991.
- Jerry Reed -Jerry Reed Hubbard born March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008, was an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor who played in many movies as well. Some of his greatest songs are: “Guitar Man”, “Alabama Wild Man”, “U.S. Male”, “A Thing Called Love”, “Amos Moses”, “Ko-Ko Joe”, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” ( with which song he got Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance), “Lord, Mr. Ford”, “East Bound and Down” ( which is the theme song for the 1977 blockbuster Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed co-starred), “The Bird”, and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”.
- Eddie Rabbit -Edward Thomas Rabbitt was an American singer and songwriter. He was born November 27, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York and died on May 7, 1998. He starts his career in late 1960s as a songwriter spring boarding to a recording career. In 1970, he composed one of his greatest hits, the “Kentucky Rain” that was performed by Elvis Presley and few years later (1974) the other of his greatest songs called “Pure Love” for Ronnie Millsap. His duets “Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)” and “You and I”, with Juice Newton and Crystal Gayle, appeared on the soap operas ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘All My Children’.
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But there have been numerous others as well. So many of these great songs still roll off the tongue, long after many of the newer songs have been forgotten. Why is that?
Perhaps they were better written or perhaps because at the time of their release there was less competition of popular musical artist.
Or it might even be because they resonated with the working man/woman who understood what it means to make an honest living. Whatever the reason, there are certain songs that just stick with you.
Years ago it was a lot different. The earliest of truckers had their voice to sooth their tired soul. Fortunately for most the truck radio was invented and trucking songs were broadcasted over the airwaves.