I spent 20+ years as an OTR truck driver. With the long hours driving alone, it was the music that helped me stay sane and kept me awake.
Trucking Songs, Western Swing, Southern-Rock, Tex-Mex and one more
I love music, all kinds, and all genres. Often. as an OTR driver, I found myself having to drive 400 to 500 miles on very little sleep. There were those rare occasions when coffee was not enough. I found myself rolling down the window and cranking what I called my driving music. But after 20+ years of driving a truck, and my wife needing me at home to take care of her, I decided to come off the road.
The purpose of this article is two-fold. 1. I like the music. 2. It reminds of what I don't miss.as an OTR truck-driver. In this article I'll introduce you to the following artist and a sample of their music.
- Junior Brown- 'My Wife Thinks Your Dead', 'Broke Down South of Dallas', and 'Semi-Crazy'.
- Asleep At The Wheel- 'Hot Rod Lincoln', 'Big Balls in Cowtown', and 'Route 66'.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd- 'Sweet Home Alabama'
- Blackfoot- 'Wishing Well'
- Molly Hatchet- 'Gator Country'.
- The Charlie Daniels Band- 'The South's Gonna do it Again'.
- Texas Tornados- 'Guacamole' and 'Is Anybody Goin' to San Anantone'.
- Alabama- 'My Home's In Alabama'.
Junior Brown with his Guit-Steel
I have always enjoyed listening to bands with a slide-Steel Guitar, It just adds something to the song. Junior Brown has a custom made Guit-Steel, a regular guitar on top with a slide steel underneath.(see photo above) With songs like Broke Down South of Dallas, Semi-Crazy, My Wife Thinks Your Dead, and so many others. The YouTube video for My Wife Thinks Your Dead is hilarious, especially the Keystone cop intro. It's a difficult decision to decide which ones to include. They all made the miles fly by so fast, or so it seemed.
Broke Down South of Dallas, reminds me of a time when I actually did break down on the I-35, just south of Dallas, TX. If my wife had not gotten sick, I would probably still be out on the road going Semi-Crazy.
My Wife Thinks Your Dead
Broke Down South Of Dallas
Asleep at the Wheel, Western Swing at its Best
Technically, it is not Western Swing, but I still like their rendition of an old Commander Cody song, Hot Rod Lincoln. A song that shows them at their best on Western Swing is Big Balls in Cowtown. After the Civil War ended, Fort Worth, TX became a major shipping town for cattle heading to the meat-packing plants back east, Hence the Cowtown reference. After all the sales were finalized, and the money had been wired off to the banks. The Ranchers, Bankers, and Buyers would have a big Party, or ball, to celebrate.
In 1946, Nat King Cole was the first, of many, to record a song written by Nelson Riddle. The song told us about a recently completed highway that ran from Chicago, Il, thru the Southwestern parts of the U.S. where it eventually ended in Los Angeles, CA. 'Asleep at The Wheel' took that song, gave it a Western Swing update and released their version of (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.
Asleep at the Wheel - Hot Rod Lincoln
Asleep at the Wheel-Big Balls in Cow Town
Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Southern Rock, Great for Driving.
What kind of 'Son of the South' would I be If I did not mention on of the greatest driving genres, Southern Rock', songs made for driving long distances. I'm going to start with Lynyrd Skynyrd's response to Neil Youngs, Southern Man. I doubt Mr. Young will ever admit who created The 'trees with the strange, low hanging fruit; Got blood on their leaves, and blood on their roots.' This song is what led lead singer and chief songwriter for Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant, to write a response to that song, it was Sweet Home Alabama.
I like a lot of the more obscure, seldom heard anymore songs as well, like Blackfoot's Wishing Well.
I will admit, it took a while for Molly Hatchet to grow on me. I bought my first Molly Hatchet album because I liked the cover art, but when I heard Gator Country, I was hooked.
On July 6, 2020, one of the founding legends of Southern Rock passed away, Charlie Daniels. I saw the Charlie Daniels Band live at the University of Alabama's Basket Ball Arena, Tuscaloosa, AL, during their Full Moon Tour. One of my favorite CDB songs has always, and always will be The South's Gonna Do It Again.
Sweet Home Alabama (live)
Blackfoot - Wishing Well
Molly Hatchet - Gator Country
The Charlie Daniels Band - The South's Gonna Do It Again
Tex-Mex, Texas Tornadoes and Others
Their is no real way to describe Tex-Mex, it encompasses so many different types of music, and then adds a Mexican flavor that gives it a sound all its own. I'll start with The Texas Tornadoes and one of their hits, Guacamole.
The Texas Tornadoes also covered a song by songwriter Dave Kirby. It was 1st made famous by Charlie Pride, Is Anybody Goin to San Antone? Adding just a little Tex-Mex spice to the mix.
Texas Tornadoes - Guacamole
Is Anybody Going to San Antone
When I was in the Air Force, I spent 4 years in England, on leave I would travel to Germany, and other Countries in Europe. I have lived in 7 different States. As a truck Driver I have been in all of the Lower 48 States.
After my Dad died, My mom sent me and my sister to spend time with his relatives in NC, SC, and VA. My Aunt had a trailer in Myrtle Beach, SC. One Friday night she took us out to eat at a Steak House that had a bar in the back. The band was called 'Wild Country'. It was three cousins from Ft. Payne, AL. I don't remember eating, I just remember standing by the entrance to the bar listening to them play. About six, maybe seven, years later I saw them again. They had changed the name of the band and were selling out every show. I saw them at the football stadium for the University of Alabama's Homecoming game the next day.
What were thy calling themselves, ALABAMA, and like their song says My Homes in Alabama, I will always consider AL my home.
I like Music
I enjoyed sharing my music with you, I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I enjoyed making it. I will be writing more articles like this in the future.
© 2022 Joseph Barrow