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Truck Driver's Boogie: Big Rig Hits, 1939-1969 Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 12, 2001
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Editorial Reviews


Trucker anthology albums are a country tradition. Unlike Starday Records' classic 1960s LPs with their wonderfully cheesy covers, this one takes a historical approach, beginning with the original trucker lament, Western swing bandleader Cliff Bruner's "Truck Driver's Blues" from 1939. Other early rarities reflect varied styles and moods. The slick Hollywood Western sound of Dick Reinhart's 1941 "Truck Driver's Coffee Stop" contrasts with duo Karl and Harty's old-timey "Truck Driver's Sweetheart." Likewise, the Milo Twins' dainty "Truck Driver's Boogie" is light years from Doye O'Dell's foreboding "Diesel Smoke (Dangerous Curves)" with its dazzling (and uncredited) instrumental backing from Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West. The set encompasses obvious standards: Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home," Del Reeves's "Girl on the Billboard," and Dick Curless's "A Tombstone Every Mile" are joined by Dave Dudley's "Six Days on the Road," which set the tone for modern trucker tunes. Omissions are inevitable with any anthology, but here they're either welcome (no sign of "Convoy," thankfully) or legitimate (Starday material is difficult to license). In all, this 20-song set is a respectable, intelligent overview. --Rich Kienzle

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Truck Driver's Blues - Cliff Bruner & His Boys
  2. Truck Driver's Coffee Shop - Dick Reinhart & His Lone Star Boys
  3. Truck Driver's Sweetheart - Harty
  4. I'm A Truck Driving Man - Art Gibson
  5. Truck Driver's Boogie - Milo Twins
  6. Truck Driver's Night Run Blues - Joe 'Cannonball' Lewis
  7. Diesel Smoke (Dangerous Curves) - Doye O'Dell
  8. Truck Driving Man - Terry Fell & The Fellers
  9. I'm Coming Home - Johnny Horton
  10. Six Day On The Road - Dave Dudley
  11. Girl On The Billboard - Del Reeves
  12. Little Pink Mack - Kay Adams
  13. Highway Man - Curtis Leach
  14. A Tombstone Every Mile - Dick Curless
  15. Widow Maker - Jimmy Martin
  16. Diesel On My Tail - Jim
  17. Truck Drivin' Cat With Nine Wives - Jim Nesbitt
  18. Gear Bustin' Sort Of Feller - Bobby Braddock
  19. Big Rig Rollin' Man - Johnny
  20. Roll, Truck, Roll - Red Simpson

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Audium Entertainment
  • ASIN: B00005BGLC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,933 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jerome Clark on January 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As I listened to this superb collection, it occurred to me that the truck-drivin' songs that once were a staple of country music amounted to a continuation of the tradition of occupational folk songs. People used to sing about their jobs, whether they were cowboys, farmers, millworkers, chain-gang prisoners, coal miners, railroaders, moonshiners, lumberjacks, buffalo skinners, or sailors. In his otherwise excellent liner notes, compiler Jeremy Tepper doesn't make this connection, and of course it isn't necessary for one to be aware of it to appreciate what a rich genre truck-drivin' songs were in their heyday.
It all started with "Truck Driver's Blues," written by Ted Daffan (who also composed the classic "Born to Lose") and recorded by Cliff Bruner's Western-swing band in 1939. From then on, following this disc's chronologically arranged selections, the attentive listener gets an incidental education in the evolution of country music, from Karl and Harty's sentimental old-timey "Truck Driver's Sweetheart" through tougher honkytonk fare (Doye O'Dell's "Diesel Smoke [Dangerous Curves]") and rockabilly sounds (Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home"). There's also Jimmy Martin's immortal bluegrass ballad "Widow Maker" which touches the heart even with its more than faintly ludicrous storyline. Dick Curless's "A Tombstone Every Mile" evokes the spirit of an earlier kind of occupational-hazard song, the train-wreck ballad. Perfectly written and wonderfully performed, Del Reeves's "Girl on the Billboard" -- surely among the most underrated songs in all of country music -- tells the delirious tale of a driver driven to distraction by lust- and amphetamine-fueled fantasies.
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Format: Audio CD
Country music and truck driving reached an intersection several decades before the crossover popularity of C.W. McCall's "Convoy." The regional itinerancy of country musicians, touring the signal range of radio giants like WSM, WWVA and KWKH, found them pounding the same pavement as America's truckers, subjecting themselves to the same hardships of life on the road and writing about it in their songs.
As early as 1939, "Truck Driver's Blues," featuring vocals and piano from Moon Mullican, provided a lyrical template of 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 juke-box 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 1960's 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 ever to help get a U.S. 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 Diesel Only's Jeremy Tepper and vintage publicity shots round out a full load.
4-1/2 stars, if Amazon allowed fractional ratings.
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Nothing like the old classics. They don't make good traditional country music like this anymore. Country music today is dead, a real joke. Modern country artists wannabes like Taylor Swift, Leanne Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and a few others pushed aside the old classic artists that made country music what it is. They either don't know or don't care about the artists of the past. These modern artists cater to the young crowd brining their pop music.
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I bought this many years ago after attending a play where they performed many of the songs on the album. I am not a truck driver but the songs on this album are terrific. Good music while driving down the freeway.
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