Country music is country music, and the best definition of what country music is, is that you know it when you hear it. It’s self-evident. But the genre has birthed many subgenres, many stylistic movements over the years, and at times has seen a splintering and Balkanization.
Call him one of the overlords of country trucker songs, but don’t call him a one hit wonder. His name was William Dale Fries Jr., but the world knew him as C.W. McCall, and knew of him through his iconic country trucker epic “Convoy.”
Bill Fries, Bob Wayne, C.W. McCall, Chip Davis, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Dale Watson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Dick Curless, Franklin County Trucking Company, Junior Brown, Kris Kristofferson, Mannheim Steamroller, Red Simpson, Red Sovine
Don Warden, who was one of the original members of the Porter Wagoner Trio, and spent nearly 50 years in service to Dolly Parton, passed away on Saturday, March 11th according to Dolly Parton and Don’s family. The news was revealed on Monday when Dolly paid tribute to her long-time manager and right hand man in a personal statement.
Think of this album like a time capsule that has been unearthed with some of the best music written during the golden age of country that never saw the light of day, so it’s still fresh and new to your ears. And by going through his uncle’s entire song catalog to find the best selections, it’s like a Greatest Hits collection from some long lost legend at the same time.
Who hadn’t thought that when Han Solo was outrunning Imperial starships in the Millennium Falcon—not the local bulk-cruisers mind you, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships now—that he wasn’t booming a little Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Billy Joe Shaver? Remember, Han was a smuggler, so it’s only fitting he’d find a hankering for music that many a moonshine runner would blare.
Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Wills, Don Gibson, Emmylou Harris, Ernest Ashworth, Gregg Allman, Han Solo, Hank Locklin, Johnny Cash, Johnny Rodriguez, Red Sovine, Robbie Fulks, Skeets MacDonald, Star Wars, Tom T. Hall, Webb Pierce
This isn’t an album of truckin’ songs that you sit back and listen to nostalgically, this thing takes a big arm cocked at a 90-degree angle like it’s about to give a hearty yank of the air horn, and instead grabs you by the gruff of your neck and pulls you right up into the cab of a serious diesel machine for one sensational ride. It might be one of the best Dale Watson albums to date.
Okay, Red Sovine only pondered killing Waylon and Willie in hyperbole and sarcasm. In fact by all accounts this succulent little lost country classic was written and recorded as a tribute to the success of the two Outlaw country music greats. And as one of the very last recordings trucker song overlord Red Sovine ever made, it only seems fair to resurrect it now and shine a spotlight on it…
A big battle ground in country music right now is the presence of so many songs about trucks. Though this recent popularity trend seems especially sinister in its simplistic, incessant nature, it is not necessarily unprecedented in country. From the early 60’s into the mid 70’s, songs about semi-trucks and truck drivers were all the rage, with big names like Merle Haggard, Del Reeves, and Buck Owens getting in on the action.
Aaron Tippin, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wayne, Buck Owens, C.W. McCall, Commander Cody, Dale Watson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Dick Curless, Jerry Reed, Junior Brown, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, Red Sovine, Tom T. Hall, truck driving songs, trucker songs, Webb Pierce
As simply as I can put it, making the case that spoken word and rapping in music are the same thing is an ignorance-based insult to the artistic integrity and creativity of both spoken word and rap artists, and to the intelligence of anyone who that case is being made to. Battling the infiltration of country rap is hard enough without revising history.
Country rap is here ladies and gentlemen. It is a full-blown chart-topping mainstream-acceptable sub-genre of country, like it or not. So what is a country purist to do? Well I have assembled a survivor’s guide to help you rebuke some of the ridiculous claims being made by country rap apologists.