Tag Archives: music

Trucker Movies & Shows

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm






If you have been around awhile you have probably seen some of the old movies and maybe even remember the old TV shows that glamorized the life of a trucker; usually being a little mischievous.  Shows like Movin’ On and BJ & the Bear were very popular and may have exaggerated the trucking lifestyle a bit. There was a CB craze going on back in the mid ’70s, so songs and shows that used the CB were very popular. There was a whole culture built around them. Ham radios had been wildly popular and their popularity segued into the more affordable, easily accessible, Citizens Band radio.

This was an era where truckers were regarded as the “white knights of the highway”. We were considered heroes to everyone; the people who would always stop to help if you were stranded on the road. Movies, TV shows and songs of the times reflected that.

Trucker Movies & Shows- This was an era where truckers were regarded as the "white knights of the highway". We were considered heroes to everyone; the people who would always stop to help if you were stranded on the road. Movies, TV shows and songs of the times reflected that.

Merle Haggard sang the theme song for ‘Movin On‘, the lyrics started out like this:

Big wheels rollin’, big wheels rollin’, movin’ on
Big wheels rollin’, gotta keep ’em goin’
Big wheels rollin’, movin’ on

The white line is a life line to a nation
And men like Will and Sonny make it move
Livin’ like a gypsy, always on the go
Doin’ what they best know how to do

The words talked about owner operator Sonny Pruitt and the challenges he faced. Those challenges really haven’t changed all that much. The one thing in those lyrics that has changed is that it doesn’t only take a special kind of man, but woman as well, to have a steady hand to pull that load behind. Although BJ McKay did have quite a few female drivers in their cast, neither of us was ever able to locate the ‘Cozy Comfort’ where they seemed to spend so much of their time! In every episode of both shows the stars had to deal with a bad guy, but you knew that somehow by the end of the day they would end up the winners.

l239942Probably one of the most famous trucking movies of all time is Smokey and the Bandit. This classic starred Burt Reynolds (Bandit) along with Jerry Reed (Snowman), Sally Field (Frog) and Jackie Gleason (Sherriff Buford T. Justice) who was always in hot pursuit of those “sumbitches”!  Jerry  Reed played Cletus Snow driving that beautiful old A model Kenworth with his sidekick Fred the basset hound.  Their mission was to bootleg a load of Coors beer from Texarkana, Arkansas, back to Atlanta, Georgia. (For those youngsters out there, Coors beer used to be unavailable east of the Mississippi River).  If you’ve never seen this movie, sit down and just enjoy it for what it is; hilarious entertainment.

l250349C.W. McCall sang “We’ve got us a Convoy!” in the movie Convoy. Kris Kristofferson drove the black 1973 Mack RS700L which had a 60” stand up sleeper and Ali McGraw was his love interest. The truck was provided by a Mack dealer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was custom fitted with a bull bar and a high profile fifth wheel to accommodate the Fruehauf Tank Trailer. The theme song was a staple for many a long night “Big Ben, this here’s the Rubber Duck, we just ain’t a gonna pay no tolls, so we tore up them swindle sheets and said let them truckers roll 10-4″. These memories still make me break out in goose bumps!

The songs that were the soundtracks to these old movies really told a story and many of them had lines that summed up what trucking life was all about. White Line Fever was the soundtrack to the Jan Michael Vincent movie The Blue Mule.  The “Blue Mule” was a 1973 Ford WT-9000.

White line fever, a sickness born
Down deep within my soul
White line fever, the years keep flyin’ by
Like the highline poles

The wrinkles in my forehead
Show the miles I’ve put behind me
They continue to remind how fast I’m growin’ old
Guess I’ll die with this fever in my soul

Most of these movies had a common thread and that involved a trucker getting into an altercation with law enforcement.  If you haven’t seen these old movies maybe you should have yourself an old truck movie marathon!  Get a big bucket of popcorn and sit down and immerse yourself in a time when drivers were the heroes of the highway. We highly recommend it! It really was quite a time.

Gift Idea: T-shirts featuring Movin’ On, Smokey and the Bandit, and more, as well as a variety of DVDs are available at Iowa80.com.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Hello, I’m A Truck

Tribute to the Best Trucking Songs of All Time

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

If you have been out here on the road for a lot of years, chances are you can remember when some of the great old trucking songs were playing on the radio. All the while those steel belts on your tall tires were humming right along with them on the pavement throughout the night!

January 8, 2016, Red Simpson passed away at the age of 81. He had several trucking hits and one of his favorites was “I’m A Truck”.  He sang about the fact “there’d be no truck drivers if it wasn’t for us trucks”.  “Roll, Truck, Roll” and “Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves” are a couple of his other popular trucking hits.  He joined Junior Brown in 1995 and together they recorded “Semi Crazy” and “Nitro Express”. There were so many country songs back ‘in the day’ dedicated to our profession that we would be remiss if we didn’t bring them to mind again. Some of you may be unaware of or, have forgotten about, these great songs. Maybe you’ll want to give them a listen or get ‘em out, dust ‘em off and play ‘em once more!

Who hasn’t heard Jerry Reed singing “East Bound and Down” or “The Bandit” from the popular ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ soundtrack?

Tribute to the Best Trucking Songs of All Time- If you have been out here on the road for a lot of years, chances are you can remember when some of the great old trucking songs were playing on the radio. All the while those steel belts on your tall tires were humming right along with them on the pavement throughout the night!

There are still some old songs that bring back memories every time I crank up my radio and go trucking through the night.  “White Line Fever” by  Merle Haggard, “Phantom 309” Red Sovine, “Me & Bobby McGee” Roger Miller, “Truck Drivin’ Man” Terry Fell. How about “Girl on the Billboard” by Del Reeves, “Six Days on the Road” Dave Dudley, “Big Wheels in the Moonlight” Dan Seals, “Roll On” Alabama, or “Wolf Creek Pass” and “Convoy” by CW McCall?

Give Me 40 Acres” by The Willis Brothers? I think we’ve all have a day like that every once in awhile! Kathy Mattea sings about “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and Kay Adams tells about that “Little Pink Mack”. Dick Curless tells the story of a “Tombstone Every Mile”.

In “Prisoner of the Highway” Ronnie Milsap describes how many drivers felt, heck, still feel about sitting up there behind that wheel. The song may be over 30 years old, but it is timeless; as is true with most of these trucking songs. They describe or explain our lifestyle. They ‘get us’ which is probably why we love them so much, even decades later!

Get “On the Road Again” with Willie Nelson and take your temperature when Dave Dudley sings about having the “Freightliner Fever”.  We’re sure some old drivers can relate to Johnny Cash singing “I’ve Been Everywhere”. I know we certainly can!

Leland Martin sings about “Stone Cold Fingers” and he will quit driving when they pry his stone cold fingers from the wheel. Del Reeves kind of says it all “Looking At the World Through A Windshield”.  That is what we do and what so many of us live for and love doing.  Getting paid to see this country in good and bad weather, driving on good and bad roads and of course coming home to see the people we are working so hard for.

I’ll never forget a phone call I once got from my little sister; who couldn’t understand my attraction to driving a truck. Our dad had taught me and apparently she just didn’t get it. Then she heard a ‘new’ Eddie Rabbitt song, “Drivin’ My Life Away” (well, it was new at the time!) and she asked me, ‘is this what it feels like to do what you do?’ Since I hadn’t yet heard the song I had to get back to her. That was before XM Radio or iTunes or Pandora. We didn’t have anything but good ole AM and FM, so I actually had to WAIT to hear it come on the radio. When it did I was like, “YESSSS!”

Many say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I think a song can be too. It’s one of those things that if I have to explain it, there’s no way you’ll understand.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.