Songs of the Highway, No. 6: 'Convoy,' by C.W. McCall


Manage episode 294357390 series 2624329
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Trucking’s rise in pop culture was well underway when “Convoy” was released in late 1975, capturing the hearts of not just truckers but many Americans. The song, heavily laden with CB slang and conversation, tells the story of a spontaneous truck convoy that clashes with authorities. It was by C.W. McCall, who was actually a character co-created and voiced by advertising executive Bill Fries. “It hit at a conjuncture of a lot of different things,” said Todd Uhlman, assistant professor of U.S. socio-cultural history of the University of Dayton. “First of all, the trucker movie had really begun to take off.” “Duel” had come out in 1971 and “White Line Fever” debuted in 1975. “Simultaneously, the CB had really begun to expand outside of the trucker circle and become a kind of pop culture phenomenon.” The song led to the movie “Convoy,” released in June 1978. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, it starred Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw and Ernest Borgnine. That movie and perhaps the most famous of movies involving trucking, “Smokey & the Bandit,” also released in 1978, solidified the image of trucker as not just a highway cowboy but an iconic American rebel, bucking political and regulatory authorities, Uhlman said. Catch more installments in Overdrive's 60th-anniversary series involving lookbacks on trucking history via this link:

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