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Boomer Anthems: C.W. McCall – Convoy “Callin’ all trucks This here’s the Duck We about to go a huntin’ bear”

[CB radio chatter]
Yeah, breaker one-nine
This here’s the Rubber Duck
You got a copy on me Pig Pen, c’mon?
Uh, yeah, Ten-Four Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure
By golly it’s clean clear to Flag Town, c’mon
Yeah, its a big Ten-Four there, Pig Pen
Yeah, we definitely got the front door, Good Buddy
Mercy sakes alive, looks like we’ve got us a convoy

It was the dark of the moon
On the sixth of June
In a Kenworth, pullin’ logs
Cabover Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy haulin’ hogs
We was headin’ for bear
On ‘I-1-0
‘Bout a mile out Shakey Town
I says, Pig Pen this here’s the Rubber Duck
And I’m about to put the hammer down…

C.W. McCall is a character created by songwriter Bill Fries. While he displayed musical promise as a child, he was more interested in graphic design. While attending the University of Iowa, Fries studied music and played in the school’s concert band, but his major was in fine arts, and after graduation he began handling the art chores at an Omaha, Nebraska television station. After five years there, he was hosting his own program, where he drew caricatures of celebrities.

Fries signed on as the art director for an Omaha advertising agency in the early ’60s, and it was there that he created the character C.W. McCall as a selling tool for an area bakery. A trucker for the fictional Old Home Bread company who spent much of his time in a diner called The Old Home Filler-Up-an’-Keep-On-a-Truckin’ Cafe, the McCall character was a huge hit with viewers, and the radio campaign won Fries the advertising industry’s prestigious Clio Award. In 1974, Fries decided to cut a record under the McCall moniker, and the single, a monologue with country backing titled after the aforementioned cafe, became a hit. A follow-up single, “Wolf Creek Pass,” was even more successful.

This hit #1 on both the Pop and Country charts, and a national craze was born.
Sam Peckinpah made a 1978 movie based on the song starring Kris Kristofferson and Ali MacGraw. By the time the movie was released, however, McCall’s music career was largely over. He released two more albums, but in 1977, McCall turned his back on the music industry to focus on the burgeoning environmental movement and moved to the small town of Ouray, CO. He was elected mayor of the town in 1982. An attempt at a comeback in 1990 proved unsuccessful. Convoy by C.W. McCall

Cause we got a little ‘ole convoy
Rockin’ through the night
Yeah, we got a little ‘ole convoy
Ain’t she a beautiful sight
C’mon and join our Convoy
Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
‘Cross the USA

Yeah, breaker Pig Pen this here’s the Duck
And uh, you wanna back off them hogs
Uh, ten-four ’bout five mile or so
Ten-Roger them hogs is gettin’ intense up here

By the time we got into Tulsa Town
We had eighty-five trucks in all
But they’s a road block up on the clover leaf
And them bears was wall to wall
Yeah, them smokies was thick as bugs on a bumper
They even had a bear in the air
I says, callin’ all trucks
This here’s the Duck
We about to go a huntin’ bear

Cause we got a great big convoy
Rockin’ through the night
Yeah, we got a great big convoy
Ain’t she a beautiful sight
C’mon and join our Convoy
Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
‘Cross the USA

Uh, you wanna give me a ten-nine on that Pig Pen
Uh, negatory Pig Pen you’re still too close
Yeah, them hogs is startin’ to close up my sinuses
Mercy sakes, you’d better back off another ten

Well, we rolled up Innerstate fourty-four
Like a rocket sled on rails
We tore up all of our swindle sheets
And left ’em settin’ on the scales
By the time we hit that Chi-Town
Them bears was a gettin’ smart
They’d brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinois National Guard
There’s armored cars and tanks and jeeps
And rigs of every size
Yeah, them chicken coops was full of bears
And choppers filled the skies
Well, we shot the line
We went for broke
With a thousand screamin’ trucks
And eleven long haired Friends of Jesus
In a Chartreuse microbus

Yeah, Rubber Duck ’tis Sod Buster
C’mon there
Yeah, Ten-Four Sod Buster
Listen, you wanna put that microbus
In behind that suicide jockey
Yeah, he’s haulin’ dynamite
And he needs all the help he can get

Well, we laid a strip for the Jersey Shore
Prepared to cross the line
I could see the bridge was lined with bears
But I didn’t have a doggone dime
I says, Pig Pen this here’s the Rubber Duck
We just ain’t a gonna pay no toll
So we crashed the gate doin’ 98
I says let them truckers roll

Cause we got a mighty convoy
Rockin’ through the night
Yeah, we got a mighty convoy
Ain’t she a beautiful sight
C’mon and join our Convoy
Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
‘Cross the USA

Ah, Ten-Four
Pig Pen what’s you’re Twenty
Well, they oughtta know what to do
With them hogs out there, fer sure
Well, mercy sakes good buddy
We gonna back on outta here
So keep the bugs off yer glass
And the bears off yer…tail
We’ll catch you on the flip flop
This here’s the Rubber Duck on the side
We gone
Bye, bye

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Walter Sobchak July 27, 2019, 8:50 AM

    It put a smile on my kisser, but I would assume that it starkly incomprehensible to the millennials.

  • Walter Sobchak July 27, 2019, 9:10 AM

    A follow-up single, “Wolf Creek Pass,”

    Back around 1968, my buddies and I went camping down in New Mexico near Valle Grande (n/k/a “Valles Caldera National Preserve”) and we visited the Jemez Pueblo. We were there on a feast day. We watched the dancing. An Indian child invited us into his home for lunch. We had a very spice soup and some tortillas. On our way back east we headed up to Denver on US160 to US285. 160 goes over the continental divide at Wolf Creek Pass. I lost my brakes going over the pass. We stopped in the next town and got them fixed at brake shop that probably did a very good business. We proceeded to 285 and took that up to Denver. It is a very beautiful drive.

  • Sam L. July 27, 2019, 9:20 AM

    Would that get played on the radio now? I vote “not likely”.

  • John the River July 27, 2019, 11:33 AM

    Sam Peckinpah…

    …one of a kind.

  • DAN July 27, 2019, 5:30 PM

    those were the days,spent 15 yrs.hauling long line, listening to 8 tracks then cassettes & art bell just about on every radio station anywhere after midnite. trying to stay awake & make it home. thanks for the info on CW.

  • Ulysses Toole July 27, 2019, 7:04 PM

    I always heard the rumor that Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller was involved. Fake news I guess.

  • Jewel July 27, 2019, 10:02 PM

    Did anyone ever listen to the CBS Late Night Radio Mystery Theater while traveling on the road at night? Best damn radio dramas I’ve ever heard. In the 70s! We always traveled at night. And we listened to that…and we’d DX to hear the furthest AM station away from us. Almost always a Canadian station. Living and traveling at night in Montana most of the time.

  • Snakepit Kansas July 28, 2019, 6:15 PM

    As a very young teen when CB radios were the fad, we would use a friend’s to talk to anyone who wanted to just jabber about nothing. We had it hooked up in his car. Great fun. Although I remember little of it now, I picked up a bunch of the lingo that most of the adults who would use during normal chatter. Almost a second language.

  • Millie Woods July 29, 2019, 5:09 AM

    We always play that on road trips. My teenage kids love it.