Top 10 Trucker Tune from ’71

Zero to 180’s previous piece about a surprisingly decent truck driving song by The Archies – “Truck Driver” – makes a pretty persuasive case for 1968 being pop’s peak for the dieselbilly artform.  1971 might be no match for 1968, however, yesterday’s featured song – “I’ve Come Awful Close” – along with today’s spotlight track, Barbara Mandrell‘s “Tonight My Baby’s Coming Home, also from 1971, demonstrates neither is it a slouch:

“Tonight My Baby’s Coming Home”     Barbara Mandrell     1971

Intriguing that Mandrell, a formidable steel guitarist in her own right, would graciously step aside and allow Lloyd Green and Pete Drake to earn a proper day’s wage.

“Tonight My Baby’s Coming Home” – a #10 country chart hit – would be included on 1973’s The Midnight Oil#8 country album that spawned a total of five Top 40 country hits.

Barbara Mandrell LPAlbum Recording Credits

Guitar:  Jerry Kennedy, Grady Martin, Billy Sanford, Harold Bradley & Bobby Thompson
Steel/Dobro:  Lloyd Green & Pete Drake
Fiddle:  Buddy Spicher & Johnny Gimble
Piano:  Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins
Bass:  Junior Huskey
Drums:  Willie Ackerman
Recorded:  *September, 1971  Columbia Recording Studio – Nashville
(Majority of album tracks recorded in 1973*)

Barbara Mandrell 45One other notable truck-driving tune from 1971:
                               ~ Dick Curless‘ “Leaving It All Behind” from Capitol LP Doggin’ It.

Barbara Mandrell Once Laid Down the James

Barbara Mandrell once performed a stellar country jazz arrangement of “Steel Guitar Rag” for Johnny Cash‘s 1976 Christmas Special — part of Zero to 180’s all-star tribute to the steel guitar standard written by (“Take it Away”) Leon McAuliffe.