“Big Tennessee”: Ol’ Truckin’ Tex

Remember “Tulsa Trot” by Tex Williams and his top-notch western swing ensemble?  Zero to 180 just discovered that ol’ Tex had a #30 country hit in 1965 with a trucker tune that was penned by Kenny (‘Round Mound of Sound’) Price and released on Kentucky indie label, Boone:

“Big Tennessee”     Tex Williams     1965

In appreciation for the commercial success of its previous release “Too Many Tigers” (#26), Boone Records would place an announcement in the September 4, 1965 edition of Billboard that heralded the arrival of its next hot single – “Big Tennessee” – while still riding the adrenaline of a Top 40 country hit:

Tex Williams - courtesy Rocky 52“Boone Booms!  We would like to thank you for one Hit and introduce you to another – ‘Big Tennessee’ c/w ‘My Last Two Tens’ – picked in all three trades:

Billboard Spotlight:  ‘A definite top-of-the-chart contender is this hot rhythm follow-up to his recent hit, “Too Many Tigers.”  Rich plaintive Williams vocal can’t miss.’

Single Reviews:  ‘Tale of a powerful trucker and his heroic last deed.  Will thrill country listeners.  A good ‘un.’

The Cashbox Bullseye:  ‘Following up his recent “Too Many Tigers” success, Tex Williams should have a real biggie with this twin-market powerhouse called “Big Tennessee.”  The tune is a barrelin’, stormin’ single-talkie saga about a big truck-drivin’ man who gave up his life in a heroic gesture.’

Featuring the inimitable styling of Tex Williams.  This record is pop!  This record is country!  This record is a hit!

Great sales action. There’s a Boone Record distributor in your area.  Contact them today.  Boone Record Co.  U.S. Route 42, Union, Ky.”

Tex Williams 45-b1965:  Truck Driving County’s Crowning Year?

1968 was a particularly powerful year for diesel-driving music, as previously discussed, but 1965 – Zero to 180 researchers are discovering – shows the first flowering of the genre resulting from the runaway (trucker term, get it?) success of Dave Dudley‘s Top 40 hit, “Six Days on the Road“:

— “A Tombstone Every Mile”     Dick Curless     [Allagash/Tower]

— “Girl on the Billboard”     Del Reeves     [United Artists]

— “I’m the Girl on the Billboard”     Joyce Paul     [United Artists]

— “White Lightnin’ Express”     Roy Drusky     [Mercury]

— “Speed Traps, Weigh Stations & Detour Signs”     Dave Dudley     [Mercury]

— “Truck Drivin’ Son of a Gun”     Dave Dudley     [Mercury]

— “Giddyup Go”     Red Sovine     [Starday]

— “Ridin’ Down ol’ 99”     Joe & Rose Lee Maphis     [Starday]

— “Give Me Forty Acres”     The Willis Brothers     [Starday]

— “When I Come Driving Through”     The Willis Brothers     [Starday]

— “That’s Truck Drivin’”     Slim Jacobs     [Starday]

— “Long White Line”     Charlie Moore & Bill Napier     [King]

— “Rollin’ on Rubber Wheels”     The Stanley Brothers     [King]

— “Truck Driving Buddy”      Hank England     [Process]