Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Haulin’ Freight”: 1959 (not 1951)

An Ebay sales listing from January, 2016 validates my hunch that truck driving classic “Haulin’ Freight” by Bob Newman was recorded twice — first, in 1951, and then again in 1959 with some of the rough “barrelhouse” edges smoothed out via overdubs.  The more contemporary version would be issued again in 1963, according to PragueFrank.

King Truck Driver Songs LP

Interestingly enough, “Haulin’ Freight” was co-written by King’s indispensable A&R man, Henry Glover, who also played drums on the original 1951 recording, according to PragueFrank researchers.  “Haulin’ Freight” would also be included in 2012 retrospective, The Henry Glover Story.

Henry Glover Story / Various

Michel Ruppli’s 2-volume reference – The King Labels:  A Discography – lists a recording session from  October 9, 1951 that includes “Haulin’ Freight.”  However, in parentheses next to the song title, Ruppli directs you to K4264, which is an undated entry sometime in 1959 that lists 2 truck driving songs – “Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues” & “Haulin’ Freight” – and simply says “dubbed from King masters.”

But listen for yourself – here’s the original 1951 version [ignore the date posted on this YouTube clip]:

Haulin’ Freight

Bob Newman (1951)

Musical Personnel

Bob Newman:  lead vocal
Henry Glover:  drums
Al Meyers:  lead guitar
Louie Innis:  rhythm guitar
Tommy Jackson:  fiddle
Shorty Long:  piano

Now listen to what King Records fabricated in 1959 using the original version “dubbed from the masters” and augmented by – what I can only assume to be – a new rhythm section and lead guitar (excerpt from Charlie Coleman‘s classic country radio show):

[Pssst:  Click on the triangle above to play “Haulin’ Freight” by Bob Newman]

But how they’d do it?  Is that the original vocal?   It sounds like they might have kept the original piano track, but I’m not even certain about that.  Would love to know who played on the 1959 version, my favorite of the two, despite the great guitar lines on the original.  Funny how I’ve been wrestling with this issue for years (and with Charlie Coleman above), but only just now did I figure out the deeper meaning behind “dubbed from the masters.”

Just for fun, go ahead and play both versions at the same time and note how dissimilar they sound.

“Bob Newman With String Band”

Bob Newman 45a

Note the inverted songwriter credits on this “high fidelity” 45 issue — “Bob Newman And Chorus”:

Bob Newman 45b

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One Response

  1. I have this song on an original King album I ordered from the Hillbilly Heaven Record Shop in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960’s when I was a teenager. I also have 3 original King 45 rpm records with Blue labels. Coleman Wilson, Moore and Napier, and Bethel King (Addicted To A Truck). These are in perfect condition

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