Road Music From a Vegas Girl

| August 01, 2005

The new cd from Las Vegas performer Cori Sachs focuses on the ways truckers keep America rolling.

Cori Sachs wants to be a voice for truckers.

The singer and dancer’s debut album, Stand Up for Truckers, addresses everyday trucking issues like fuel prices, taxes, sleep deprivation, insurance rates, relationship troubles and more.

One song in particular, “Where Would the World Be (Without the Truck Drivers),” salutes the trucker by calling attention to the vital role truckers play in America. Written by John Long, the song says that without the truck driver, “We’d be standing at the grocery waiting in line; no, the mail wouldn’t ever run on time; my car won’t start ’cause the parts I need aren’t in.” The song also highlights the hardships of life as a trucker, from the blood-shot eyes to the high fuel taxes.

Sachs’ single, “What’s Goin’ On,” which is also on the album, was released mid-April and has made it to the airwaves across the United States and Canada. The song addresses the difficulties of trucking rules and regulations.

Other songs on the album are, “All Roads Don’t Lead to Heaven,” “Left Lane Livin’,” “Mud Flap Mama,” “Truck Driving Daddy,” “Moments and Memories,” “Billy and Selena,” “Down the Road,” “Mama Never Lies,” “Eighteen Wheeler Girl,” “Short Ride on a Long Haul,” “Stand up for Truckers” and “Gone Long Gone.”

While the lyrics target drivers, the sound features a variety of genres like country, rock, Latin, Western and even hip hop with a steel guitar.

Born and raised in Omaha, Neb., Sachs began singing and dancing at age 3. She turned professional at 15 and continued her vocal training at the University of Miami. Before settling in Las Vegas, Sachs traveled throughout the country for 15 years and made appearances in Atlantic City in “The Showboat Follies” and the hit production show “Dazzle.”

Sachs currently stars in the Las Vegas hit review “Honky Tonk Angels” and co-hosts the long-running TV-Radio show “Las Vegas Now” with Dennis Bono. Prior to “Honky Tonk Angels,” she starred as Miss Annie Oakley in the “Wild Bill’s Wild West Show” in Los Angeles. She also starred in the Las Vegas production shows “Country Fever,” “American Superstars” and “Legends in Concert.”

Sachs has recently been a returning guest of Bill Mack on the “Open Road Show” on XM satellite radio in April to promote the album. The CD is available on the web at this site and in truckstops such as Flying J, Petro, TA, Pilot and independent truckstops.


Hard-lifting Driver
Almost 30 years ago, a 20-minute conversation with Arnold Schwarzenegger changed veteran owner-operator Tony Moncrief’s life.

Moncrief, 46, began body building in high school and kept lifting into adulthood. But he didn’t take the hobby seriously until talking with the future California governor for a second time in 1993.

“Arnold told me I had nice arms,” Moncrief says. “He told me how to compete and what muscle groups to train.”

Moncrief put that advice to use and began exercising two and a half hours four times a week, combining weight lifting with aerobic work like swimming and running.

Many truckers want to get that much physical activity but can’t find the time or place to do it. Moncrief has gone to some exceptional lengths to train. And he’d like to see other drivers do something similar so they can not only be healthier but also be safer on the roads.

“I stop at the gym every time I’m unloaded, and I tell my dispatcher I’m going to go train before I get my next load,” Moncrief says.

Moncrief hunts down the various private gyms, but when the town he’s in doesn’t have one, he stops by the local YMCA.

“I keep weights with me, and sometimes I speed walk in the park,” Moncrief says.

That dedication took the body builder far. He won first place in the power lifting and body building categories in the 1993 Natural Athlete Strength Association. The next year he came in first in the power lifting division in the 198-pound weight class at the 1994 Nutrasports competition.

But Moncrief learned it takes more than just a steady exercise regime to create a healthy body.

“I had a mild stroke in 1995, even though I was training,” Moncrief says. “I was running for the company, eating all that salt and pork and not taking care of myself.”

Moncrief was in the hospital for three days, and the doctors told him he would never be able to train again. But Moncrief overcame that and credits his amazing recovery to the power of prayer. He repeated the Nutrasports win in 1996. In 1997 he took home the blue ribbon in the body building competition in the light heavy class at the Masters competition.

“I’m a blessing, I’m a miracle,” Moncrief says.

Moncrief now lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his son, Antoine, 21, and daughter, Monica, 18. He hauls freight through all 48 continental states for PBQ Transit, based in Grove City, Ohio. He owns two trucks and drives a 1999 Freightliner Classic.

Moncrief wants to spread the word that a person’s body is the most important thing they have.
He wants drivers to realize that their health is more important than getting their job done. “The freight does not come first, the drivers do,” Moncrief says. “Health is more important than freight.”

To help get that idea across, Moncrief says the Lord gave him the idea to start the Moncrief Total Power Fitness gym, where truckers can come in and train. Moncrief says he thinks getting truckers in better shape would lead to safer roads, since they would not be so fatigued and prone to illness, and it would increase the public’s perception of the industry.

“I want to send a message to the people,” Moncrief says. “They don’t have to walk around with a big stomach; they should go around and look good.”
Lance Orr


Sounding the Alarm
It was early in the morning, still dark, and the truckstop was quiet. Most of the drivers were asleep in their cabs, and when 43-year-old driver Jerry Gibson came out of the building, he heard a sizzling sound interrupt the silence.

“I could tell it wasn’t a good sound,” says Gibson, who drives over-the-road for heavy and specialized carrier Miller Transfer and Rigging. “Then I saw fire coming out of this guy’s reefer that was parked right ahead of me.”

Six trucks were parked at the truckstop in Baytown, Texas, and Gibson knew they could all be in danger. The Augusta, Wis., trucker sprang into action.

“I took off running towards the trucks, and I called the truckstop on my cell as I was running and told them to call the fire department,” he says. “Then I started banging on the door to the truck that was on fire. I was beating on both doors, because the fire had gotten into the back of several of the trucks.

“I kept beating until one guy came out of his passenger door, but by that time it was getting so hot that a couple of tires blew out right by my feet.”

Gibson says most of the truckers were afraid because of all the commotion the fire caused.

“Some of the drivers thought people were being shot because of the popping noises,” he says. “Some truckers drove away and left quickly to avoid getting burned, but I kept beating.”

The whole time, Gibson was yelling for the truckers to get out of their cabs as soon as possible, but it proved difficult to wake some of them.

“Some truckers thought it was people just bothering them, but I was hollering, ‘fire!’ the whole time. Of course, at 4 in the morning, you’re just operating on instinct, so my main concern was for the drivers’ safety.”

Gibson says only two trucks out of the six that were parked ended up catching fire.

“After we got everyone out of the trucks, only two were left burning. I tried to break the window of one with my hand,” Gibson says.

In the end, only one truck was completely destroyed in the fire.

“The guy who lost his truck lost everything,” Gibson says. “He came out with a pair of pants alone, but he’d lost his cell phone, his billfold, everything.”

Gibson’s charity didn’t end with alerting the truckers to the fire.

“I helped take up a collection for the trucker who lost his possessions and bought him a pair of shoes,” Gibson says.

Ralph Santine, Gibson’s boss at Miller, says Gibson has always been the kind of person willing to help everyone.

“Jerry is our No. 1 guy for customer service. He is a great asset for our organization,” Santine says. “When I heard about his heroism, it wasn’t really a surprise because that’s the kind of person Jerry is. He’s a good person, and he always has been. I don’t think that will ever change. You can say a lot of things about people, but when you say they are a good person, that’s the ultimate.”

Gibson says he is just glad to have been in the right place at the right time.

“Two or three trucks would have gone up in flames that night the way the wind was blowing if I hadn’t intervened. The reality set in after it was all over,” Gibson says. “Everyone is human, and you don’t want to see bad things happen to anyone out there.”
Kathryn Tuggle

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