New book chronicles the pop rise and fall of the ‘first electronic social network’

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Columbia, Mo.-based academic Tim Scherrer is the author behind a new book that purports to tell the tale of the glory days of the Citizen’s Band radio as something more than the on-highway tool of the truck-driving community that it continues to be for many to this day.

“Crashed the gate doing ninety-eight,” by Missouri author and academic Tim Scherrer, is subtitled “The Citizen’s Band Radio and American Culture.” It’s now available via this link.“Crashed the gate doing ninety-eight,” by Missouri author and academic Tim Scherrer, is subtitled “The Citizen’s Band Radio and American Culture.” It’s now available via this link.

Scherrer released the book yesterday, May 15, available via the Lulu publishing platform, calling it the “untold story of the very first electronic social network in America, which grew from a from being little more than a hobby for a small number of users to a veritable pop-cultural phenomenon in the 1970s. The adoption by millions of Americans, Scherrer says, forced the FCC to give up nearly all regulation.

From the “slanguage” used by truckers and others over the radio to the role of truckers in its popularity growth, Scherrer’s book, he says, is the culmination of 23 years of research in 296 pages, with 44 illustrations and more than 200 sources. Higher profile interviews conducted for the book include those with veteran Grand Ol’ Opry announcer Hairl Hensley of WSM Radio (who passed last year) and Bill Fries, aka C.W. McCall, the man behind the “Convoy” song of the 1970s, which inspired the film.

Scherrer’s past includes service as a lieutenant colonel for 28 years  in the U.S. Army Reserve, also as Director of College Placement/Counseling and Instructor of American and Military History at Missouri Military Academy. Today, he’s the Dean of Academics at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia, Mo., where he lives.

Read more about the book via this link.

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