‘Hello, I’m a Truck,’ and I’ve got a few bones to pick with you, drivers

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Updated Jul 6, 2021

Trucking’s music history has no shortage of light-hearted songs, such as Kay Adams’ “Little Pink Mack,” Charlie Walker’s “Truck Drivin’ Cat With Nine Wives” or The Legendary Shack Shakers’ “The CB Song.”

One of the most humorous, thanks to its sharp barbs aimed at truckers, is Joe Cecil “Red” Simpson’s “Hello, I’m a truck.” It hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in January 1972, making it the biggest hit single in Simpson’s long music career.

“This song takes a different angle on the trucking experience,” said Todd Uhlman, a specialist in American culture at the University of Dayton in Ohio. “It’s not about the trucker. It’s about the truck.”

overdrive 60 year anniversary logoRead more in Overdrive's weekly 60th-annversary series of lookbacks on trucking history, and that of the magazine itself, via this link.At the same time, the truck isn’t shy about criticizing truckers. The truck-narrator notes how drivers love to share “tales of daring” and “the girls they've left behind.”

The truck criticizes its own driver, too, and, as Simpson often does, references other trucking songs: “Look at him sipping coffee and flirtin' with that waitress. And where do you think he left me? That's right, next to a cattle truck. Why couldn't we have put me next to that little pink Mack sitting over there?”

'Hello, I'm a Truck' graphicIn Red Simpson’s “Hello, I’m a Truck,” the truck has more than a few complaints about its driver: “If we're on time, he takes the credit; if we're late, I get the blame. Up those hills with shutters open, my stacks are running flame. My tach’ is running red line, sucking diesel from the tanks; I take him south and bring him back without a word of thanks.”

Another of Simpson’s trucking songs that went heavy on humor was "The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver." Released in 1979, it was the last time one of his songs made it on the charts.  

It’s the story of a trucker discovering a spaceship in the desert in the middle of the night. A “little man” alien, in a chipmunk voice, sings a chorus that’s a rewrite of the chorus from “Truck Drivin’ Man” (a song Simpson and many others covered):

"Pour me another cup of coffee and help me get out of this sand. Cuz I'm running a way behind my schedule, for I am a lost flying saucer man!”

Some of Simpson’s other trucking hits were “Roll, Truck, Roll” and “The Highway Patrol.”

Take a listen to the podcast interview here for more insights on “Hello, I’m a Truck” from Uhlman, who has written at length about the history of trucking songs in the last century: 

Red Simpson and Charles NapierThis photo from the May 1972 Overdrive was taken when actor Charles Napier, left, and singer Red Simpson were guests on the “Overdrive Hour,” part of an all-night radio program hosted by Larry Scott. Napier, who went on to act in many other movies and television productions, starred in “Moonfire,” a feature movie written, directed and produced by Overdrive founder and longtime editor Mike Parkhurst.

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