East Tennessee-based truck driver Jason Lee Wilson was named the winner of the 2016 Overdrive-Red Eye Radio’s Trucker Talent Search today at the Great American Trucking Show. He competed against two other finalists, Keith Snyder and Will Perry, in a sing-off style competition at GATS, where a panel of four judges determined the ’16 winner.
Wilson played guitar and sang an original song, “Truck Stop Betty,” a twangy tune dedicated to mom and pop truck stops.
With the win, Wilson was awarded $1,000 cash and a free studio recording session from AxleOutPro, who’ll also produce with Wilson a professionally developed music video. He’ll also be featured in an upcoming issue of Overdrive.
Wilson, 37, has been a truck operator for six years. He currently hauls aggregates locally for MDM Transport. He lives in Maryville, Tennessee, with his wife, Aleksandra.
“I want to take advantage of every opportunity,” Wilson said of the recording session and music video. “This is a step on to something greater hopefully. The kind of music I do is rockabilly and traditional country, and that’s often dismissed as a novelty. Trucking music also has received that novelty reputation. Its hayday was in the ’70s and ’80s. I would like to bring it back.”
This year’s contest was the third annual Talent Search. The contest began with Overdrive readers uploading videos of themselves singing. An online voting contest then narrowed the finalists to three.
The three finalists were then brought to Dallas for the contest’s finale. Each sang an original song. The panel of judges who determined the winner were: country singer Lindsay Lawler, Overdrive Editorial Director Max Heine, Australian country singer Jayne Denham and Red Eye Radio’s Tim Walker. Trucker and singer-songwriter Tony Justice emceed the event.
Here’s Wilson performing “Truck Stop Betty” at the Talent finale: