Clark Wilkinson, a semi-retired truck driver, has been selected as one of 10 semi-finalists in the Overdrive-Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search competition. He submitted a cover of the Townes Van Zandt classic “Pancho and Lefty,” which was later made more famous by the Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard cover. Wilkinson says the song is one of his favorites as a big Willie Nelson fan.
Wilkinson, 70, started singing in high school, but after semi-retiring from trucking in 2018, he began “playing guitar and singing more at open mics and small bars and clubs. He has only written one song, which he co-wrote with his grandfather, who wrote the lyrics in a poem in 1960, he says.
Most recently in his 25-year trucking career, he hauled clothing for Cardinal Logistics. He will soon be pulling empty tankers for Food Liner, relocating trucks and trailers to nearby terminals.
Judges will pick three finalists for the Trucker Talent Search competition. They will compete for the top spot by performing another song. Overdrive will air their final competition this summer in an evening streaming event, which will conclude with naming the winner.
That musician will win a full day’s recording session at Jay’s Place Recording on Nashville, Tennessee's historic Music Row, complete with backing provided by professional studio musicians, as well as song mixing and production. One or more recordings from Jay’s Place, as well as a more detailed personal profile, will be published on OverdriveOnline.com.
This contest is presented with partner Red Eye Radio, which will air interviews with the three finalists prior to the awards event. Red Eye’s Eric Harley will emcee the finals event.