Lived in Florence, AL

Country Songwriter James Joiner

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Part of the talented Montgomery family. Wrote two of the all time classic truck-driver songs, "Six Days On The Road" and "Give Me Forty Acres". "Six Days On The Road" has been released a total of 334 times, beginning with Dave Dudley in 1963 to Sawyer Brown in 1997. Others recording the song include, George Jones, Taj Mahal, Charley Pride, Emmylou Harris, Hank Snow, Commander Cody, George Thorogood and Steve Earle.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Two years later, Tune published the truckers’ anthem “Six Days on the Road,” co-written by Muscle Shoals songwriters Carl Montgomery and Earl Green.  Dave Dudley’s original 1963 version of the 18-wheeler standard rose to No. 2 on the country charts. The song has since been covered by more than 300 artists, including Steve Earle, Fairport Convention, George Jones, Taj Mahal, Hank Snow, Johnny Rivers and the Flying Burrito Brothers (who performed the song in the 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter).  The country group Sawyer Brown recorded its own Top 10 version of “Six Days on the Road” in Muscle Shoals in 1997.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame | JAMES JOINER


Six Days On the Road, Dave Dudley"Six Days on the Road" is an American song written by Muscle Shoals Sound Studio songwriter Carl Montgomery and Earl Green made originally famous by country music singer Dave Dudley. Originally released in 1963, the song became a major hit that year and is often hailed as the definitive celebration of the American truck driver.[1][2]

In 1997, the song was successfully covered by country music band Sawyer Brown, who took the song into the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

According to country music historian Bill Malone, "Six Days on the Road" was not the first truck driving song; Malone credits "Truck Driver's Blues" by Cliff Bruner, released in 1940, with that distinction. "Nor is it necessarily the best," said Malone, citing songs such as "Truck Driving Man" by Terry Fell and "White Line Fever" by Merle Haggard and the Strangers as songs that "would certainly rival it".[3]

However, "Six Days," Malone continued, "set off a vogue for such songs" that continued for many years. "The trucking songs coincided with country music's growing identification as working man's music in the 1960s," he said.[4] Many country music artists and bands—including Alabama, Dick Curless, Merle Haggard, Kathy Mattea, Ronnie Milsap, Jerry Reed, Del Reeves, Dan Seals, Red Simpson, Red Sovine, Joe Stampley, C.W. McCall, Steve Earle, among many others—recorded successful truck driving songs during the next 25 years. Several of those artists—Dudley included—became almost exclusively associated with songs about truck drivers and life on the road.

Dudley, stated Malone, "strikingly captures the sense of boredom, danger and swaggering masculinity that often accompanies long-distance truck driving. His macho interpretation, with its rock and roll overtones, is perfect for the song."[5]

Allmusic writer Bill Dahl, called "Six Days" the "ultimate overworked rig driver's lament;"[6] indeed, the song's lyrics bemoan highway patrolmen, scale weigh-ins and loneliness for the main protagonist's main squeeze, and speak of using "little white pills" to keep him awake. Like Malone, Dahl also cited Dudley's voice as perfect for the song, as "his bottomless pipes were certainly the ultimate vehicle for its delivery, reeking of too much turgid coffee and too many non-filtered cigarettes (those little white pills that he sings of were doubtless only a fictional contrivance)."[7]

Dudley's version was also played during the STS-3 space shuttle mission as a wake-up call.

Released in mid-May 1963, "Six Days on the Road" became Dudley's first major hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that summer. The record spent 21 weeks on this chart, and it also became a minor hit on Top 40 radio stations, peaking at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also listed at number 13 on their easy listening survey.

Many truck-driving themed hits followed for Dudley, including "Last Day in the Mines," "Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun" and "Truck Driver's Prayer."

Six Days On the Road, Sawyer BrownJohnny Rivers: Greatest Hits (Re-Recorded Version), Johnny RiversEssential Steve Earle, Steve Earle

Many cover versions of "Six Days on the Road" have been recorded, with three of them also being chart hits for other artists. Johnny Rivers took a cover to No. 58 on the country charts and No. 105 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Steve Earle recorded the song for the 1987 movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and his version reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in early 1988. Another version was recorded by the band Sawyer Brown on their 1997 album Six Days on the Road, peaking at No. 13 on the country charts that year. Sawyer Brown's version also changed the line "I'm taking little white pills" to "I'm passing little white lines", thus omitting the drug reference.

Others who have recorded "Six Days" include Del Reeves, George Jones, Red Simpson, Nev Nicholls, Ferlin Husky, Boxcar Willie, Red Sovine, George Thorogood, the Flying Burrito Brothers, who are shown performing the song live in the movie, "Gimme Shelter", as well as Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels, aka The Turkeys, blues guitarist Popa Chubby (for his 2008 album Vicious Country), New Riders of the Purple Sage and Tom Petty's band Mudcrutch. According to Dahl, one of the best versions was a blues-rocking rendition recorded in 1969 by Taj Mahal.[8]

The Youngbloods covered it during a 1971 concert in San Francisco.

udley recorded a re-written Christmas version entitled "Six Tons of Toys" on his 1982 album Trucker's Christmas.[9] This was covered by Paul Brandt on his 1997 album A Paul Brandt Christmas: Shall I Play for You?.

References

1^ [1] Dahl, Bill, "Six Days on the Road" at Allmusic

2^ Malone, Bill, "The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music" ((booklet included with The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music 8-volume set). Smithsonian Institution, 1981).

3^ ibid.

4^ ibid.

5^ ibid.

6^ Dahl.

7^ ibid.

8^ ibid

9^ "Trucker's Christmas". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-12-08.

Source: Six Days on the Road - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 A few years later, a twangy shotgun guitar and Dave Dudley's lazy drawl would conspire to make "Six Days on the Road" the definitive trucking song. Songwriters Earl Green and Carl Montgomery (brother of singer-songwriter Melba Montgomery) were a pair of over-the-road drivers for Robbin's Floor Products in Tuscumbia, Alabama, who made a regular six-day run to Pittsburgh with a load of floor tile. With a guitar along for the ride, the pair penned a factual account of their experiences, as they consumed amphetamines ("little white pills") to stay away and tried to dodge ICC inspection stations ("I'm a little overweight and my log book's way behind"). The song's gear jammer jargon also refers to specific truck models ("Jimmy" is a nickname for GMC, while "White" was a popular brand now owned by Volvo) and driving techniques ("Georgia overdrive" is a slang term for neutral). Greene and Montgomery recorded a demo of "Six Days on the Road," which they slipped to Cajun singer Jimmy C. Newman during a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. Newman didn't think the song suited his style and had Nashville publisher Jimmy Key pass the tape on to their mutual friend Dave Dudley, a ballad singer/nightclub MC (and one-time pitching prospect in the Chicago White Sox minor league system) in Minneapolis, who stashed the song in his guitar case.

Source: Big Rig Hits Artist Backgrounds


Listen/Purchase

iTunes:

Six Days On the Road - Sawyer Brown

Six Days On the Road - Dave Dudley

 

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