C.W. McCall

Convoy

Composed by Chip Davis

Song Review by

Two of the '70s' most popular fads, the novelty song and the CB craze, combined to give Bill Fries, better known as C.W. McCall, a number one hit with "Convoy" in December of 1975. But "Convoy" did have a slight serious side to it. It was written partially to express truckers' anger over a strike that was ongoing at the time, as well as the high cost of fuel, the speed limit, and border tolls that were imposed on truck drivers from state to state. But it was its catchy chorus, sung by angelic-voiced backup girls, that gave "Convoy" its one full week of number one stardom (number two in the U.K.), not to mention all the tongue-twisting trucker lingo that was rambled out in between. Written by McCall and Chip Davis, the song boasts of a fleet of rigs rebelling against the "bears" (the police) and then "crashing the gate doing 98," waving the flag in support of the blue-collar workforce and its resistance against the absurdity of the law. Listeners fell in love with the tune's countrified candor more than they did its message. In the early '70s, Bill Fries was employed by an ad agency in Nebraska when he created the character of C.W. McCall for a baking company based out of Iowa. After recording "The Old Home Filler-Up an' Keep on Truckin' Cafe" for a commercial, MGM began distributing the song and then signed McCall to a record deal. After "Wolf Creek Pass" went to number 40 in June of 1975, McCall wrote "Convoy" later that same year, climbing from number 82 to number one in less than six weeks. Among the numerous novelty songs that raided the airwaves throughout the 1970s, few managed to reach the all-important number one spot as did McCall's claim to fame.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Black Bear Road 1975 MGM
No Image 1976
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
C. W. McCall's Greatest Hits 1978 Mercury / Def Jam / Island / Polydor 3:48
Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 15 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:50
No Image 1990 American Gramaphone Records
Country Comedy Classics 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:48
No Image 1994 Polygram Special Products / Special Music
White Men Can't Wrap, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Rhino
The 101 Greatest Country Hits [Box] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:48
I Love Country: Hits of the 70's, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Priority Records 3:48
The Academy of Country Music's 101 Greatest Country Hits, Vol. 10: Country Roads 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:48
The Class of Country: 1975-1979 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:48
Best of C.W. McCall 1998 Universal Special Products / PSM 3:48
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 4:11
Ultimate Driving Collection: Countrywide Ride 1998
Various Artists
Chronicles / Polygram 3:47
American Pie: Great Tales & Sagas in Song 1998
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 3:49
Trucker's Favorite Top 10 Radio Requests 1999
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:49
Classic Country: Golden '70s [1999 #1] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Million Dollar Country 2000
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:50
Classic Country: Late '70s 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:46
Classic Country: Great Story Songs 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Singers And Songwriters: Country USA 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
The Ultimate Country Collection [Universal International] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 3:46
Trucker's Jukebox 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Superstars of Country: Hello Darlin' 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:49
#1 Country Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:48
I Love Country 2006
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV
True Country 2006
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:45
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:49
#1 Country Hits [2006 Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:48
This Is Trucker's Jukebox Anthems [Cleopatra] 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra 3:52
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:49
Superstars of Country [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:49
No Image 2008
Various Artists
ABC Music
On the Road Again: Tracks for Truckies 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 3:46
Wolf Creek Pass [Omni] 2012 The Omni Recording Corporation 3:49
Legends of Country: Hello Darlin' 2012
Various Artists
Life / Time 3:49
Legends of Country 2013
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:49
Greatest Ever! Bubblegum Pop: The Definitive Collection 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 3:49
American Heartland: Legends of Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:50
Classic Country [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:47
Eddie Stobart Trucking Songs: Trucking All over the World
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:50
Total Hits, Vol. 2 [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 3:48
blue highlight denotes editor's pick