Dave Dudley

Six Days on the Road

Composed by Carl Montgomery / Earl Green

Song Review by

"Six Days on the Road" was the biggest hit for Dave Dudley, who took his audience behind the wheel of a big rig with classics such as "Trucker's Prayer," "Two Six Packs Away," and of course "Rolaids, Doan's Pills and Preparation H." After an injury quelled Dudley's aspirations to be a professional baseball player, he began the Dave Dudley Trio and the Country Gentlemen before an automobile accident put him out of commission. Once he returned to performing again, he was signed to Vee-Jay for a while, gaining due recognition with the single "Maybe I Do." After a stint on Jubilee Records he bounced around to the Golden Wing imprint. It was there that Dudley cut what would become his most significant crossover side to date. "Six Days on the Road" (b/w "I Feel a Cry Coming On") vaulted to number two on the country charts and a respectable number 32 on the Top 40 pop survey. The lyrics capture the essence of life on the road with the artist's deep husky intonations lending authenticity to the image. The melody scoots along at a midtempo pace with a tick-tock rhythm reminiscent of Buck Owens' Bakersfield sound. The narrative puts the listener into the driver's seat on a travelogue of sorts. The ultimate destination is "home tonight," yet no specific locale is intimated, although as the story opens the driver has "pulled out of Pittsburgh/Rollin' down the Eastern Seaboard." There is a rebel outlaw vibe as evidenced in the couplet "There's a speed zone ahead, all right/I don't see a cop in sight" and the verse stating that the Interstate Commerce Commission is "checking on down the line/I'm a little overweight/And my log book's way behind/But nothing bothers me tonight/I can dodge all the scales all right." One definite sign of the times is the disturbing use of artificial energy, which inspires "I'm taking little white pills/And my eyes are open wide" as nothing -- including public safety -- will deter the driver from making it "home tonight." More endearing is his faithfulness to the elusive "baby" as he egotistically boasts "I could have a lot of women/But I'm not like some other guys/I could find one to hold me tight/But I could never believe that it's right." The conclusion finds his "hometown's coming in sight" and the lilt in Dudley's reading indeed make the words ring all the more true: "If you think I'm happy you're right." There have been scores of reworkings, ranging from ANTiSEEN's aggressive proto-punk to the familiar Flying Burrito Brothers' country-rock rendition.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1963 Richmond
Songs About the Working Man 1964 Mercury
No Image 1965 Mercury 2:10
No Image 1978
Various Artists
Era Records
No Image 1983 EMI Music Distribution
On the Road Again: 20 Great Truck Drivin' Hits 1986
Various Artists
Deluxe 2:21
Super Slab Hits 1987
Various Artists
Hollywood 2:21
Guitar Player Presents: Legends of Guitar: Country, Vol. 2 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 2:23
Country Time [K-Tel] 1992
Various Artists
Goldies
Working Man's Country [K-Tel] 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:10
Road Music: 23 Truckin' Hits 1994
Various Artists
Teevee Records 2:17
The Best of the Truck Driving Songs 1994
Various Artists
Hollywood/IMG / Hollywood 2:23
Deep in the Heart of Country 1994
Various Artists
Drive Archive 2:14
Country Classics [Sun] 1995
Various Artists
Sun Record Company 2:07
The 101 Greatest Country Hits [Box] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:17
Six Days on the Road [K-Tel] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:17
Trucker Classics 1996 Sun Record Company 2:07
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Sterling Gold
Country Dance Mix, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
Black Tiger 2:04
Six Days on the Road [Simitar] 1996 Simitar Distribution
Truckin' On [Starday] 1997
Various Artists
Starday Records 2:23
Six Days on the Road [Sun] 1997 Sun Record Company 2:07
Strictly Trucking 1997
Various Artists
Dominion 2:17
The Academy of Country Music's 101 Greatest Country Hits, Vol. 10: Country Roads 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:17
Hot Rod: Hot Rod Cowboys 1997
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 2:15
Country Collection [Madacy] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:17
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Peter's 2:05
The World of Truckers 1997
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:35
Golden Country Classics, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Planet 2:16
The Essential Country Collection [Emporio] 1997
Various Artists
Emporio 2:13
Mega Country, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Pmf
Ultimate Driving Collection: Countrywide Ride 1998
Various Artists
Chronicles / Polygram 2:12
Classic Country: Legendary Country 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:24
Hot Rod Box Set 1999
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 2:15
Hot Rods & Custom Classics 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:11
Road Jams 1999
Various Artists
Music Mill 2:37
Classic Country: Early '60s 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:23
One for the Road 1999
Various Artists
Startel 2:09
Country Love Songs [Legacy] 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:08
Now That's Country, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Music Mill 2:36
Country Music Classics 2000
Various Artists
STARTEL EN
Millennium Country Hits 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:18
Classic Country Crate 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:18
Keep on Truckin' 2001
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:18
Six Days on the Road [Aim] 2001 Aim Records 2:09
Country Funnies 2001
Various Artists
Double Play Records 2:18
Ultimate Country Hits [Direct Source] 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source Special 2:17
Truck Driver's Boogie: Big Rig Hits Vol. 1: 1939-1969 2001
Various Artists
Audium Entertainment 2:23
Best of Sun Country: 50th Anniversary Edition 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:08
American Trucker 2001 Music Mill 2:35
That's Country [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Goldies
Country Classics [ULT] 2001
Various Artists
ULT 2:13
The Very Best of Country Legends [United] 2002
Various Artists
Aao Music 2:11
Country's Greatest Hits [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:18
The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll: Special Country Edition 2002
Various Artists
Ace 29:45
No Image 2002
Various Artists
MRA
Country Superstars, Vol. 2 [Columbia River] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:11
Giants of Country [Chakras Dream] 2002
Various Artists
Chakras Dream 2:17
Totally Classic Country, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varèse Vintage 2:24
Golden Treasure: Country Legends 2002
Various Artists
Park South Records / Orpheus Records 2:03
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Dave Dudley 2002 Mercury Nashville / Universal / Universal Distribution 2:14
Best of Country [Madacy 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 2:21
Truck Driving Man 2002
Various Artists
EMI 2:32
For the Good Times [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 2:21
400 Country Greats 2003
Various Artists
The International Music Co.
101 Country and Western Greats 2003
Various Artists
Fabulous 2:32
Triple Value: Country 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Dominion Entertainment / K-Tel 2:18
Gold Collection: Country Gold 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:16
Six Days on the Road [Laserlight] 2004 Laserlight
The Very Best of Country [Nascente] 2004
Various Artists
Mastersong
20 Country Hits 2004
Various Artists
Music Mill 2:37
The Great Country Collection 2004
Various Artists
Red X 2:10
Road to Bakersfield 2004
Various Artists
Country Stars 2:31
Songs for My Rig 2004
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
18 Truck Driving Classics 2004
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records / Double Play Records 2:17
Country Forever [ULT Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Ultimate Music Collection 2:13
Blacktop Jukebox: Truck Driving Songs 2004
Various Artists
Mojo Music (Independent) 2:05
Country: The Essential Album 2005
Various Artists
Essential Records 2:07
Country Men [St. Clair] 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:18
Trucker's Jukebox 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:23
Legends: Country Legends 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:16
Country Storytellers 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:18
Solid Gold Country [Union Square] 2005
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:07
Country's Greatest Hits, Vol. 4 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:19
Country Hit Parade: Truckin Country 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:10
Country Legends: 60 Country Hits 2006
Various Artists
Diamond Recordings 2:10
20th Century Masters: Classic Country, Vol. 3 [Universal International] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 2:14
K-Tel Presents: Keep on Truckin 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:20
Forever Country [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:20
Country Songs for the Open Road 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:08
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:13
Forever Country, Vol. 1: The Real Deal 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:20
Hot Wheels & Highways: Great Driving Songs 2007
Various Artists
Golden Stars
This Is Trucker's Jukebox Anthems [Cleopatra] 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra 2:19
Road Trip Classics: Platinum Artist Series 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:16
Truckin Country Jukebox 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:08
20 Truckin' Country Hits 2007
Various Artists
Bayberry Records 2:08
Solid Gold Country [Fuel 2000] 2007
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:21
Country Outlaws: 20 Hits 2007
Various Artists
Kings Road 2:08
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Goldenlane 2:21
No Image 2008 Bell
Best of Truck Driver Songs 2008
Various Artists
Gusto Records 2:20
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Cheap O Lata / WG Productions
Truck Driving Favorites [Madacy] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:21
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
Best of Country [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:19
Simply Country Greats 2008
Various Artists
Simply 2:17
The Outlaw Trail Collection 2008
Various Artists
EDI Video 2:17
Country Greats [Union Square] 2008
Various Artists
Metro Tins / Union Square Music 2:05
Country Music [Ganser & Hanke] 2008
Various Artists
Ganser & Hanke Media 2:36
Country Meets Southern Rock 2009
Various Artists
Dead Line Music 2:15
On the Road Again: Tracks for Truckies 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 2:22
Truckin’ Country 2010
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group / Columbia River Group 2:09
Sweet Home Alabama: Southern Moon Favourites 2010
Various Artists
Country Roads / ZYX 2:16
The Golden Age of Country [Time-Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:22
Les Plus Grands Tubes: Country 2011
Various Artists
Nacarat / Warner Music 2:15
Simply Country [2012] 2012
Various Artists
Simply 2:07
No. 1 Country Hits Collection 2012
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:23
No Image 2013 MIBMusic 2:37
100 Country Hits & Greatest Country Classics 2013
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:23
No Image 2014 K-Tel 2:18
No Image Lakeshore Records
Best of Country Songs
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
No Image Rice
Classic Country Songs/I Walk the Line... and More
Various Artists
New World Records / Zebralution 2:10
No Image
Various Artists
Sound and Vision 2:14
No Image Golden Ring
No Image K-Tel 2:18
No Image
Various Artists
StarVista / Time Life 2:22
Greatest Ever Drivetime
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
No Image 51 West
No Image Mercury
John Laws on Route 66-22 Legendary Driving Songs
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
No Image Plantation
Silver Album Koch International 2:16
Six Days on the Road [Excalibur] Excalibur 2:14
No Image K-Tel 2:18
No Image United Artists Records
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:18
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:18
The  Best of Classic Rock: Green Series
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 2:15
No Image Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 1 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 2 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 3 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 5 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 6 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
The Big Rig, Vol. 7 Music Hill Entertainment 2:37
No Image Sound and Vision 2:14
No Image Rice
blue highlight denotes editor's pick