Red Simpson, Truckstop Troubador From Bakersfield

“I’m A Truck”

I’m a sucker for truck-driving songs, which is one of the reasons I have a fondness for neo-classic country acts like Junior Brown and Dale Watson. But besides Dave Dudley (of oft-covered “Six Days On The Road” fame), I’m less familiar with some of the original practitioners of this subgenre. I just discovered one: Red Simpson.

“The Sounds of Bakerfield” Concert (at 1:11:03)

Simpson’s most-famous song is “I’m a Truck,” a ballad from an 18-wheeler’s point of view, which he recorded in 1971. Other popular songs include “Roll, Truck, Roll,” the duet “Truck Driver Man and Wife” with Lorraine Walden and his last charted hit, 1979’s “The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver.”

“Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves”

Simpson (March 6, 1934-January 8, 2016) was part of the Bakersfield sound, a particular flavor of country that was popularized by Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and others in the Bakersvield area who reacted to what they felt was the over-produced sound coming out of Nashville.