DEAR JERRY: For a time in the 1960s I was married to a long-line truck driver. However, too much time away from home coupled with too many truck stop queens drove that relationship to a dead-end.
Still, I do have a few good memories of then. Musically speaking, they were great years. One song that lingers on my mind has the singer rattling off the names of numerous trucking companies.
This tune may not have been much of a hit, but it did get played a bit in Texas, where I lived in those days.
Darlene in Phoenix
DEAR DARLENE: For you, and for "Scott," of Etters, Pa., who asks essentially the same question (though he indicates no particular interest in truck stop queens), here's the scoop:
The mystery tune is "There Ain't No Easy Run," a Top 10 Country hit in 1968 by Dave Dudley (Mercury 72779).
Though we find no professional truck driving experience on the late Dave Dudley's resume, no recording artist was more closely associated with those who make their living on the highways.
Among Dudley's other hits inspired by the big rigs are: "Six Days on the Road"; "Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun"; "Trucker's Prayer"; "One More Mile"; "Keep on Truckin'"; "Rollin' Rig"; "Me and Ole C.B."; "One A.M. Alone"; and the down-to-earth "Rolaids, Doan's Pills and Preparation H."
DEAR JERRY: In the late '50s, there was an instrumental with a title like "Gazocktabragen." I would really like to know the correct title (spelling and pronouncation) as well as the band.
Dominic Bartolone, Whitefish Bay, Wisc.
DEAR DOMINIC: Your mystery tune is by the Wild-Cats, a rockin' instrumental titled "Gazachstahagen," with one of pop music's more peculiar titles. It was in the Top 60 on all three of the national charts in early 1959, but it ranked in the Top 30 on numerous regional radio stations from coast-to-coast (United Artists 154).
Pronouncing "Gazachstahagen" is fairly easy if you break it down into five syllables: ga-zach-sta-hag-en.
For the record, gazachstahagen may sound Scandinavian, but it really is a meaningless, made-up nonsense word, reportedly heard occasionally by Dick Clark on American Bandstand.