Hey truckers – we’re back again with our long standing series of Truck Driver Songs. We’ve posted songs from the classic eras of country and rock that sing the praises of the American truck driver and how hard they work. Some are a little bit country, some are a little bit rock n’ roll.
This week, we’re rocking again. This time, it’s a classic clip that any fan of 70s rock radio should be familiar with. “Roll On Down the Highway” was a big hit for Bachman Turner Overdrive and was the lead single from their third album “Not Fragile.” Released in 1974, “Not Fragile” remains the group’s highest selling album in their storied history because it also contains their second biggest mainstream hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” The album reached the top of the Canadian rock charts (BTO originated in Winnipeg), and both of the singles cracked the Top 10 Pop Singles list as well.
Bachman Turner Overdrive defied the “Supergroup Success Odds.” Despite being formed from members of an earlier successful rock group, The Guess Who, the members stayed focused on creating great songs and memorable performances. While most “supergroups” are merely flashes in the pan which quickly disappear after fan expectations are dashed, BTO (who were actually called Brave Belt at the time) kept the fires burning and made many professional connections.
While on the road, Brave Belt decided that they needed a new name, so they decided to pull into a truck stop and put their heads together until they agreed. The band had already mulled over using their surnames (à la Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). On the way into the truck stop, the group had spotted a copy of a trucker’s magazine called Overdrive. Turner brought it back to the table then wrote “Bachman–Turner Overdrive” and the initials “B.T.O.” on a napkin. The rest of the band decided the addition of “Overdrive” was the perfect way to describe their music.
Over the years, BTO has remained active on and off. One thing is for certain though – they remain AOR and classic rock radio favorites. So here’s their third big hit on the charts – “Roll On Down the Highway.” Enjoy, truck drivers!
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