In our previous installments, we’ve looked back at a couple of blockbusters from the 60s from Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. This time we’re stepping directly into the swinging 70s for a live television performance of a song that’s been hailed as the definitive celebration of the American truck driver.
The Flying Burrito Brothers shot into popularity in the early 70s after lead singer and guitarist Gram Parsons dissolved his former successful act The Byrds. The Flying Burrito Brothers had quite a different sound and arrangement, and were one of the first successful Americana bands that bridged country and rock n’ roll to positive critical and market response. However, soon after their first album hit big, Parsons left the band due to creative differences and the lineup continued to shuffle until the end.
In this performance of the classic Dave Dudley smash hit, co-founding member Chris Hillman takes over lead vocal duties and then hands off the spotlight to Sneaky Pete Kleinow for a pedal steel solo.
Although the Flying Burrito Brothers continued playing well into the 90s with various hired members and guest artists, they never quite attained the glamor and praise they garnered from their first few albums. However, they continue to have a huge impact on the country rock scene to this day, influencing leading artists such as Steve Earle, The Eagles, Dwight Yoakam, and Wilco.
Have a look at this excellent performance of Chris and the boys from an early bandstand telecast. Enjoy, truck drivers!
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