Hey truck drivers – we’re back with another episode of our popular article series “Truck Driver Songs.” Here we look back at the glory days of trucking from the 50s to the 90s for music that documents the lifestyle of the North American truck driver and all they go through to keep America rolling! This week it’s a well-known rock ballad from the 70s that compares the plight of the American songwriter to the existence of the American truck driver.
Jackson Browne was always a musician who strained artistic convention and recording techniques, and his live albums were no different. In 1977 he recorded a live LP while on tour and Running on Empty became his biggest commercial success. For this huge selling album, Browne used new material and combined live concert performances with recordings made on buses, in hotel rooms, and back stage.
“Running On Empty” was recorded at a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on August 27, 1977. A #11 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released as a single, it spent seventeen weeks on the chart after debuting on February 11, 1978 at position #72.
On March 14, 2004, Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen, and on June 7, 2007 Jackson Browne was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2004, Jackson was named an honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, for “a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social justice.”For “promoting peace and justice through his music and his unrelenting support for that which promotes nonviolent solutions to problems both nationally and internationally.”
Browne still continues to perform to this day, using his name and legacy to promote progressive political causes. He’s definitely an American original and is able to shake things up wherever he decides to play.
Enjoy this blast from the past for road warriors everywhere, truck drivers!
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