Check out this 1970s TV commercial for a bread company that led to the successful musical career of C.W. McCall, and eventually the iconic trucking movie “Convoy.”

Back in the 1970s, Omaha-based advertising executive Bill Fries listened in to CB radio communications from truckers as the inspiration for a campaign for Metz Baking Company’s Old Home Bread.

Using the pseudonym “C.W. McCall,” Fries created a television commercial for Metz’s Old Home Stone-Ground Whole Wheat bread. The ad spot below features a song that Fries sung himself, starring actor Jim Finlayson as the truck driver flirting with a diner waitress over a chili dinner.

The ad campaign featured several more popular commercials.

The CB-lingo spouting character was so popular that Fries, who continued to use the C.W. McCall alter ego, went on to record “Aforementioned Café” in 1974 and followed it up with one of the best-loved songs in trucking — “Wolf Creek Pass.”

Eventually Fries went on to write the classic trucking song “Convoy” as C.W. McCall, which topped the charts and inspired a popular film of the same name.

Fries/McCall, now 93 years old, recently revealed that he is in hospice after a battle with cancer.

For more on the history of “Convoy” and C.W. McCall, check out the NPR audio segment below.

And for more trucking tunes from C.W. McCall and others, check out our Best Trucking Songs playlist on Spotify!

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