One of the biggest American trends in the mid to late 1970s was CB radios.Â Originally used by truckers to communicate with each other, scads of other people decided to get into the act as well, likely spurred on by songs like C.W. McCallâ€™s Convoy and the movie Smokey and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason. My own family wasnâ€™t immune to this. My dad opened up a store where he sold and repaired CBs, which he called â€œCB Repairâ€ (a master of directness, my father was). He even had his own handle (a word for the nickname one used when they talked on the CB): Early Bird. He picked this name for two reasons. Firstly, because his name was Earl. And secondly, because he was constantly late wherever he went. (And THAT, Ms. Morissette, is truly ironic (donâ€™t you think?))
Whenever a trend gets as big as this, you know that the music industry will jump on it with both feet, and this album by Jodie Lyons was one of the many CB related albums that came out at the time. Here are a few samples.
Weâ€™ll start things off with the bouncy â€œHey Uncle Charlie,â€ where Lyons laments about the laws and restrictions that he has to put up with to make an honest living as a trucker and the concern that theyâ€™re going to â€œtake his ears away.â€ You know, if you didnâ€™t know CB lingo that could sound pretty frightening!
Next we have the title tune, in which our trucking hero admits to blatantly breaking the law regarding his speed and his load. He is caught by a smokey (state trooper) who tells him, â€œYouâ€™ve got a new home twenty for the next thirty days and itâ€™ll cost a hundred dollars or more.â€ And if that wasnâ€™t made clear, the chorus makes sure to sing it as well. Oddly enough, they sing the phrase the same way they might sing a jingle about visiting your favorite restaurant.
â€œWho Could Ask for Anything Moreâ€ is a heartfelt ballad about Lyonsâ€™ true love. He doesnâ€™t know what heâ€™d do if he lost her, sheâ€™s true and she never lets him down. SPOILER WARNING: Itâ€™s his truck.
This next song is â€œa story about a thing that happened that a lot of folks donâ€™t know about and probably never will.â€ The Kennedy assassination? Grave robbers from outer space? Who wrote the book of love? No, itâ€™s about a plane needing to land in Old Collins Airfield that canâ€™t because theyâ€™ve lost power and the runway lights donâ€™t work. So, as would happen in all situations like this, truckers are called. They come to the rescue byâ€¦sorry, only one spoiler per post. Youâ€™ll have to find out about this one for yourself.
And finally, we have the obligatory song about the different handles CBers went by. They donâ€™t have my dadâ€™s in there, but they cover an awful lot of others.
As always, if youâ€™d like to hear the entire album, you can find it here. In my original remarks about this album, I mentioned that it sounded like Jodie Lyons was more likely a studio singer than a trucker. My suspicion was confirmed when I received a comment from Lyonâ€™s nephew saying that he was actually a jingle and promo singer. Lyons did, however, help design the Smokey character on the cover, so Iâ€™ll give him props for that.
Iâ€™ll talk to you all again on the next â€œWay Out Wednesday.â€ 10-4 good buddy, and Iâ€™m gone!