Nicknamed "Mr. Truckstop," Gene Tracy was a popular country comedian who sold millions of albums in a career that peaked in the era of the eight-track. Born Ivan Eugene Morris in Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1927, he got his start in entertainment as a traveling circus promoter. His first break in comedy came when he was asked to fill in for a supporting act that didn't show up for his spot. Sporting an emphatic Southern drawl, Morris recounted jokes he'd overheard at truck stops during his travels. After the show, he was approached by a radio executive who had happened to be in the audience, and who helped arrange him club dates in the Carolina region under the name Gene Morris. In a second break, he was seen on tour by a record producer, which led to a record deal and the new stage name Gene Tracy.
Tracy went on to release dozens of comedy albums in his crude, cornpone style, some of which were recorded live in front of unruly crowds at actual truck stops. His popularity peaked in the '70s, and in 1974, he appeared in an uncredited cameo on the Claude Akins truck-driver TV drama Movin' On. Tracy died of a heart attack in 1979 at the age of 52, but collections of his material continued to appear on the CD format and into the 21st century.