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Red Simpson

Best known for his string of trucking songs, Red Simpson was raised in Bakersfield, California, the youngest of a dozen children. At age 14, he wrote his first song -- about chickens -- and sang it to his family's fowl. During the Korean War, he served aboard a naval hospital ship, the Repose, where he found relief by forming the Repose Ramblers, who played any instruments they could scrounge up. He bought better ones in Japan and began to practice in earnest, and became a professional musician in California after his discharge.

Simpson was working at the Wagon Wheel in Lamont when Fuzzy Owen saw him and arranged for Simpson to work at his Clover Club as a piano player. He then got a job replacing Buck Owens at the Blackboard Club on weekends. Simpson was influenced by Owens, Merle Haggard, and Bill Woods, who asked Red if he would write a song about driving trucks. (By the time Simpson handed him four truck songs, however, Woods had stopped recording.) Simpson began writing songs with Buck Owens in 1962, including the Top Ten hit "Gonna Have Love."

In 1965, Capitol's Ken Nelson was looking for someone to record some songs about trucking. His first choice was Haggard, who wasn't interested, but Simpson readily agreed. His first, Tommy Collins' "Roll, Truck, Roll," became a Top 40 country hit and Simpson recorded an album of the same name. That year he offered up two more trucking songs, both of which made it to the Top 50 or beyond. As a songwriter, he scored his first number one hit with "Sam's Place," recorded by Buck Owens. After that, Simpson decided to become a full-time writer. He returned to performing in 1971 with his Top Five hit "I'm a Truck," which had been written by postman Bob Staunton.

In 1972, he debuted on the Grand Ole Opry and had two more "truck" hits for Capitol. In 1976, Simpson signed to Warner Bros. and released "Truck Driver's Heaven." The following year, he teamed up with Lorraine Walden for a series of duets that included "Truck Driver Man and Wife." In 1979, Simpson appeared for the last time on the charts with "The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver." Haggard recorded his song "Lucky Old Colorado" in 1988; later that year Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer and underwent surgery, but he fully recovered and continued his writing and performing career. Featuring 14 new songs, The Bard of Bakersfield was Simpson's first album in nearly a quarter-century, arriving on the Windsor Music label in 2005. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
full bio

Comments

tlj6079
I met red simpson yesterday... . h e s 80 yrs. Old now but he gets out on that stage and still sings his songs....and reds wife is a sweet heart.....TR O U T S BAR IS IN OILDALE .CALIF..was born and raided in that town....GOD BLESS U RED SIMPSON...th a n k you for talking with us yesterday... o h and thanks for auto graphing my hat.....and thank you GENE THOME.......
Loved being out on the big road with them long haul truckers.
I love them truck drivers and this is coming from an old truck driver
Red Simpsons music is awesome. Love them trucking songs. I met red in march 2013. And became
Friends with him. As a person he is great. He sings at trouts in oilevlle ca. Every Monday Nite.
catherine, if you haven't heard them, there are a couple of Red & Junior collaboratio n s that are excellent. Nitro Express and of course Semi-Crazy are two of them.
He sounds a little like Junior Brown - or viceversy!
I,m A trucker in training and trucking music makes me relaxed especially my uncle,s Dick Curless Tombstone every mile. Another song I like is teddybear I can not listen to it without shedding a tear
Love that Truck Drivin Man...
Six days on the road and I'm gonna make it home tonight!
jnnyrankin
hi Joyce and Red. love you both
beck.ingo
I have both his trucking albums...a must have for anyone that loves country music and grew up in the 70's
LUV IT!
I have allways Loved Reds music and had the Privlage of meeting him at the tennasee truck show :)

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