First Hit #1: January 10, 1976
I don’t understand why CB Radios and trucking suddenly became a big deal in the ’70s. I don’t understand why a lot of things in the ’70s became popular, and asking my mother she couldn’t figure it out either. It’s a confusing decade. Part of it had something to do with rebelling against authority, since Convoy is partially about outsmarting the cops, as was Smokey and the Bandit, another trucker-centric comedy from the same time period. I’m not completely sure why the cops – called bears, which also means something slightly different in the modern vernacular, or Smokies, which is a kind of bear which is averse to forest fires – are after the convoy, there’s a reason that’s hidden deep within the layers of trucker lingo, but it’s just an excuse for a somewhat amusing novelty song.
As frequently impenetrable as the trucker lingo is, it’s actually not bad for what it is. McCall uses his somewhat deep voice to project an air of importance to the proceedings, and the military inspired music keeps it marching forward and kind of fun as a driving song. The chorus is about the only weak point, being sung in an odd falsetto which seems at odds with the somewhat macho trucker posturing that the rest of the song takes. When you’re putting together a song that sounds like it could sprout a mustache at any moment, going high is a very odd choice, and later choruses even include some wacky voices to further spoil it. Otherwise, pretty fun all around.