Red Simpson, along with Dick Curless, Dave Dudley and the more sedate Red Sovine, was one of the most popular country artists specializing in "trucker" songs, appealing to the men and women who rolled them ol' semis down the line... Simpson was a West Coaster, and he brought the oomph and vigor of the so-called Bakersfield Sound to his work, making his work stand out from the gooey pop-crossovers of 1960s Nashville. Here's a quick look at his work...
Red Simpson "Country Western Truck Drivin' Singer: The Best Of Red Simpson" (Razor & Tie, 1999)
Cool stuff. This is a bouncy, good-natured set culled from the career of truckin' song novelty artist, Red Simpson, whose late '60s Capitol LPs are something of collector's items. Simpson was an early Bakersfield pal of Buck Owens, and there's plenty of sylistic overlap here -- the music is generally pretty solid, and even if the gear-jammin' lyrics get a little repetitious, his delivery is friendly and warm. Well worth checking out.
Red Simpson "The Best Of Red Simpson" (King, 1999)
Red Simpson "Hello, I'm A Truck" (Gusto, 2005)
Red Simpson "Hello, I'm Red Simpson" (Bear Family, 2012)
This 5-CD set is the definitive Red Simpson collection, branching out from the trucker tunes into all the music Simpson recorded between 1954-87... Whew!!
Red Simpson "I'm A Truck" (Capitol, 1965) (LP)
Red Simpson "Roll Truck Roll" (Capitol, 1966)
One of the finest "trucker" albums ever recorded, this features the title track, a Top Ten country hit written by Tommy Collins... It also features the robust, heartfelt singing of Red Simpson, who brought the vitality of the Bakersfield scene to bear to what was an increasingly tapped-out subgenre... Compare this to the often-sleepy releases of Red Sovine and you'll feel the power of the West Coast headed your way. Simpson only recorded a few albums, but they were all pretty darn good.
Red Simpson "The Man Behind The Badge" (Capitol, 1966)
Red Simpson "...Sings A Bakersfield Dozen" (Capitol, 1967) (LP)
Red Simpson "Truck Drivin' Fool" (Capitol, 1967)
Red Simpson "The Very Real Red Simpson" (Capitol, 1972) (LP)
Red Simpson "Trucker's Christmas" (Capitol, 1973)
An amiable, lovable holiday offering by gravel-voiced West Coast honkytonker Red Simpson, who several years earlier had some big hits in the "trucker" genre... Hence the theme of this album, and its multiple songs about daddies coming home, with their 18-wheelers buring rubber to get little Timmy that very special present... Several songs have spoken introductions, including the album's winner, "Truckin' Trees For Christmas," about a guy who brings the boughs from town to town, and the spoken piece, "The Old Christmas Truck," about a broken-down hobo in a broken down truck, who gets that load of gifts to the poor kids who wouldn't have a happy holiday otherwise. It's all very old-school and corny, and it's a real gas. It's slapdash and by the numbers, but it's also funny and fun. Recommended! (For more country Christmas records, see my Hillbilly Holiday section.)
Hick Music Index