Dick Curless maintains one of the most prolific country star careers. From the time he returned home from the Korean War to his passing, Curless became one of America’s most famous country singers. He encapsulated what it was like as a trucker during the ’50s and ’60s.
Startin’ From Maine
Dick got his early start in Maine. From owning his own radio talk show to recording his own songs, Dick eventually struck it big with his song “Tombstone Every Mile”. It went on to reach the Billboard Country Top 5. The song discusses all the things a trucker sees while cross country driving.
Keeping His Songs Local
His songwriting focussed primarily on the trucking industry in the North East. From Boston to Maine, his songs talk about the dangers and hard life of truckers driving on icy roads. “If they buried the truckers lost in the woods, there be a tombstone every mile,” says his most famous song.
Dick Curless: Iconic Eye Patch
Although he never actually lost his eye, his eyepatch became an iconic representation of Curless. Some report that this may have given truckers high-profile lifestyles, some say that the eye-patch represented the dangers of the job. Combined with his lyrics, the portrayal in the public eye favored the latter. Some say that Dick Curless created the “Hard life trucking” mentality.
The Hard Life Of Trucking
His songs often focussed on the hard times of trucking. From dealing with police, traffic accidents and “Leaving yer ol’ woman behind”. Another most favorite song from him is “Drag ’em off the interstate, sock it to ’em, j.p. blues” The song focuses on how the police would rather set speed traps for “highway robbery in the name of the law” while others need their protection.
“A woman gettin’ mugged in the heart of town
Yells for the cops but there’s none around
They’re down on the interstate settin’ a trap
A huntin’ for a live one to skin and wrap
So look out stranger you’re headin’ for danger
There’s a welcome sign ahead “
He presented somewhat of a middle-finger during the days of trucking that hasn’t been seen yet. His stance on how truckers are appreciated in the industry set the bar for future heads to come along and characterize truckers as well as stick it to “the man”.