Category Archives: Movies and TV

The Fascinating Story Behind “Convoy” and the Secret Trucker Lingo

“Convoy” by C.W. McCall is one of the most interesting songs in all of country music because of its defiant, unique story. It is about a fictional group of truckers that organize a protest over Citizen’s Band (CB) radio using their own made up code words. Although the story in the song is fictional, it is inspired by real protests and the CB radio fad.

CBRadioCB radio was a relatively cheap radio that, unlike amateur radio, could be used by anyone without a license. For these reasons CB radio become incredibly popular in the 1970’s. CB radio caught on the same way social media and online communication does today. People were excited to have a platform that would connect them to strangers all over the nation for practical and personal uses. CB radio was used for everything from small businesses communicating with employees to hobbyists just looking for entertainment.

convoy_trucksTrucker drivers also began to using CB radio to communicate, especially after the United States enforced a nationwide 55 mph speed limit during the oil crisis of 1973. This, among other regulations, angered truckers who then used their CB radios to form convoys. Convoys were groups of truckers that drove together down highways faster than the speed limit because the police couldn’t catch all of them. Convoys would also tell each other where police officers set up speed traps, if there was a roadside emergency, or even block off roads with their trucks in protest. Because police would also listen to the CB radio channels, the trucker drivers developed an elaborate slang including code names called handles to protect their identities. After hearing about this unique dialogue, McCall and songwriter Chip Davis bought a CB radio which inspired them to write “Convoy”. The song is filled with this trucker slang including lyrics like “Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck. You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon?”. If you are curious, you can find a list of the slang online to figure out what the lyrics mean.

“Convoy” topped the country and pop charts and was included in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Country Songs convoy_movieof All Time in 2014. After “Convoy” was released, people became obsessed with CB radio and trucker culture. Millions of people in the United States began buying CB radios to join in on the fun and even created their own handles and slang words. Many other songs and movies about truckers were made including an action-packed, fairly successful movie that was also called “Convoy” and was based off of the song. The movie featured none other than Kris Kristofferson as the lead trucker, Rubber Duck.

In 1979 another oil crisis emerged causing another wave of protests, but this time it became violent. Many truckers went on strike and would use CB radio to threaten those who didn’t. Some of the more extreme truckers would even throw rocks or shoot at the trucks of drivers who were not participating in the strike. This violence lead to the decline in popularity of trucker culture, culminating in the murder of a truck driver in 1983.

Despite its unfortunate ending, the rise of trucker culture was a fascinating trend. “Convoy” was instrumental in creating and recording the history of this fad. Although seemingly light and fun, the song has a captivating story about serious political issues and how technology can unite people all over the country.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Movies and TV

Country Music Forever

It’s really interesting how country music has had such a big impact on my life growing up, especially since I’ve lived in the south my entire life. It wasn’t until I moved to Texas when I was 11 years old that I actually fell in love with the genre. Country music has a deep history in Texas and popularized some of the best country artists to this day (and my favorite, George Strait). From the places I’ve been to the shows I currently watch, the country music lifestyle is continuing to influence my life in pretty subtle ways. I love this class because it has really made me appreciate my loyalty to this genre.



I went to Threadgill’s a few weeks ago with my friend not knowing much about it other than the fact that it was another Austin hot spot. You walk into the restaurant and there are pictures all over the walls of some of greatest artists throughout the history of country music. Country music lover Kenneth Threadgill opened the restaurant in 1933. Fun Fact: he was the first person to own a beer license in the county. Janis Joplin even made a few appearances in the restaurant. If you want to experience live country music while eating good ole’ southern cooking, Threadgill’s is the best place to go.

Nashville (TV Show)


I started watching this television show as soon as it aired on ABC in 2012. The show stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere and focuses on their character’s clashing careers. Country superstar Rayna James (Britton) struggles to uphold her career with the contemporary direction country music is heading. Her stardom starts fading when Juliette Barnes (Panettiere) becomes the hot new star, appealing to the younger audience. There’s a lot of speculation if the show is based off real life situations that have happened in country music. Maybe Rayna represents Faith Hill’s diminishing career as rising country star Carrie Underwood, played out as Juliette Barnes, comes into the scene. Because Hill and Underwood had rumors swirling several years ago about tension between the two, maybe the creators based their lead characters off their public debacle. Regardless, I am a huge fan of this show and all the drama that is played out on the screen. It really shows the struggle of making it big in the industry, and it even features the renowned Blue Bird Café where several big-time artists were discovered.

2015 CMA Awards

chris and luke

I have been tuning into the CMA Awards for as long as I have been a country music fan. All of my favorite artists coming together to show-off their best work is my favorite awards show of the year. The show has been hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood since 2008, and as their careers are better than ever, I don’t see them slowing down. The Entertainer of the Year award of course went to Luke Bryan, the hottest singer in country music today. Female Vocalist of the Year went to Miranda Lambert while Vocal Duo of the Year went to Florida Georgia Line. It seems that country music is starting to accept a pop sound and these successful singers are focused on creating crossover hits. Probably the biggest shock of the night happened when Chris Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year. His debut album was released in May, and he walked away with three awards that night. This is an artist I think all country fans can get excited about. He’s bringing back the traditional country sound with his hits like “Tennessee Whiskey” (which he performed with Justin Timberlake on the show) and “Traveller.” With all the mainstream country music, I’m glad to see that people will still appreciate the classic sound that popularized the genre through the 80s and 90s. Chris Stapleton won some incredible awards that night for someone who has only been on the radio for a few months. Who knows, maybe Chris Stapleton will be the next George Strait.

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Filed under Austin Food, Awards, Blog Post 5, Country Pop, Movies and TV

My Country World in Austin, Texas

When looking into my degree plan, I saw that I had to take one last rhetoric class in order to fulfill my core requirement. Now I have to be honest, I have never been been a fan of any sort of English class, but I am happy to say that is no longer the case. I actually looked forward to this class every week and will be sad when it is over. Unfortunately, however, all great things must come to an end… And may I now present to you: my country music experiences outside of the classroom..

  1. Coupland Dance Hall

So coming from Fort Worth, I have been toGetImage.ashx my fair share of Billy Bob’s concerts. After coming to Austin I was wondering if I
would ever get to experience the same kind of country music culture. Let me tell you, the Coupland Dance Hall out in Coupland, Texas is all of that and more. When my sorority had a date function there, I was so excited to check it out. From the stringed lights to the country two step this place has it down to a T.

  1. Austin City Limits1501734_10203808627229961_2094592200129301172_n

Even before I applied to the University of Texas, I had always dreamed of going to ACL Festival. As soon as I got in I knew that was my first order of business, I bought a ticket. One year later and I was still just as excited for my second time. There is really nothing like going to a big field with all of your friends listening to awesome live music. Because the names were somewhat familiar to me at the time, I attended both the Dwight Yoakam and Sturgill Simpson concerts. My dad had recently introduced me to Sturgill Simpson and encouraged me to attend his concert. He was right on about his unique and traditional country sound.

  1. Nashville

My roommates have always told me to sit down and watch an episode of the hit ABC show Nashville, but I could never find the time. When I found out that I could write about this show for my blog post. I sat right down on the couch and started the pilot episode. Little did I know that pressing play on that remote would have me completely compelled by a tv show. I understand that some people think that the drama is unrealistic or the acting is bad, but the music will change their mind on the overall perception of the show. In a previous post I looked further into the duo Lennon and Maisy, but they are just one example of the talent on the show. I encourage anyone who loves a drama filled tv series to give it a try.

NashvilleS4415Overall I have really enjoyed this past semester. I not only learned about the history of country music, how to analyze it, and what it means, but I learned how to appreciate it for more than just a twangy sound.

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Filed under Blog Post 5, Concert, Live Music, Movies and TV, Nashville Sound, Texas

How Austin Changed My Perspective of Country Music

Coming from a small town in southern California, I never really understood the impact that country music has had on numerous people and places all across the U.S. Since coming to Texas, I almost had no choice but to integrate myself within the country culture that this state is so proud of sharing. I was hesitant at first to give up my California roots, but after experiencing country music’s influence in Austin by participating in two-step dancing, attending a country concert, and watching the a country music award show, it has really furthered my appreciation and knowledge of this genre, and ultimately changed my perception of country music overall.

IMG_0841First off, I have been a dancer my entire life, but two-stepping was something I never knew how to do. When I went to Broken Spoke here in Austin for a chapter wide mixer, it was my first time really learning this style of dance. I remember not knowing any of the songs that I was dancing to that night, unlike everyone else. But since dancing and listening to the variety of country songs that played that night, it really increased my interest, and intrigued me to learn more about this genre. With that said, this night definitely marks the foundation of where my appreciation for country music all began.

Also, about a month later, my friends convinced me to go to the Josh Abbot Band concert with them. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to go see them in concert, but since tickets were cheap and I was beginning to like country music I decided why not! I never realized how big of fans my friends were of the Josh Abbot band until I heard them belting at the top of their lungs to “She Likes Texas.” Unfortunately, I didn’t join in, as I was unfamiliar with the song after only being minimally exposed to country music thus far. But, after seeing the whole crowd sing along to several of the band’s songs, it really showed me what I am missing out on when it comes to this genre of music. Since this concert, I have taken a greater interest in the genre by familiarizing myself with other popular country artists, and expanding my music library to create a more diverse array of songs.

Lastly, after experiencing both these events, as well as taking this class, I was inspired to watch the 2015 Country Music Awards. It was amazing for me to see just how many country artists I recognized that performed, were nominated, or won awards, such as Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Hank Williams Jr., and Chris Stapleton. Because I am now familiar with country artists and have an appreciation for the history of the genre, watching this show was a much more enjoyable experience for me. Since watching this show, it really made me realize just how much my knowledge of this genre has progressed since being first exposed to country music.

Overall, my perception of country music has tremendously evolved over the course of this class. I originally came with stereotypical thoughts regarding this genre, and since have really come to appreciate what this genre has to offer. Not only was I able to learn about the history and techniques behind country music by taking this class, but I was also able to experience this genre first hand through interactive events that have ultimately expanded my knowledge of the genre, and influenced me to take an active role in furthering my appreciation for country music.

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Filed under Austin, Blog Post 5, Concert, Dancing, Movies and TV, Reflection

My Kind of Country

Coming into this class I was really unsure of what to expect. Country music was one of my go-to playlists since my parents liked to listen to it on our long car rides, but outside of just casual listening I was clueless about the genre. Looking back to the first assignment in this class where we were asked to identify with one community and explain how that community has shaped our outlook on country music, I can easily say that my view was much more surface-level than I thought. It has been so intriguing studying the history of country music, and the added knowledge and insight from peers has made it a much more attractive learning experience. Personally, it has been exciting to see just how much country music really does play into not only mine, but others’ daily routines, even beyond the classroom. Here are a few things I found to be exciting:

  1. FullSizeRenderDance Across Texas (formerly Midnight Rodeo): There aren’t many true dance halls around anymore, but luckily Austin has a few that are easy to take advantage of (though I highly doubt anyone in college refers to them as “dance halls”). One night a group of friends and I all decided to divert from the regular go-to weekend spots and try something different. I broke out my one pair of cowboy boots that my mom bought from a sketchy dude-ranch in San Antonio that I solely wear for football games, and we headed to Dance Across Texas. I’ve got to say, it was so much fun. I had picked up a few line dances from my camp counselor days, and got a little too excited when footloose came on. It was a great experience to be immersed in country music, celebrating it in a way that has been passed through generations, dancing to country songs both old and new.
  1. Texas Music Magazine: Being that this class began in August of 2015, I was curious as to what had been happening with country music earlier in the year. I went to Texas Music magazine’s February 15th issue, which talked about the upcoming “Big Nac Music Festival,” and was happy to see my girl Miranda as a main story topic. As I read further, it was easy to see that country music was the main focus of the magazine. What we learned in class became visibly true; Texas takes a lot of pride in its large outflow of country stars, even in a mega-small town like Nacogdoches.
  1. IMG_0762The Voice: As a The Voice TV show fan since it’s beginnings in 2011, I was a big advocate for Blake Shelton, the resident country star coach of the show. He recently won Season 7 of the show with Craig Wayne Boyd, a country artist. Three out of the eight total seasons of the show have resulted in a country artist winning it all. This goes to show you that America has got to be a country fan, as they are the main voters. These facts show that the reaches and roots of the genre are far and wide all across the country.Experiencing a timeless celebration of country music through dancing, reading up on past country music feats, and seeing how country music is loved across the nation, has made me truly appreciate country music. It has become a much more renowned genre to me, and I’m thankful to have been able to broaden my country music horizons throughout these experiences and the entire semester in this class. Now when I listen to country music I will be able to enjoy it even more!


Filed under Blog Post 5, Dancing, Movies and TV, Texas