Short career summary on Dave Dudley
Dave Dudley was an American country singer known for his several songs about trucks and truckers. A former baseball player, he was sidetracked to doing music after his arm was injured. He first appeared on the chart with “Maybe I Do” on the country chart during the 60 music scene. He would then attain a string of major country hits from then on until the 1970s including: “Six Days On The Road” (his signature song), “Cowboy Boots,” “Last Day In The Mines,” “Mad,” “Truck Drivin’ Son-of-a-Gun,” “What We’re Fighting Fore,” “There Ain’t No Easy Run” “George (And The North Woods),” “Please Let Me Prove (My Love For You),” “The Pool Shark,” “Comin’ Down,” “Fly Away Again,” among others. By the late 1970s, Dudley’s chart appeal began to wane, although he remained a strong concert draw. Dudley died of a heart attack at his home in Wisconsin, in 2003. He was 75. His songs will forever linger in the hearts of country and oldies music lovers.
Early life, sports and music career
American country singer-songwriter Dave Dudley was born David Darwin Pedruska in Spencer, Wisconsin on May 3, 1928. His initial ambition was to become a baseball player; he actually played as a semi-professional baseball player. However, after suffering an arm injury, he could no longer play the sport and so his solace turned to music.
Eventually, this hobby formed a new ambition in Dudley who now wanted to pursue a career in music. He was among the artists he cut records for the National Recording Corporation, with “Where’s There’s a Will” in 1959.
Dudley’s first charting single was “Maybe I Do” which landed at #28 peak position on the country singles chart in 1961.
Biggest hit with “Six Days on the Road”
Dudley’s achieved his biggest hit in 1963 with “Six Days on the Road,” written by Earl Greene and Carl “Peanut” Montgomery. Released on Golden Wing label, the single went to #32 on the Billboard Hot 100, #13 on the adult contemporary singles chart, and #2 on the country singles chart that year. “Six Days on the Road” garnered a million copies, and was awarde with a gold disc. A song about the lives, hardships and loneliness of country truck drivers. That paved the way for Dudley to eventually attain fame for his themes about country truck drivers.
Continued success on the country charts
In 1963 Dudley signed to Mercury Records, and at the end of the year he released his first single on Mercury, “Last Days in the Mines,” which peaked at #7 on the country singles chart (#125 pop).
While Dudley’s pop chart appeal beginning to wane, he continued to have success on the country singles charts well into then 1960s and 1970s, while still remaining on Mercury. He even had a streak of country Top 10 singles, proving how successful he still was in that field. These country hits include “Truck Drivin’ Son of Gun,” “What We’re Fighting For,” “Mad,” “Trucker’s Prayer,” “Anything Leaving Town,” “There Ain’t No Easy Run,” “George (And the North Woods),” “Please Let Me Prove (My Love for You),” “The Pool” (his only #1 hit on the country chart, or any chart for that matter), “Comin’ Down,” “Fly Away Again,” and many other minor country hits.
Into the 1980s Dudley continued to record, but only now sporadically. However, he remained a popular concert draw. Because of his of the sensitive and realistic portrayal of the country truck drivers in his songs, he was awarded with a solid gold membership to the “Nashville Teamsters Truck Drivers Union,” where he was also elected. His attempts to revive his career and reclaim the past glory on the charts turned out to be unsuccessful
Dudley died near Danbury, Wisconsin on December 22, 2003, after suffering a heart attack. During his lifetime and career, Dudley recorded over 70 albums.