Music for the business of truckers

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Novelty songs are not usually the basis for a good movie but in 1978 the film Convoy actually proved this to be slightly untrue. An iconic film “Convoy” was made starring two of the seventies biggest stars Kris Kristofferson and Ali Mcgraw. It also featured the Oscar winning stalwart Ernest Borgnine and best of all it was directed by one of the greatest most influential Hollywood directors of the 1970’s Sam Peckinpah, the master of the counter cultural film. The film centres around a community of truck drivers that communicate by CB or Citizen band radio, it certainly was a different kind of Music for Business than that we are used to hearing in retail stores across the country today. At the time it was a popular system for drivers to tell each other where they were, if there were accidents that could cause them a delay and the position of the police. They even had a code so that if the Police or anyone else listened in (it was an open radio wave) they would not have the faintest idea what the truckers were talking about.

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The film itself centres around a feud between the independent truckers and the police. In particular this is “Rubber Duck” so named because it rhymes with luck. Widow Woman, a many times married and divorced/widowed female driver. Love Machine, or rather Pig Pen due to the fact he mainly transports cattle and Spider Mike. They become sick of the bullying and aggressive tactics of one Sheriff Wallace who seems to have a big issue with them, in part because Duck seems to find it easy to seduce his wife Violet, who is in turn happy to oblige.

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One of the strange facts about the film is it helped to save Peckinpah’s reputation by making a huge amount of money for him. His last four films had been unsuccessful, although 2, Cross of Iron and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (also starring Kristofferson) are are now considered some of his best creations. The film came at just the right time as late 70s USA tried to find its voice after the shock of the sixties. With the economy in the doldrums the States were begin to question their place in the world as a proper Superpower. The slight rebellion of this and other films such as Smokey and the Bandit and Breaker, Breaker allowed the States to believe that the Cowboy frontier spirit was still alive and well and that the chance to stand up to authority was still there in the country.

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