This Country Artist Thanked Me For Interviewing Him
I heard the news Friday. Bill Fries had died at the age of 93. On the radio, we all knew him as C.W. McCall. His song "Convoy" was getting a little more airplay as thousands of the big rigs were headed to Washington D.C.
"Convoy" was number one for six weeks and sold two million copies. It also spawned an extremely hokie movie about truckers and a crooked cop starring Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, and Ernest Borgnine.
Mr. Fries was selling advertising and working on a jingle for The Old Home Bread Company. That jingle turned into "The Old Home Fill'er Up And Keep On A Truckin' Cafe".
Do most of his songs sound the same? Pretty much. But I will say that "Roses For Mama" is underrated. That one was very heart-felt.
One of my golf buddies actually went to see Mr. McCall when he opened up for Jerry Reed at Metrapark in March of 1976 here in Billings.
And I actually got to do a phone interview with him several years ago. He was excited because the Colorado Department Of Transportation had hired him to voice some public service announcements for them with snippets of his songs being used in each one. So radio stations had started playing his songs again.
He thanked me profusely at the end of the interview like I was doing him a favor instead of the other way around.
He then offered to buy me lunch if I ever found myself in Ouray, Colorado. He said, "I'm in the phone book. So, just give me a call".
"Keep the bugs off your glass and bears off your ...tail".