Those of us in the trucking industry know that truck drivers are truly the Rock Stars of the Road. But did you know that the King of Rock and Roll started out as a truck driver too? Elvis Presley; Yes, the guitar playing, dancing, hair-loving Elvis Presley took to the road after high school.
Elvis Presley graduated high school in 1953 and followed his father’s footsteps, who was also a truck driver. Elvis began driving a truck for Crown Electric in June of 1954 and even adopted his now-famous hairstyle that summer. The voluminous slicked back hairdo was the most popular among the truck drivers at that time. As you may have guessed, the truck Elvis was driving in 1954 is nothing compared to the big-rigs that are being driven today. His truck was a small two-door Chevrolet that was only a little longer than the typical pickup truck we see in 2019. Even though Elvis embraced his new job, he always knew music was the way he wanted to go.
He always kept music on his mind. Elvis filled his downtime on the road by writing poems and song lyrics. He even hand scratched his favorite radio stations into the dashboard of the truck so he would never go anywhere without his favorite songs.
The very summer Elvis started his truck driving career, he attempted his shot to get into the music industry. One night in the summer of 1954, Elvis sang in front of music industry veteran Eddie Bond. Flash forward to today, and we all recognize Elvis Presley as one of the greatest rock and roll artists of all time. However, that was not the case in 1954. Eddie Bond told Elvis, “Stick to driving a truck, you’ll never make it as a singer.”
We all know Elvis did not, “Stick to driving a truck,” and went on to be one of the biggest celebrities in music, but the fame did not keep Elvis away from his truck. He kept the very truck he drove for Crown Electric as his getaway car even after he was famous. Elvis would throw on a ball cap and hop in the beat-up, old Chevy to bypass the crowds of people surrounding his house. He would run errands, go see friends, or just go for a drive. His truck was his haven. His quiet time. And his sense of peace. Many truck drivers today can surely relate.
As National Truck Driver Appreciation Week gets underway, we want to take this moment not only to appreciate how the King of Rock and Roll got his start but to celebrate you. Truck drivers today keep America moving and our country would not be the same without you. We greatly thank you for your dedication and service to the industry, and we hope your career as a truck driver will always be a part of who you are; just like Elvis.