Howdy folks! If y’all are country music fans like me, you’ve probably noticed trucks are as common in country songs as dirt roads and blue jeans. I can’t think of many country artists who haven’t sung about their trusty pickup at some point!
As a Tennessee gal myself, I’ve had my fair share of memorable moments in pickup trucks – from my first tailgate party to cruising down backroads with my high school sweetheart. Trucks hold a special place in my heart, and I know most country fans feel the same.
So let’s chat about why pickup trucks are such a staple in country music and culture. We’ll stroll through some classic country lyrics about trucks, make a honky-tonkin’ pickup playlist, and discuss tailgate parties and more!
Trucks Are the Backbone of Rural America
For most country folks, a rugged pickup truck is a necessity for daily life and hard work. Trucks are built tough to handle rough terrain, haul heavy loads, and get through thick mud if needed. They’re the transportation lifeblood of farms, ranches, and rural communities across the heartland.
When you spend hours bumpin’ around dirt roads or using your truck bed for haulin’ hay and livestock, you can’t help but form a bond with your road companion. For country artists who value a rural lifestyle, trucks represent freedom, reliability, and fond memories over the miles.
Pickup trucks have been around since the early 1900s, but really revved up in the post-WWII era as rural Americans invested in new vehicles. Detroit auto companies started making trucks more comfortable and customized. By the 1950s, trucks became a cultural icon across small towns and gained more prestige.
Lyrical Tributes to Four-Wheel Drive
Flip on the radio and you’ll hear plenty of odes to pickup trucks by classic and current country stars. From Conway Twitty’s “The Man in the Pickup Truck” in 1983 to Luke Bryan’s “We Rode in Trucks” in 2017 – trucks remain a staple subject.
Let’s look at some quintessential lyrics about beloved pickup trucks:
“Now I got them pickup truck blues, Every time I look at you. Ya’ll know it’s hard on a country boy, When he can’t get them pickup truck blues.” – Garth Brooks, “Pickup Truck Blues”
Brooks captures the longing when you’re separated from your special truck. It tugs at the country soul!
“Four on the floor and a blacked out window, Me and my baby riding shotgun.” – Jason Aldean, “Big Green Tractor”
Aldean paints a romantic picture perfect for a country cruise.
“She thinks my tractor’s sexy, It really turns her on.” – Kenny Chesney, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”
Chesney adds some humor but trucks are undeniably attractive in the country world!
“Well it goes to show you never can tell, When a girl gets a Notion to honky tonk in a pickup truck.” – Barbara Mandrell, “He Was a Friend of Mine”
Barbara Mandrell nails the wild spirit of freedom that trucks represent.
The Pickup Playlist: Cranking Up Truck Tunes
Now let’s dive into a handpicked selection of classic and modern truckin’ tunes to create the ultimate pickup playlist:
“Drive My Truck” – Brooks & Dunn
“Pickup Man” – Joe Diffie
“Truck Yeah” – Tim McGraw
“Thank God I’m a Country Boy” – John Denver
“Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” – Big & Rich
“Cowboy Take Me Away” – Dixie Chicks
“Song About a Truck” – Brett Eldredge
“Truck” – Glen Campbell
“God Made Me Funky” – The Oak Ridge Boys
“International Harvester” – Craig Morgan
“Drive (For Daddy Gene)” – Alan Jackson
“Redneck Girl” – The Bellamy Brothers
“Chevy Truck” – Glen Campbell
“Truck Drivin’ Son of a Gun” – Dave Dudley
“Trucker Man” – Ed Bruce
That’s a real boot-stompin’ lineup of truckin’ classics and soon-to-be anthems. Be sure to roll down the windows and crank up these tunes on your next pickup ride!
Trucks Steal the Show in Music Videos
Beyond catchy lyrics, pickup trucks also play a starring role in many memorable country music videos.
Videos allow artists to showcase tricked out trucks, party in the truck bed, race down dirt roads, or get romantic in the cab. Fans love seeing their favorite stars behind the wheel of a sweet ride.
Some classic examples:
- Travis Tritt’s “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” shows two outlaws waving guns atop a pickup truck.
- Toby Keith sits proudly in the bed of a truck surrounded by the American flag in “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”
- Carrie Underwood drives recklessly to get over a breakup in “Before He Cheats.”
- Blake Shelton films his “Boys ‘Round Here” video in front of a weathered old pickup.
Trucks add extra country flair and fun on screen. And artists know highlighting their wheels endears them to truck-lovin’ fans.
Brand Partnerships Put Artists in the Driver’s Seat
Country music and the auto industry have always been intertwined, especially when it comes to rugged truck brands. Top stars rep certain makes and models through lucrative endorsement deals.
Garth Brooks famously drove and promoted Ford trucks in the 1990s. Tim McGraw partnered with Dodge Ram for years and mentioned their trucks in his hit songs. Luke Bryan even customized his own “Country On” brand trucks with Chevrolet.
Other key brand partnerships:
- Toby Keith -> Ford
- George Strait -> Chevy Silverado
- Florida Georgia Line -> Nitto Tires
- Blake Shelton -> Pizza Hut ( appeared in commercials driving a pickup)
These collaborations generate big money on both sides through co-branding. Fans see artists they can relate to backing brands that reflect the country lifestyle.
Truck Culture Extends Far Beyond the Stage
Pickup trucks go hand-in-hand with fun country pastimes like:
- Tailgate Parties: Spreading some blankets in the truck bed, firing up the grill, and getting the party started – tailgating is a time-honored tradition. Kenny Chesney even titled his 2018 album “Songs for the Saints and the Tailgate Community”.
- Mudding: Taking trucks off-road and into the mud just for thrills – a favorite weekend hobby in the south.
- Truck Pulls: Popular motorsport competitions to see which souped-up truck can pull a heavy sled the farthest – combining power with tricks.
- Camping: Road trips to campgrounds and national parks are made easy with pickup trucks to carry all the gear. Think John Denver singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Trucks are part of the fabric of country culture. Ask any country fan about some of their favorite truck memories – from first kisses in a tailgate to racking up miles on road trips – and they’ll have stories to share.
Concerts Where Trucks Share the Spotlight
When it comes to live shows, artists often incorporate trucks in creative ways as a treat for fans. The results lead to some memorable concert moments.
- In 2015, Luke Bryan literally burst through the stage in a massive jacked up truck to open his show – the pyrotechnics and engine roar blew fans away.
- Tim McGraw has given away custom trucks on stage to lucky fans, creating an unbelievable concert prize.
- Jason Aldean brought out trucks decked out in lights and shoulder-to-shoulder during his 2021 stadium tour for a patriotic moment.
- Zac Brown Band turned an old pickup into a bbq smoker and grilled steaks on stage – combining trucks, trucks, and trucks!
These kinds of stunts electrify crowds and remind everyone that trucks are the lifeblood of country music.
The Legend Lives On for New Generations
Even as waves of new artists emerge in country music, the trucking theme lives on. Up-and-comers know the importance of relating to rural working class fans.
Luke Combs often posts videos washing his Ford on social media. Morgan Wallen filmed his 2022 tour announcement from the bed of his Chevy. Lainey Wilson garnered attention with her camper truck named “Betty.”
And the wheel keeps turning. As long as country music aims to capture the modern rural experience, trucks will roll on as an iconic symbol.
Closing Thoughts from the Rodeo
Well folks, I think we’ve explored just about every mile of country music’s truck obsession! As a country girl myself, I smile every time I hear a new tune shouting out tailgates or mud tires. Trucks have so many memories wrapped up in them.
What are some of your favorite country truck songs or truck moments? Share your stories and let’s keep the truck talk rolling! If you need me, I’ll be out polishing my ol’ Ford before the next tailgate. Y’all keep it country!