The Swimming Pool
These persons have been positively identified as Crispy Critters, having been caught frolicking in the municipal pool:
What? You’re not on the list? Well, then, alleviate that oversight! Send a message to the Space Cadet, tell him who you are and what’s your 20, and he’ll update the list as soon as he gets his silver t-shirt back from the dry cleaners.
Warning! Any persons writing to us will be included in this list, because we’ll just have to assume that only a true fan of C.W. McCall would spend such quality time on penning a missive.
Jimmy Sams 2016-04-28
Julie Grizzle (Sammamish, Washington) 2016-01-06
Been a fan of CW McCall since the 70’s!!! My first CB radio had the drawing of him on the box. My Dad and I learned all the 10-code jargon to use when talking on it.
Never met Bill Fries but would love to. Had all the LP’s he had out back in the 70’s, and now I’m buying as much as I can on CD format. Even sent Bill a Christmas card this year when I came across his mailing address.
Love ya CW, a.k.a. Bill Fries!!!!!!!
Lloyd Fleig 2016-01-01
I’m a fan of C.W.: we met in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin many years ago after a performance at the fair. I sat around with Chip Davis and the rest of the band and had a beer or two.
Doug Rhine from Nebraska, now living in Australia. 2015-07-19
Love Bill Fries and his music; big fan. Thanks so much.
Nate Skarlupka (not too far from Madison, Wisconsin) 2014-02-14
I listened to my first C.W. McCall song, Convoy, a few years ago and ever since I’ve been hooked on all his songs. I’m 16 now and I know the lyrics to just about all of his greatest hits. I’ll always connect his songs with the trip I took out west a couple years ago (partly because I listened to them over and over on the way out there). It was really cool to listen to Jackson Hole while driving around Jackson Lake; I felt like I was in the song! I hope to learn some of his songs on the guitar. He’s a great storyteller, singer, and musician. He’s one of the favorite singers in our family!
B. C. Schmerker (Byron, California) 2013-09-10
Christopher Bay (West Hills, California) 2013-07-05
Greetings from suburban Shakytown (not too far from I-one-0)!
I became a C.W. McCall fan at about age twelve (1975). Legendary comedy/novelty radio DJ Dr. Demento played quite a few C.W. tracks on a fairly regular basis in the mid-to-late ’70s, except “Convoy” (which didn't really need Dr. D.’s help to become a hit, anyway). I had the 45s of “Convoy”/“Long Lonesome Road” and “Crispy Critters”/“Jackson Hole,” and remember wondering why “Jackson Hole” was relegated to the B-side of a single… I loved that song! My parents wouldn’t let me have a CB radio for Christmas, but even though I did get the “C.W. McCall’s Greatest Hits“ vinyl LP as a consolation prize, I’m still not over it!
I remember seeing C.W. lipsync/perform “Convoy” on “The Mike Douglas Show” and “The Rich Little Show” when they originally aired. I also saw him do “Aurora Borealis” on TV, but don’t remember which show it was (Merv Griffin, maybe?).
Nice to hear that Bill Fries is living the good life in Colorado. I wish a long and happy life to him, the music of C.W. McCall, and this website (and its creator)!
[Thank you! — Ed.]
Donn Osier (Bennington, Vermont) 2013-03-05
Donn says that he’s now known as Fox NorthStar, but all of his Rocky Mountain friends should recognize his old name.
Donn’s qualifications for Critterhood:
- Lived in Durango 1978-81
- Worked on the Silverton Train (same time frame)
- Been to Camp Bird Mine #2 (above Ouray)
- Met Bill at Telluride Blue Grass Festival (1979)
- Driven the Great Circle Route (tho not all at once but in segments)
- Lost the brakes in my 1955 Ford F-100 coming down Wolf Creek Pass (thank God it is a standard, and yes, I’m still driving it with Colorado plates VV-9075 and VT plates)
- Maybe one of the reasons the new law legalizing marijuana was passed in Colorada (another kind of Crispy Critter).
- A founding member of LaPlata County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team.
- Owns a Space Cadet T-shirt, it has Marvin the Martian on it.
Barry Wilson (Somewhere in Texas) 2012-04-01
Gary Davis 2012-03-01
I don’t know if this site is still active, but I just accidentally found it and would like to thank Roger Fisher for mentioning my show, The Chipeta Opry Show, in Ouray, Colorado. Sadly, my dear friend, Dale Noe has passed on (2004), as well as 1996 cast member, Shanna Rene (2009). Both are missed greatly.
I might add that C.W.’s San Juan Odyssey is currently being shown in my old theater in Ouray.
It is nice to be remembered, and though it was in 2008, the mention is greatly appreciated. I have a new YouTube video out, and you can view it at YouTube.
“… let freedom ring! …
Thank you so much for your site, and many thanks to Roger again…
Bill Heatley (Riverton, Wyoming) 2009-06-14
Just a note to Dawn that she’s not the last C. W. McCall fan left in Riverton, Wyoming; and a big HELLO to all the “Critters” out there.
James “Ghosthunter” Dauphinais (Nashua, New Hampshire) 2009-05-09
Please add me to of critters I have been a fan since I heard convoy. Not only that I have been around trucks all my life and have been driving for over 20-plus years. It was all those ’70s trucking/country songs that put me behind the wheel. One day I hope to meet C.W. in person,and thank him.
Dawn Short (Riverton, Wyoming) 2008-08-21
Greetings from Wonderful Wyoming!! My name is Dawn, and I reside in Riverton. I have been a fan of C.W.’s since the ’70s. I even had a collie named Sloan. I made sure my kids knew him, too. I love Mannheim Steamroller as well, and when I realized that Chip Davis was that Chip Davis, I was ecstatic!! Anyway, I e-mailed him, and asked which is scarier: that I know all the words to “Milton” or “Audobon”. Never got an answer, so I’m asking here! I’ve not yet made it to C.W.’s part of Colorado, but believe me, it’s on my list. It was a grand day when I stubled onto this site, as I thought I was the only C.W. fan left in the world. In fact, I was very offended when CMT dared call Toby Keith “the first country rapper”. I wrote them an e-mail saying, “Excuse me????? CW invented it!!!” Thanks for listening.
Roger Fisher (Somewhere in California) 2008-08-20
I miss C.W. and the San Juan Odyssey. Moved to California years ago… I used to really dig C.W.’s train setup at the house up on ole Historic Hill Street… Not only do I miss C.W., but I also miss the old Chipeta Opry gang (Dale Noe, Gary Davis, Rick Ryder) and of course the whole Clark family @ the 4J… I don’t miss running a mucking machine at the Greyhound mine ;) My back isn’t up for that kind of work anymore. Not only is C.W. brilliant; not only does Mannheim Steamroller rule; but the guy was also a great Mayor.
Marko, Sarah, Harley and Rowdy Pressler (Lodore Canyon, Colorado) 2008-07-13
Paul Rogers (Grand Island, Nebraska) 2008-06-30
I grew the in the southwestern part of Colorado (Bayfield, Durango) so, naturally, C.W. McCall was part of my proper upbringing. When my brother got his first dog he named it Frank (after the dog in “Classified”). Those of us who lived in that part of Colorado still loved “Wolf Creek Pass”, even though the song puts the tunnel (snow shed) on the wrong side of the pass (if you’re heading to Pagosa Springs, that is), and that the Feed Store (mentioned at the end of the song) was actually a sandwich shop.
I’ve driven most of the passes mentioned in C.W.’s songs (Wolf Creek, etc.) and I know where the Riverside Slide is on Red Mountain. Beautiful memories of my childhood.
Now, I’m living in Nebraska, about 1 mile south of “Old 30” and have reason to smile when I hear some of the references that are more particular to this state (as in “Four Wheel Drive”, “Old 30”).
Whenever I need a smile or just want to experience some nostalgia, I put on some C.W. McCall and let my mind drift on back.
Love the website. Can’t believe I never thought to look for it before.
Darrel Mollenhour (Tumwater, Washington) 2008-05-25
And here I thought I was the only one who was still crazy about C.W. McCall all these years later. Finding the web site was a serious blessing for me. I had heard one time of a connection between C.W. McCall, Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller — my understanding was that Chip was the person that was both — now I know the truth!!! I truly love both the C.W. McCall stuff and Mannheim Steamroller (especially the Christmas album: I play it all year round).
I discovered “Convoy” in high school (graduated in 1981) and listened so much I could sing the songs without the the tape playing. Convoy is wonderful; Wolf Creek Pass is hilarious: especially “took that top row of chickens of slicker than the scum off a Louisiana swamp”; “Classified” is a hoot; “Roses for Mama” brings me to tears every time; and, “There Won’t Be No Country Music” stands my hair on end.
I have never been a trucker, though have daydreamed about it, rode with the father of a girlfriend and have a buddy that was (now he does trains: The Silverton) — but I understand the story behind most of the lyrics and miss my CB days. In fact my little 2nd hand 13-channel saved my bacon a couple of times.
My old cassette tape is way worn out… need to get some new on CD.
In closing; thanks for the great web site, all the real information that I had no clue of and pass along my prayer for good health for Bill and Chip and my plea that they would do some more.
Terry ”Critch” Crihfield (Poplar Bluff, Missouri) 2008-04-30
Just a big Thank You! for the music and the memories. I was in the USAF in Wyoming and Colorado from ’72 to ’76 and C.W. McCall was big out there. I made a trip to Wolf Creek Pass one time just to see it. I’m still listening to the tunes.
John Steen (Brookings, South Dakota) 2008-04-27
I was in middle school when the Old Home Bread commercials graced our airwaves in Brookings, South Dakota, sponsoring our daily TV weather forecast; the love affair started then. Still alive today after meeting Chip Davis and his dad several times but never having the pleasure of meeting Mister Fries.
In 1990, I received a video tape from Meta Baking Company containing the full length features of several of the forgotten Old Home commercials as well as commentary from Bill Fries as this tape was a sales training tool for Metz. The tape was produced at KMTV in Omaha. Gotta love the white shoes and wide collar shirt Bill wore! “Old 30” and “The Silverton” rank at the top of my favorites.
Rich Jenkinson (Yorkshire, UK) 2008-04-20
I have wonderful childhood memories of listening to “Black Bear Road” (on vinyl) in the dark with my dad. Finally got my act together and used the wonders of the Tinternet to source a “Best of…” CD from the USA, which is now on my iPod. Can’t find the actual Black Bear Road album on CD, though.
The lyrics are outstanding (one of my favourite lines being about Iowa being so dog-goned hot, I had to wet the bed in the summer just to keep cool) and music brilliant. Now looking forward to my first Road Trip with C.W. on the hifi. Would love to make it to America to see the landmarks in the songs one day… Also need to learn CB-speak (and find someone to talk back at me…)
I was 11 or 12 when ”Convoy” hit but for me “Silverton” and most especially “Old 30” are the songs that really count. I am a truck brat who has now on her own been in this crazy business for 26 years and my memories of my dad and many friends from my childhood talking about all of 30 mean everything to me. I tell my husband often I gotta run old 30 one more time. On the road I am know as lacy and I will always love these songs part of my life, part of the business I love. In other words part of me :)
Kev Page (Bristol, UK) 2008-03-24
…my Dad took us from the UK to Mexico for a year in 1977, and amongst the things he bought out there was Black Bear Road. Then “Convoy” came out and that cassette became my favourite, I played it to death. The lyrics were outstanding, the banjo was incredible, and the songs were epic.
“Green River” gave me goosebumps; those ghostly cries and the shouts of the rafters…
I found myself singing “Mountains on My Mind” on nearly every long journey; “Write Me a Song” sounded weirdly like Lee Majors doing the Fall Guy theme but it was a good song; “play it in the key of me” was a lovely line.
“Ghost Town” was complete with spooky piano at the end; “Oregon Trail” raced along a tragic tale with hope and vigour. “Lewis and Clark” gave me new words (Herbicide lol) and the line “Willard’s hairy hands applied the cuffs” as well as the wonderfully subtle “Show us your identification” to twenty-eight naked swingers.
I played it in my car for years, despite my other musical interests being strictly heaby metal and hard rock; for years, C.W. McCall was the only Country music I saw as interesting. Since then, I’ve found Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson among others, but it was finding other work by C.W. McCall that really made my day.
After around fifteen years wearing out Black Bear Road, I had new tunes (to me) like “Wolf Creek Pass”, “There Won't Be No Country Music”, “Crispy Critters” (love “get the flit gun”) and “Old Home Filler-Up and Keep on A-Truckin’ Café”. I am very glad to see Bill is still alive and wish him well; his warm tones and splendid character have made a lot of the miles I’ve travelled go easier than they could have.
My Honeymoon is a 6 month trip around the USA and Canada, going north to Alaska and back across to New York. Colorado is on the route, and although I won’t be taking my chances with Black Bear Road I’ll definitely be going through Wolf Creek Pass, looking at Telluride and Durango and even driving some of the “Convoy” route; all with C.W. McCall reverberating around the cockpit of whatever old car we end up buying for the trip. :)
Michael Lex (Arizona) 2008-03-01
Been a Crispy Critter for such long time the hair is all but gone; using Turtle Wax buffer. Originally from Pennsylvania, now Arizona, and my dad keeps telling me about Wolf Creek Pass way and the Riverside Slide and when I was a kid I just thought they were made-up places. “You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road but it helps.”
Charlie Kindlesparger (a.k.a. SparkyGMG3) (Womack, Missouri) 2008-02-20
Yep, crazy things I have done. Travelled ’round… well halfway ’round the world for Uncle Sam. Always had my C.W. McCall with me. A Navy buddy and me used to play his songs onboard ship. Both guitar players. Climbed a hill in Corsica and we were playing “Wolf Creek Pass” overlooking the sea. Yeah, typical “high” on the rocks. Still have two 45s in decent shape. Had LPs, but were stolen. Lucky to have orginal 45s in original packaging. Just came upon this web-site while looking for recording of Zoot Fenster's “Man on page 602“. Still have my old CB and recently on a job in Colorado took it with me. Not the same as the old days but was handy for road conditions. Keep on Truckin’.
Jim Baron (Landscheid, Germany) 2008-02-13
I’ve been a fan since the ’70s. The first time I heard “Wolf Creek Pass” was as I was learning how to drive a cattle truck in Central California. Imagine how funny it was when the custom shift knob (not Chromium-Plated-Fully-Illuminated) fell off in my hand while shifting from 3rd to 4th gear.
There are so many songs, with so many memories and emotions that I could spend the next few hours writing. From songs to make you laugh, like “Crispy Critters”, “Black Bear Road” or “Classified”, to songs that make you sit back and think (or even cry) like “Roses for Mama”, “There Won’t Be No Country Music” or “Aurora Borealis”; there is something for everyone.
I truly thank Bill Fries and Chip Davis for creating C.W. McCall: The American Legend. I just wish there was more to come.
Jerry Long (Leon, Kansas) 2008-01-24
I was 16 years old when “Convoy” came out, but the song “Silverton” inspired me to take a trek through the words of the song. He has touched many lives, C.W. McCall will never be forgotten.
Karen (Lewistown, Pennsylvania) 2008-01-20
I been a critter fer years. Wore out up my original old eight track years ago keepin my five kids singin in the backseat traveling all over this country. They got so they knew which song would be next. They loved Wolf Creek Pass the best. Now introducing the grandkids to it all.
Derek Connally (Rockwall, Texas) 2008-01-16
I’m originally from Florissant, Colorado where I grew up listening to C.W. McCall and enjoying the great outdoors of Colorado in the early 1980s. I’m desperately trying to get back home where I belong and C.W. McCall helps me calm down when I really feel far away from home. I have most of his songs memorized and drive my wife crazy with them, so I pretty much have to listen to them on my own. I have a Jeep Rubicon which really doesn’t feel at home in Texas (yes, it tells me so; we talk often). I have been over several of the trails in Colorado that he sings about and it’s always fun to listen to him while on the trail. I wish he would keep writing tunes forever. No one has filled his shoes and there is a vacuum in the story telling business. God bless you Bill Fries and thank you for the memories.
Russ Howe (Mesa, Arizona) 2008-01-15
Howdy I’m Russ Howe in Mesa, Arizona and I am definitely a critter!
Been a C.W. fan since I first heard “Convoy” and still have some stuff on my MP3 player to this day.
Funny story: my first wife (rest her soul) would not believe, until I showed her two albums side by side listing the artists, that C.W. (which she hated) and one of her favorite groups (Mannheim Steamroller) were, essentially the same group! After I showed her that, she didn’t whine as much when I stuck Wilderness in the old truck cassette player as we headed out for one of our camping trips.
Fred Bennett (Yankton, South Dakota) 2008-01-03
(Nominated by his ol’ lady, Danielle.)
I’m already signed up as a Critter but I would like to formally nominate my ol’ man, Fred Bennett, as a Critter By Default — and/or some serious late-night-driving-through-Kansas-while-he’s-in-the-sleeper-subliminal-indoctrination. He hadn’t been introduced to the wonderment that is C.W. McCall until we met and began driving a truck together as a team; and within months he found he could sing along to the entire song “Classified” despite having never actually listened to my CDs during his driving shift.
He is a lot like me, taking pleasure in the sheer joy that can only be found while driving an 18-wheeler while listening to a song written about driving 18-wheelers, especially when we’re driving right through the places the songs are talking about.
I am still waiting for the day when I have an excuse to go over Wolf Creek Pass in my truck; I have done it in a car but not yet in a truck.
Billie C (“currently Vicksburg, Mississippi… can be anywhere by this time next week, God willing”) 2008-01-01
Well, man, did I luck out. Here, for years, I was told that C.W was dead (too bad my source is dead or I’d be able to tell her otherwise) and that he lives in a very, very nice piece of the country: Colorado, western Rockies. From the Silverton to the Oregon Trail. The music speaks of our country. I wish we had more music that told of the land and her peoples. Bill, Chip: you boys knew just what you were doing. Time for more, please!
Mark E. “Big Red” Nichols (Greenville, Mississippi) 2007-12-13
I’ve been a C.W. McCall fan for many years and that’s not about to change. I’d be an even bigger fan if the early albums would be reissued in CD format.
John Colle Rogers (Oakland, California) 2007-12-09
Hey there, I have been checking on your website off and on for years now, and have been thoroughly warmed and entertained by your humor and devotion to Bill and Chip and what they created. Thanks!
I’m 38, and i’ve been listening to C.W. since I was about 7, so the damage is pretty well done. I am an artist and a blacksmith working out of Oakland, California, and I recently had a show that I dedicated to the C.W. phenomenon.
Up until recently I thought the line in the chorus of “There Won’t Be No Country Music…” was:
I thought Wahoos were like Manitous, or Windigo — Native American mythical creatures. So I decided to make some Wahoos for a gallery show that is up now (in Oakland). My Wahoos are a cross between a banjo, a laser-guided bomb, and a pterodactyl. Made of steel. With 19 foot wing spans. Yup. They’re big. And they’re still Wahoos.
So imagine my confusion when I googled “wahoo”, and all I came up with were pictures of big fish, the controversy surrounding the Atlanta Braves use of “Wahoo” as a “war cry”, and stories about WWF wrestler Chief Wahoo MacDaniels. Hmmm, so I go to the Fountain of Knowledge, and sure enough your lyric page says “wild goose”. Now who is the silly goose?
Just thought you would get a kick out of that, and maybe publish some images of them in the off chance that Mr. Fries might see what his words tangentially inspired so many years later. That song still sends a chill down my spine, and is very resonant in light of our recent oil spill here in the bay. In fact, the emotional impact of that song has made me more mindful of the frailty of the environment over the years.
I’m sure that you appreciate the precious quality of Mr Fries’ lyrics that shines through the stomping banjo and the silly turns of phrase, and it is to that “compassionate country” and his devotion to the environment that I dedicate this show.
Images of the wahoos are at my friend John Casey’s blog, at the bottom of the page, and gallery hours and info are at 21 Grand.
Duane Tewinkel (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) 2007-12-10
First heard the the music in Texas (Fort Worth) and later in Omaha. I drove passed Metz Bakery numerous times. Saw Convoy at least twice. I currently live in Sioux Falls SD so I am not all that far away from the Old Home stomping grounds.
Jozee Parrish (Youngstown, Ohio) 2007-12-03
I want to be included too. I have been a fan since I was in high school. But according to all of the other Critters profiles I am a newbie. I am only 22, so C.W. was before my time — so to speak — but I have always been a fan of the old-school truckers driving Chevys and Macks with big ol’ stacks. I was a truck driver and the first truck that I drove was an old Mack R-model like the Rubber Duck. I am so interested in all that C.W. did and all that he might do in the future; it just so cool that there is a place that people like us can get together and talk about the things that we love. This is the Rubber Duck on the side; we gone, bye bye.
Ruth Kauffmann (McAlisterville, Pennsylvania) 2007-11-11
Been a fan since the ’70s. Been to Ouray at least 6 times, saw the San Juan O. and met Bill, had my picture taken with him. A real exciting day. He’s special!
Jim Rowe (Lake, Michigan) 2007-11-04
Paul Johnson (Snohomish, Washington) (2007-10-22)
I was using Microsoft Streets and Trips to plan this summer’s motorcycle excursion. I always program it to ignore the superslab. I will be traveling from Washington to Minnesota to the Grand Canyon, and back to Washington. As I was perusing the proposed route, I saw two words that forced me to immediately pick up the phone, and call my son: “Pagosa Springs”.
I discovered C.W. in the ’70s, bought every album, and fell in love with “There Won’t Be No Country Music”. As time went on, I only played the music in my head as my wife didn’t like “that stupid old stuff”.
The wife is now gone (“Thank God and Greyhound”) and my son grown. Two years ago he stopped by the house and said he had a CD he just had to let me hear, because it was the greatest thing ever. It was C.W.’s Greatest Hits. I amazed him by reciting (without error) “Classified”. Not only am I a Crispy Critter, but I inadvertently raised a Crispy Critter as well!
I can’t wait for this summer’s ride!
Owen Fraley (2007-10-13)
Matt “Elmer Fudd” Cesare (Millinocket, Maine)
Matt “Big Bad Wolf” Kodadek (Vining, Minnesota)
Dan “Flatwater” Schildhauer
Brian Taylor (Harvey, Western Australia)
Been a fan since Convoy and There Won’t Be No Country Music…
I actually became a critter a few years ago, but my name’s gone from the list! What happened? [Well, there was this break-in at the office… — Ed.]
I belong to Community Radio Station down in the South West and do a morning show once a week. C.W. gets played on my show. Mind you, the tape’s getting a bit fragile now.
Mike Mullay (Maple Valley, Washington)
Yup, I am most definitely a Critter too. I first heard “Convoy” on my old Buick’s AM-only radio back in early 1976. I started buying C.W.’s albums almost immediately. I have every record he ever produced. Yes, still on vinyl LP’s. I also acquired a cassette of Wolf Creek Pass sometime in the early 1980s and most recently discovered and purchased two different C.W. McCall greatest hits CDs from Ebay. And oh yes, back during the CB craze “Convoy” set off I had a red Chevy Stepside truck with a 4-speed, and of course a C.B. radio with an eight-foot steel whip antenna mounted on the left rear fender.
I am such a Critter I can still recite most of the lyrics from “Classified”, “Black Bear Road”, “Wolf Creek Pass”, and of course “Crispy Critters”!
A C.W. McCall fan from the gitgo!
Ed (I’m not a real Boulderite, honest!) Myers (Boulder, Colorado)
Henry Wheeler (Rochester, Minnesota)
Dustin Strong (Upton, Wyoming)
Donald Randolph (Scottsdale, Arizona; formerly about 120 miles NE of Omaha).
The Original Bobbi McGee (Phoenix, Arizona)
I’m a critter! I didn’t even know it!
I am the original Bobbi McGee. I know Larry Kirchmar, the man who designed and made C.W.’s belt buckle that is featured on a few of his websites, and is the back of one of his albums. I’m not sure which album. [Actually, it’s on the front of “Rubber Duck”. — Ed.]
I lub CW. We had a trivia contestthe other day at work to see who knew the opening words to Convoy… of course I won! “It was the dark of the moon on the 6th of June… “
Larry Kirchmar (Canon City, Colorado) [Suggested by Bobbi McGee. See the previous entry. — Ed.]
Viki McKinney (Longmont, Colorado)
Dusty Joe Butterfield (Iron Mountain, Michigan)
James Oiler (Rio Grande, Ohio)
Darrel Johnson (Austin, Texas)
Victor Huntrods Brown (currently enjoying the radio show discs in Louth, Lincolnshire, England.)
Joey Only (currently in Vancouver, British Columbia)
Howdy from Canada eh. I am young radical folk singing country punk Joey Only. I got my own rockin band of outlaws and we is playing a lots around Canada… mostly in British Columbia and Alberta as a band, but I played coast to coast over the years. I discovered Black Bear Road for $1 at a record store and thought it looked like gold and took it home. What I listened to blew my mind, but unfortunately the “Convoy” side was scratched.
I already had a Truckin’ album with “Convoy” on it before this, but Bill Fries was not the singer. I started using Lewis & Clarke on my Co-op Radio show as a theme song for a while. The more I listened to C.W. McCall the more I grew curious. I downloaded a bunch of songs off the net and got to be a bigger fan.
I been known for years as the guy who sings Johnny Cash and rare old rebellious country, ’cause I got that kinda deep voice and am a little wild. Now I’m thinking I want to sing C.W. McCall, and make that one of my gimmicks. Make me a fan club member, I wouldn’t join just any club… I’m hooked!
Jennifer “Little Cricket” Stentz (Galloway, Ohio)
Darren Willis (Gothenburg, Nebraska)
Jason Craddock (Duncanville, Texas) “Black Bear Road was the only 8-track my grandparents would let me listen to. In fact, I still have it, but I don’t have an 8 track player. Weird, huh?”
Rocky Casey (Snyder, Texas). “Been listenin’ to C.W. since I was 10. Still wanna see Black Bear Road fer myself.”
Jan Houghtaling (Doland, South Dakota)
Tom Agnew (location unknown; but he’s the son of Ron Agnew, one of Bill’s collaborators.)
Kain Kane (New Caney, Texas)
Keith Barr (Frederick, Colorado)
Stewart Schley (Engelwood, Colorado)
Jason Losh (New York City, New York)
Scott Pitts (Yerington, Nevada)
Bob Sandmann (Fort Worth, Texas)
Jimmy Silver (Spokane, Idaho)
Gary Davis (Bountiful, Utah)
Iva Hysjulien (Stanley, North Dakota)
Chuck McCall (no relation to C.W.)
Barbara Balkwill (Cambridge, Massachusetts, or somewhere nearby)
I’ve been a critter since the ’70s but didn’t know ’til now that I wasn’t the only one. I just happened to hear a C.W. McCall song on the radio (streaming a Tennessee country station on the computer) and decided to google!
I have two albums, and tried really hard to turn my husband on to them, but he’s a metal head and doesn’t have time for country. Maybe if I tied him to a chair and make him listen to the words…
Anyway, thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!
Terry Huckleberry (Meadville, Pennsylvania)
Mike (Fort Pierce, Florida)
James “Storyteller” Pritchett (Honolulu, Hawai’i)
In the early 90’s I was a late nite DJ for the only country station in Honolulu (yep). One nite I took it into my head to track C.W. down and get an interview. Well, I did just that. A phone conversation later, I sent a list of questions and times. We did the interview over the phone. I was worried about getting enough from “C.W.” to fill an hour. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. By the time I got off we had enough to fill 2+ hours. The program director gave me a pretty free rein and we added music and stuff and shortly we aired “Storyteller talks with C W McCall”. I still have a copy of the show and copies of the promos he did for all the DJs. All I can say is he is truly one of the nicest guys it has been my pleasure to associate with.
John (New York)
James Herring (Boonville, Missouri)
Pony Horton (Lancaster, California)
I had the honor of forming a “phone friendship” with Bill Fries “C.W. McCall” in the mid-1980’s. I am a huge fan of his music, as well as Fresh Aire by Chip Davis. Back in high school, in the mid-70’s, I used to entertain our drama class with renditions of his songs onstage for weekly grades, including Crispy Critters, Aurora Borealis, Wolf Creek Pass, etc.
I am also a fine artist, mostly landscapes and matte paintings for movies, and am thrilled that Bill has one of my paintings, based on Ghost Town, in his possession. At least, I think he still has it.
In my travels around the U.S., I have visited many of the places he mentions in his songs, including Audubon, Iowa, Sloan, Iowa, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and a few others.
His music is nothing short of inspirational. I am definitely an aging Hippie Crispy Critter.
Peter Brace (Australia)
I teach Truck Driving in Australia and this movie is my all time favourite. I watch it at least once a month and have a tattoo of the duck on my arm.
Lonnie Engel (Phoenix, Arizona)
I have been a C.W. McCall fan since I was 13 years old. In 1976 I bought my first “Convoy” 45 RPM for $1.00 at Smitty’s and got to see him in concert at the Maricopa County Fair in 1977. I even got the honor to shake his hand at the autographing after his concert.
Brothers Brad and Darryl Price (Emerald, Queensland, Australia)
Bob and Ann Cooper (Pendleton, Oregon)
Sylvia Withrow (Sheldon, Texas)
Sam Rogers (Somewhere in Southern Utah)
Jim Scott (Anchorage, Alaska)
Kenny (Big K) Williams (Mooresburg, Tennessee)
Emerson “Billy Bob” Schenck (Owner of Diamond K Enterprises, A Good ’Ol Boy Trucking Company; Herald, California)
Roy Shuler (Charlotte, North Carolina)
George Slade (Texas now, but originally from Northeast Colorado. A little town called Merino about 50 miles from where CW and Earl picked up that load of chickens.)
Mike White (Excelsior Springs, Missouri)
Dan Pignotti (Post Falls, Idaho)
Kim Russell (Shelton, Washington) “I raised my kids on CW. It was even a good geography lesson for them.”
Dan Cole (Bellefonte, Pennsylvania)
Terry “Muskrat” Simmerman (Mount Vernon, Ohio)
Kevin “Little Moonraker” Sprague (Grew up in Audobon and knows all the places Bill mentions about Iowa in his songs)
Michael H. Streuly, a.k.a. “The Downhill Racer” (Sherman Oaks, California)
Jim Felmlee (lives 30 miles from Wolf Creek Pass)
Connie L. Squires, Five Petal River Walker (Independence, Missouri)
Lance Gibson (San Diego, California)
Randy Johnson (Wenatchee, Washington — A ‘Silver Iodide’ Dude!)
Ray Grossman (Somewhere in Iraq, at the moment)
Michael Mohrmann (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Kim D. Mower & Sons (Washington)
Dan, a.k.a “Hollywood” (Somewhere in Iowa)
Thomas Hill (Sedalia, Colorado. “Colorado Country Boy.”)
Ted Johnson (Meridian, Idaho)
Walt Perez, a.k.a. “Herbie Popnecker” (“I only do Crispy Critters on weekends.”)
Nigel Hart (United Kingdom)
Patty Shanley (“I love the site. I wish I would have found it along time ago.”) (Strange. I didn’t know that it was lost. — Ed.)
Michael Harrison (Brigham City, Utah. On the subject of the Music City, U.S.A. discs : “This is a real bargain. Do you even make a profit off this? Thanks in advance for the stuff, ‘good buddy’!”)
Francine Ludtke (“Been a CW McCall fan for years. Wore out the albums and the turntable.”)
Rio Bigg (Just named his new horse “Sloan”.)
Sara Saunders (Oney, Oklahoma; “Raised on McCall music.”)
Brad and Ramona Owens (Lexington, Tennessee; “We ain’t agonna pay no toll!”)
Sheepdog (Vancouver, Washington)
Eddie Kaylor (North Brunswick, New Jersey; Still waiting for that convoy to hit the Jersey shore.)
Jason W. VanDenburg (Albuquerque, NM)
Mike Duncan (Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada)
Clay Nelson (Payson, Utah)
Chris Rahm (Denver, Colorado)
Rick Uhlenkott, Master Model Railroader (Nampa, Idaho)
SatansSweetSister (rode Wolf Creek Pass on a Harley, during a storm)
Darryl Bamsey (Essex, England)
Ron Sparks, a.k.a Sanity Challenged
Chris Neal (Glendale, Arizona; diehard C.W. McCall fan)
Mike Madonna (Arnold, Missouri)
Eric Warren (West Frankfort, Illinois; drives girlfriend nuts listening to C.W.)
Russell Ramsey (Liberty Hill, Texas; gonna get himself a Rubber Duck hood ornament for his rig)
Bill and Jill Flynn (Sioux City, Iowa)
Chris Guenther (Arvada, Colorado)
Alex Burr (C.W. kept him company, while he ran ’shine from Mississippi to Tennessee.)
Danielle Clynes (Pensacola, Florida; “I’m going to name my next dog ‘Sloan’ if that counts for anything.”)
Pade Albin (very insistent)
John Parker (Chestertown, New York; Space Cadet wannabee)
Linda & Richard Cutrer (Corsicana, Texas; any similarity to T. Tommy is not a coincidence)
Marc Inglis (another U.K. critter!)
Terry Price (Petty officer, Canadian Navy)
Sean Kinkade (Apopka, Florida)
Dave and Alice Hanson (Terre Haute, Indiana)
Lois Bee (Dufftown, Scotland)
Ellen Geertsema (Zeist, The Netherlands)
Chris Starks (Milan, Pennsylvania)
Tom Wirth (Telluride, Colorado; which is fifty miles away by way of the regular highway)
P. Chevé (France)
Red Kilby (Pueblo, Colorado), Locomotive Engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad and country music entertainer
Chris Starks (Milan, Pennsylvania)
Bethe Price (Irving, Texas)
Rick Brash (Calgary, Canada, eh)
Tracy Royse (Lexington, Kentucky)
D.W. Daggett (Frazee, Minnesota)
Frank Reibe (Meckenheim-Merl, Germany)
Rob Muirhead (C.W. McCall Rules!)
Paul Wroblewski (Perth, Western Australia)
Mark Landis (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Walter Pickett (Tucson, Arizona)
Ionel Mierla (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) and the entire Mckimmie family
Jeff Davis (Lexington, Kentucky and Caanan Valley, West Virginia)
Gary Peterson from O-Town, and the only Critter who actually sent a resume for the position
Jim Darner from O-Town
Ted Currens (has Black Bear Road on 8-track!)
L.J. Miller (Portland, Oregon)
Tom DeMeuse & Son (somewhere near Madison, Wisconsin)
J D Hannel (still standing)
Paul “Scared Coyote” and Linda “School Ma’arm” Davis (Abilene, Texas) & Donna “Comanche Princess” Davis (Iola, Kansas, waiting for T.J.), all of whom are related to T.J. “Comanche Warrior” Davis (Dad Paul, stepmom Linda, and wife Donna)
Darlene Brown (Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania; a.k.a. Fawn (formerly of Gillette, Wyoming))
Tracy Gaston (Rossiter, Pennsylvania)
Alan Robson (U.K. critter!)
Christopher J. Hunt, Attorney at Law (Miami, Florida)
Jeff DeMeuse (Algoma, Wisconsin)
Gene “TA” Green
archy Halterman from Memphis with his banjo on his motorbike
Brenda Bonewell & Ouray (Ouray’s the dog)
Dave “Icebreaker” Stockton (Cheshire, United Kingdom)
Dave, Janet and Vance Vinduska (Kansas City, Kansas)
Sean Hersey (Kissimmee, Florida)
John Rhodes (Atlanta, Georgia)
Neal “Fighting Kentuckian” Wedding III (Covington, Kentucky; friend of T.J. Davis)
Mitch “Dewdad” Ryan (likes singing “Convoy” in Karaoke)
Logan Melton (the original “Polecat”)
Big Jerry’s Truckstop
Edwin Buckner, who seems to be working for the government
Damon “Nomad” Crowe
J.T. “Wore out my eight-tracks” Barber
Dave Summers, scientifiction writer
J. R. Teeter
Tony “SlammerJammer” Minton of Garland, Texas
The Hendrickson Six (Jeff, Starla, Samantha, Tanner, Shayna, and Thad)
Fred (IM12) Moseley
Fredie Vinson (yeah, just one ‘d’) (He saw C.W. at Knotts Berry Farm)
Dustin “Howdy” Howard
John from South Jersey (Droppin’ The Hammer)
Scott “Turned around too soon” Cokeley
Doug Mills (Hunter, Utah) (“My wife says I have warped the childrens’ minds with C.W. McCall music.”)
Todd K. Frazier & family: Leslie, Hannah, Holly, and Heather (Seattle, Washington)
Scott “Swamphunter” Buehler (West Springfield, PA)
Jan Asle Sele
T A (Alan) Chafin
Mike (The Impaler) Madonna
Carlos Werner Heinzelmann
Jim Alexander (a.k.a. The Great Pretender)
Jack ‘Frost’ Taylor
Jay San Pierre
Dr. Jeremy D. Burns
Kenton ‘Snowman’ Young
Mark L. Evans
Bob “I drove all the way from Albuquerque for this?” Norton
Jerry D. Allhands
Catherine Di Pietro
(Graeme Aldous was mentioned here a second time, but we removed that duplicate entry)
T.J. “Comanche Warrior” Davis (from Abilene, Texas)
Scary Sherri Skahill from Mt. Airy, Maryland
Tracy (on hiatus; hurry back!)
Wes, Ann, Anna, and Andrew Northcutt (a family of Critters!)
Geoff Newman, Telisha Newman, Dallas “Gooba” Newman, Edgar “Slinky” Newman, Cody “Boogie” Newman, Aspen “Cakes” Newman.
The Jordan Boys: John, Trahern and Patrick
David Frederick (World’s Greatest Convoy Fan)
Doug Burrell (Old Bridge, NJ & Ouray, CO)
Jeff Burrell (singing C.W. before he could talk!)
Doug Pierce and Curtis Pierce
Rick Brash (Canadian, eh)
Ray Wheeler (he fit in)
Sammy Tomasello (City Hick)
Bryan McGinnis, Jr.
Janine Funk (I wanna be a critter! I wanna be a critter!)
Larry Ashbrook (Dallas, Texas)
Jon Roberts (UK Critter)
Mike Nicolen & The Lost Sidemen
Robert Knight (Li’l KnightRider, Apopka, Florida)
Joseph K. Horn, collector of poetry
Matt Boatright (Denton, TX)