The Legend-News

Wednesday, 2001 June 6 : Volume 4, Number 12

What We Got Here

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, This Is Dumb, Dumb, Dumb: yeah, Japan can get The Motion Picture CONVOY on DVD, but here in the Land of the 18-Wheeler? Fugeddaboutit; Letters, We Get Letters: the Unknown Fan sent us a lot of good readin'; The Old Home Café provides the proof about a previously unsubstantiated statement; and, as if you couldn't figure it out, the Song A’ Th’ Week is "Convoy".

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, This Is Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

Arizona, noon, on the seventh of June David Frederick, the World's Greatest CONVOY Fan and the maintainer of CONVOY The Motion Picture Web Site, informs us that his efforts to get MGM to re-release The Motion Picture CONVOY have not been frutiful so far. Recently, he received a reply from MGM Home Entertainment, the company that would be responsible for the release.

Dear David:

Thank you for your interest in the movie Convoy and your desire to see it released on DVD. We have forwarded your email…to our appropriate internal departments for review. Please understand that while consumer interest is certainly one of the factors that goes into determining whether a film is released on video, there are many other factors that figure into making this decision. We can appreciate the enthusiasm and efforts you have put into this endeavor, but must reiterate that at this time this title is not currently part of the MGM Active Title Catalog and there is no information that indicates a possible future release date on video, either on VHS or DVD. We understand our response will probably meet with your disappointment, but we appreciate this opportunity to advise you of our position.

Thanks again for contacting MGM Home Entertainment.

David hasn't yet given up hope. He has contacted Warner Bros, who hold the international DVD rights, but he hasn't received a reply. He is also continuing to collect signatures on his petition for a DVD release.

Letters, We Get Letters

Mr. Postman delivered an interesting package to our mailbox last Friday. The envelope was plain, white, 12x9 inches and cost $1.18 to mail. Well, maybe the envelope wasn't very interesting, but its contents were.

Inside was a short message:

Dear Ed,

Here's a packet of information that's a blast from the past. I've searched your Techren [sic] site and noticed some discrepancies in the information you have about the Old Home Bread commercials. It's a shame you've not seen the commercials. They were a big hit in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota in the late 70's. Enjoy the information. Maybe you can post it on your site for others to enjoy.

Best wishes,

A fellow C.W. McCall fan

Yeah, that's the whole signature: "A fellow C.W. McCall fan". No real name, no address, not even e-mail. A stealth fan, obviously. But we do need to hang some moniker on this person, so we'll call him or her "K.C."

What were the contents of the envelope from K.C.? Xerographic copies of about a dozen newspaper and magazine articles about the fabled Old Home Bread commercials of C.W. McCall, from The Omaha World-Herald, TV Guide, Des Moines Sunday Register, and other sources. There are stories about the filming of the commercials, the songs, and the sudden fame of some guy named Bill Fries and of the actors in the commercials.

So, for the next few issues — heck, probably for the rest of this year, at least — we'll be typing in the text of these stories and scanning the pictures, and eventually there will be a new section of C.W. McCall: An American Legend devoted solely to the commercials. Thanks, K.C., whoever you are.

Now, if we could just get a tape of the commercials…

The Old Home Café

Old Home Bread commercial schedule On the page "The Legend Of C.W. McCall", we reported a trivial note about the Old Home Bread commercials that were the beginning of the C.W. McCall story: "The commercials were very successful. So successful, that the Des Moines Register published the air times of the commercials in the daily television listings." Interesting, but until now we didn't have any proof. We had written to the Des Moines Register, asking if their archives included any such ads, but the information wasn't available in the online archives and the cost of the search through the old papers wasn't in our budget.

But thanks to K.C. (see the previous article, "Letters, We Get Letters", for details), here's an actual printed schedule. Pictured therein are Jim Finlayson and Jeanie Capps, the C.W. and Mavis of the commercials.

Song A’ Th’ Week

In the life of C.W. McCall, there are two very important dates. The first is November 15, the birthday of the poet/singer Bill Fries, the real C.W. McCall. The other date is June 6, the day on which the Mighty Convoy began. With a new moon in the night sky on this date in 1975, three eighteen-wheelers departed from Los Angeles on a three thousand mile journey across the U.S. of A.

(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)
From the album Black Bear Road

[On the CB]
Ah, breaker one-nine, this here's the Rubber Duck. You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c'mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure. By golly, it's clean clear to Flag Town, c'mon. Yeah, that's a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy...

A rubber duck Was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
In a Kenworth pullin' logs
Cab-over Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy haulin' hogs
We is headin' for bear on I-one-oh
'Bout a mile outta Shaky Town
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"And I'm about to put the hammer down."

'Cause we got a little convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a little convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.

[On the CB]
Ah, breaker, Pig Pen, this here's the Duck. And, you wanna back off them hogs? Yeah, 10-4, 'bout five mile or so. Ten, roger. Them hogs is gettin' in-tense up here.

By the time we got into Tulsa Town,
We had eighty-five trucks in all.
But they's a roadblock up on the cloverleaf,
And them bears was wall-to-wall.
Yeah, them smokies is thick as bugs on a bumper;
They even had a bear in the air!
I says, "Callin' all trucks, this here's the Duck.
"We about to go a-huntin' bear."

'Cause we got a great big convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a great big convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.

[On the CB]
Ah, you wanna give me a 10-9 on that, Pig Pen? Negatory, Pig Pen; you're still too close. Yeah, them hogs is startin' to close up my sinuses. Mercy sakes, you better back off another ten.

Well, we rolled up Interstate 44
Like a rocket sled on rails.
We tore up all of our swindle sheets,
And left 'em settin' on the scales.
By the time we hit that Chi-town,
Them bears was a-gettin' smart:
They'd brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinoise National Guard.
There's armored cars, and tanks, and jeeps,
And rigs of ev'ry size.
Yeah, them chicken coops was full'a bears
And choppers filled the skies.
Well, we shot the line and we went for broke
With a thousand screamin' trucks
An' eleven long-haired Friends a' Jesus
In a chartreuse micra-bus.

[On the CB]
Ah, Rubber Duck to Sodbuster, come over. Yeah, 10-4, Sodbuster? Lissen, you wanna put that micra-bus right behind that suicide jockey? Yeah, he's haulin' dynamite, and he needs all the help he can get.

Well, we laid a strip for the Jersey shore
And prepared to cross the line
I could see the bridge was lined with bears
But I didn't have a dog-goned dime.
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"We just ain't a-gonna pay no toll."
So we crashed the gate doing ninety-eight
I says "Let them truckers roll, 10-4."

'Cause we got a mighty convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a mighty convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.

Convoy! Ah, 10-4, Pig Pen, what's your twenty?
Convoy! OMAHA? Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there fer shure. Well, mercy
Convoy! sakes, good buddy, we gonna back on outta here, so keep the bugs off your glass and the bears off your...
Convoy! tail. We'll catch you on the flip-flop. This here's the Rubber Duck on the side.
Convoy! We gone. 'Bye,'bye.

The Legend-News is Copyright 2001 TechRen Enterprises. "There are enough spaghetti straps in there to fill a pasta bar." Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.