The Legend-News

Monday, 2002 January 7 : Volume 5, Number 1

What We Got Here in this edition of The Legend-News.

I've Got A Little List
Roll your own.

A recent topic on the Other Wild Places list was the question of "what C.W. McCall songs would you put on a CD?" Although two audio CDs of songs from the Original Six albums exist — C.W. McCall's Greatest Hits and The Best Of C.W. McCall — those two CDs probably do not include all of your favorite C.W. McCall songs.

Over here at TechRen Enterprises, we just set our iPod to 'shuffle = on' and let the music flow. But if you're looking for more order in your playlist, here's a guide to the basic categories of C.W. McCall songs. Some songs appear in more than one category. All of these songs appear on the Original Six albums from the 1970s, except for "Comin' Back For More" from The Real McCall: An American Storyteller.

True And Semi-True Stories. These songs are based on events that actually occurred in the life of Bill Fries.

Old Home Café. Based on the television commercials in which the character of C.W. McCall first appeared.

You could make a case that the narrator of "Wolf Creek Pass", "Black Bear Road", and "Super Slab Showdown" is the same character.

CB Radio. You thought that there were more of these, didn't you?

Trucks. C.W. and eighteen wheels.

Trains. Steam or diesel or gasoline engines, they still ride on rails.

Four Wheel Drive. Lock your hubs.

Rivers. Fastest to slowest.

The West. Everything in this category is west of the Mississippi River.

History. These events are real, or at least they're based on actual events.

Funny. You did laugh, didn't you?

Protest. We hope that someone is listening.

Songs That Weren't Written By Bill And Chip. Roses For Mama and C.W. McCall & Co. are the only albums which contain songs that "C.W. McCall" didn't write.

Ron Agnew and Walt Meskell were two of the musicians in the C.W. McCall "group".

Music. They're either about music, or they're instrumentals.

Christmas. Until Bill records the Christmas In Ouray album, this will need to suffice.

UPDATE, 17 September 2003. The instructions in the next paragraph are incorrect. The forum discussion list, Other Wild Places, is now an online forum.

If you want to discuss the songs of C.W. McCall, or just about anything that's related to C.W. McCall, join the Other Wild Places mailing list. Send a message (a blank one is okay) to and the 'bot will add you to the list.

Coming Attractions
As seen in the crystal ball.

The staff of The Legend-News doesn't intend to sit on their duffs this year. We plan to occasionally stand up and stretch, too. And when we're done stretching, we're going to make a few changes on the web site. Don't worry, you won't feel a thing. Much.

C.W. McCall Tour 2002. Yes, it's still on for the weekend of June 7. A fast-paced trip around the west end of Iowa and a bit of Nebraska, this event gives you an excuse to drive too far, too fast, and for no really good reason except to get your picture taken with a bunch of Crispy Critters. The Legend-News will provide full coverage.

Convoy 2000. We will finally gather all of the myriad stories and pictures of this event and put them where they can be easily read. You won't need to look through the back issues of The Legend-News for the complete story.

Pictures. Yes, we've figured a digital camera into our budget, and we're going to start posting pictures of C.W. McCall stuff that you haven't yet seen. Some of our collection just doesn't seem to fit onto a flatbed scanner. The coffee mug complained of flash burns from the scanning lamp.

New features. We'd tell you what they are, but then we'd have to serve you with a gag order. Trust us on this one.

Advertising. Gotcha! No, we're not accepting advertising. Never had it, never will, unless someone really wants to pay us a lot of shekels. We will admit, however, that when you click on one of those links to and buy something, we do get a couple of pennies out of the deal; but that's not enough to keep us in Peanut M&Ms and Coca-Cola.

[Update, 2011-04-15: The State of Illinois has passed a tax bill that would require to collect sales tax from Illinois residents, because Amazon “has a presence” in the state, in the form of Amazon Associates. As a result, Amazon has discontinued the Associates program in Illinois, and I have removed all product links to — Ed.]

Site design. A few tweaks here and there, to make the pages more consistant. What, you didn't notice the problems? For the technically inclined, that means that we're going to make sure that all of the pages will validate as XHTML 1.0. Since some of our current pages have a few, uh, 'errors', this will make all of the pages readable by all current browsers — at least, that's the theory. We promise to check the site with every browser: both of them. (That's a web designer joke. Laugh if you get it.)

Web site archive on CD-ROM. Every once in a while, we'll package the entire site on a CD-ROM and make it available to you, the viewer. For those of you with annoyingly slow dial-up or timed connections, you'll be able to browse the site without the fear that you'll exceed your monthly allotment (or budget).

Old Home Café
Back where it all began

C.W. McCall and T. Tommy Cutrer finish off the first day of C.W.'s week of co-hosting Music City U.S.A., on 17 November 1975.

[T. Tommy] C.W. gotta do one more song. Would you tell us the story of the Oregon Trail? We're gonna find out more about it later in the week.

[C.W.] Well, this is a kinda serious song here, and it's a, in this year of our bicentennial, we kinda thought it'd be good to do a song about one of the very famous trails and roads in our history.

[T. Tommy] The Oregon Trail. Yeah, it is for a fact. C.W. McCall.

(The audio group at The Legend-News is busy digitizing all five days of C.W. and T. Tommy, and we'll have the shows available as MP3 CDs in the near future.)

Song A’ Th’ Week
Words without music. Call 'em poems.

When you're driving coast-to-coast, or even over to the next town, you don't think much about the land over which you're driving. You're on pavement; you don't need to struggle up a rocky hillside, or ford a river. Yeah, there was a time when bridges were really scarce, and Travel Centers of America and Stuckey's were nowhere to be found.

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

Did you see me at Westport Landing
On the wide Missouri shore?
Did you hear the west wind calling
In the spring of forty-four?

If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May
If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May

Did you see me at old Fort Kearny?
Did you hear my trumpets blow?
Did you write your name in stone, boys
On the great Platte River road?

If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June
If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June

Did you see that endless prairie
Blowin' clean and pure and free?
Did you hear that rollin' thunder
On the wild Nebraska sea?

Did you climb the shining mountains?
Did you cross that Great Divide?
Did you pray to God Almighty
To let you down the other side?

[Chorus, but only by C.W.]
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home

Did you see me out on the desert?
Did you see my oxen die?
Did you find a drop of water?
Did you hear my children cry?

If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July
If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July

Did you see the high Sierra
Far beyond the burning sand?
Did you find that golden valley?
Did you reach the Promised Land?

If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die
If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die

The Legend-News is Copyright 2002 TechRen Enterprises. "I must be dreamin', don't wanna wake up now." Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.