C.W. McCall, the country singer best known for his trucker songs like “Convoy” and “Wolf Creek Pass,” has passed away.
McCall, whose real name was William Dale Fries, Jr., created the character of “C.W. McCall” for an advertising campaign for Old Home Bread while he was working at an advertising agency. The character was initially played by an actor, but McCall later adopted the name for himself when he began releasing music.
His biggest hit was of course “Convoy,” the 1975 truckers’ anthem about a driver with the call sign “Rubber Duck” who organized a convoy over his CB radio as the truckers were crossing the country. The song reached the top of both the pop and country charts, and was such a hit that it was later made into a movie starring Kris Kristofferson.
McCall ultimately released six albums between the years of 1975-79, as well as a compilation album featuring some of his biggest hits in 1990 and an album of patriotic songs that he recorded with longtime-friend and collaborator Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller.
After stepping away from music, McCall would later run for mayor of Ouray, Colorado, a position he would serve in for six years after being elected in 1986.
McCall revealed back in February of this year that he was under hospice care as a result of a battle with cancer. But during an interview on The Drew & Mike Show podcast, McCall was excited to learn that “Convoy” was getting new life as a theme song for Canadian truckers who were protesting COVID restrictions at the time.
McCall is survived by Rena Bonnema Fries, as well as his wife of 70 years, as well as three children, Bill Fries III, Mark Fries and Nancy Fries, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.