Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hey, it's my second thing for Splitsider!

My latest piece for Splitsider is about trucker tapes.

Just a little heads up, in case you somehow missed it. The website Splitsider, which is about the world of comedy, ran another one of my articles. This one is called "The Raunchy, Underground World of Trucker Tapes," and it's the fruition of a long-time obsession of mine. I've gotten some nice comments about it online through Twitter and Facebook, which is gratifying. I don't know how I became interested in trucker comedy, probably because of a few scattered references to "filthy trucker tapes" on MST3K. But I knew I wanted to turn it into an article when I started looking into the career of a comic named Gene Tracy, aka "Mr. Truckstop." There are hours and hours of this guy's stuff posted to YouTube, and I've spent way too many late nights listening to it -- not as comedy, really, more as sociology. I think one thing which fascinated me was the fact that Tracy's audiences were rowdier than what you'd normally expect on a comedy album. You get the sense that any one of his gigs could have turned into a knock-down, drag-out melee at a moment's notice if, say, somebody spilled his beer on somebody else's shoes. In other words, there's a danger to those performances. But I was also interested in the fact that truckers have their own little universe of comedy stars, performers virtually unknown to the rest of the world.

2 comments:

  1. Nice to see an article on Gene Tracy. I have collected his 8-tracks over the years and there were a large number of different covers, boots, etc. (One Canadian edition I have is actually a mislabeled stag tape called Truckstop Rosie.) Even some of his Truckstops made it to LP on the Kent Country Comedy Series. The one he did with Wildman Steve is a personal fave.

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    1. Hi, Jacob. Glad you enjoyed the article. I can't say how exactly I stumbled onto the career of Gene Tracy, but I think I was researching 8-tracks. I have to say, I've never seen any of Tracy's material on LPs, so those sound like cool collectibles. And, yeah, the album with Wildman Steve -- an interesting figure in his own right -- is a favorite. I think I spent some time researching Wildman Steve, but it was outside the scope of the article.

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