Elvis Presley Was a Truck Driver, Too
We all know truck drivers are the Rock Stars of the Road. America’s economy would not be the same without you. But did you know that the King of Rock and Roll also started as a truck driver? Yes, Elvis Presley landed a job driving a truck out of high school. And while he may not have been hauling loads of cargo, he was shaking things up on the radio waves.
Even The King had to start somewhere. Ultimately, Elvis’ trucking career led him to a successful music career! And who knows, maybe you’ll be rocking out on stage one day.
Presley graduated high school in 1953. After graduation, Elvis took after his father, a truck driver, and started a job driving a truck for Crown Electric. His first truck was a 1946 Ford, nicknamed “Mule.” During this summer, Elvis learned more than how to drive a truck. He also learned the popular trucker hairstyle, the voluminous slicked back hairdo he had sported for most of his career.
So next time you’re out on the open road, remember The King and all he accomplished as a truck driver. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be listening to your favorite tunes on the radio, courtesy of a trucker turned rock star. You never know where the road will take you.
He also kept up with songwriting during his time on the road. Many of his songs were inspired by his trucking experiences.
Truck Drivers Are the Backbone of America
Truck drivers are the backbone of America. They haul loads of cargo across the country, ensuring businesses can operate and consumers can get their products. In his downtime, he would practice writing song lyrics and poems. Even though Elvis embraced his new job, he always knew music was the way he wanted to go. The rest, as they say, is history!
Elvis’s truck driving in 1954 is nothing compared to the big rigs today. His truck was a small two-door Chevrolet that was only a little longer than the typical pickup truck we saw in 2019. The truck was so beaten up that Elvis had to scratch his favorite radio stations into the truck’s dashboard because he could not read the stations.
While trucking may not be as glamorous as a rock star, it is a vital part of our economy.
The same summer Elvis started his job, he took his shot in the music industry. He had his first audition for a legend in the music industry Eddie Bond. To most people’s surprise, it did not go very well. Eddie Bond told Elvis, “Stick to driving a truck; you’ll never make it as a singer.”
Elvis went on to prove Eddie Bond wrong and became one of the biggest celebrities in music, but what happened to Elvis’ truck? His Crown Electric truck became his getaway car. After being drafted into the army, he would use it to escape from his base. He also used it to visit his family and girlfriend at the time, June Juanico.
A Symbol of Humble Beginnings
The truck became a symbol of Elvis’ humble beginnings. It is currently on display at the Graceland Museum for fans to see. Elvis used the car to have some alone time and get around the monstrous crowds surrounding his house. Elvis would take time for himself, and the truck became a unique sanctuary for him. We are sure many truckers can relate.
Relatively short-lived, he drove for Crown Electric for about a year before being drafted into the army in 1958. Even while serving his country, Elvis kept thinking about his trucking career. He even wrote a song called “Big Wheels Rolling (Through the Alley of Love).”
After Elvis was drafted into the army, he sold his truck to his friend, Ronnie Smith, for $1,500. Ronnie then sold the truck to Red West, who was another one of Elvis’ friends. The truck changed hands several times until it entered a Memphis museum in 1998.
We want to take this moment not only to appreciate how the King of Rock and Roll got his start but to celebrate you. Truck drivers today keep America moving, and our country would not be the same without you. We greatly thank you for your dedication and service to the industry, and we hope your career as a truck driver will always be a part of who you are, just like Elvis.