Brad Wright might be a 47-year-old veteran truck driver from Port Orange, Florida, but he recently made another name for himself after he started recording a popular on-the-road pastime.
Meet the “Singing Truck Driver.”
The man, who goes by his stage name Brad James, his middle name, has dozens of videos posted to YouTube showing him belting out tunes all while driving his big rig.
He told TheBlaze while on Interstate 65 headed toward Nashville, Tennessee, Tuesday that he used to use an app to record his karaoke renditions. Then he noticed all his clips were being posted to Facebook. Fearing this would annoy his friends, clogging up their newsfeeds, he created a separate Facebook page to allow people who wanted to hear him sing to follow. Things snowballed a bit from there.
“I’m out here on the road for four weeks at a time and I don’t have a living room,” he said, explaining why he records his songs from the rig. “I do it where ever I can, and it so happens that this is my job. I drive cross country in a tractor trailer, go home for three days, spend time with wife and kids, and then go do it again for another month.”
His most popular song is “Detention (You Ordered It, You Unload It),” which he made up lyrics to go with the tune of “Sittin’ by the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. “Detention,” picked up steam in the trucking industry as it portrays the life of a truck driver watching all the other trucks “roll by” as he waits for his own dispatch orders.
“I didn’t realize when I wrote it but it’s something that basically pisses every truck driver in the world off. I was the first one who actually had the balls to sing about it or talk about it in that form,” he told TheBlaze, noting that it only took him 20 minutes to come up with the modified lyrics.
Check it out (Content warning: some strong language):
The man who works for the Iowa-based company Barr-Nunn Transportation told LiveTrucking.com in a recent interview that he took up trucking when he learned he could make more money per hour doing less physical work than what he made while loading grocery store pallets onto trucks.
His musical inspirations?
“By far, my favorite person to listen to is Christina Aguilera,” he said. But based on his own voice, he said that he patterns his style off of Garth Brooks, Toby Keith and others.
Watch James’ interview with LiveTrucking.com:
Though he never took any voice lessons, James is working on an audition DVD for “The Voice” next season. If he’s able to make it into the music industry — either through the popular TV contest show or though funding his own CD — he hopes it would actually allow him to cut back on trucking.
“The people that listen to me, they like my singing and they’re 100 percent behind me. They actually want me to get out of the truck and make it big time,” he told TheBlaze.
“Everybody knows I’m still a driver. I’ve been doing this for 22 years. You can take the driver out of the truck, but you can’t take the truck out of the driver,” he added. “As long as I’m still being myself, everybody is really pulling for me to be able to pull this off.”
If he’s able to make it into the music field professionally, James said he would look forward to having more time with his wife and children.
Check out more of James’ videos on his YouTube channel.
This story has been updated at the request of the singing trucker to favor his stage name, Brad James, over his given name Brad Wright, to avoid confusion with his fans.