Brand and model: In 1936, when Johnson first recorded this blues song which takes its title from a car made by the Hudson Motor Company, automotive double senses were still relatively new – but, again, the driving itself was too. Here, however, Johnson is stuck: “You know, the coils don’t even buzz,” he laments. “The little generator will not have the spark.”
Fuel economy: As the song progresses, Johnson reveals that someone has been driving his Terraplane “since I left.” The lyrics echo with raw emotion – he will cry and moan. He has an assurance, however, in the form of “a woman I love, way back in Arkansas.”
Overdrive: Most of the great driving songs are about the freedom of the road, but this one, like some of Johnson’s songs, is about the poison of jealousy. “Please,” he sings, “don’t block the road. “- RL
73. DAVE DUDLEY, “SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD”
Brand and model: One of the classic old-school trucker anthems, “Six Days on the Road” – made famous by country singer Dave Dudley in 1963 – commemorates the drudgery of hauling loads across the country, dodging cops and swallowing “little white pills” and do whatever it takes to get home as soon as possible.
Fuel economy: Among the least glamorous driving songs of all time, “Six Days” doesn’t celebrate the road so much as it presents it as an obstacle course, full of pitfalls to avoid and shortcuts to take if you know the configuration of the earth well enough – a grueling life, but well enough watched to have its own worn and hard-earned dignity.
Overdrive: A song this deep in drudgery doesn’t have a lot of major highs, but you have to smile a bit for Dudley when he finally reaches his destination in the last verse: “My hometown is in sight / If you think I’m glad , you are right.” – UA
72. KISS, “DETROIT ROCK CITY”