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Dave Dudley

Dave Dudley (born as Darwin David Pedruska or Pudraska, May 3 1928 - December 22 2003) was an American country singer, best known for his songs about the lives of truck drivers.

Dudley was born on May 3 1928 in Spencer, Wisconsin, USA; following an arm injury in 1950 that ruined a baseball career, Dudley started to perform country music, forming the Dave Dudley Trio in 1953 after successful broadcasts in Idaho, a band which stayed together for seven years.

In 1960, Dudley moved to Minnesota and formed the Country Gentlemen; he suffered a car accident and spent several months in hospital, but his career started to take off with songs like "Maybe I do" and "Under the Cover of Night". He founded his own label, Golden Wing, in 1963, and released the up-tempo song "Six Days on the Road", originally recorded in 1961 to please a friend, which made him a superstar over night. "Six Days on the Road" did, in fact, spawn an entire new subgenre within country music, telling tales of the lifes of truckers and depicting them as hard-working, hard-living men.

Dudley's later successes included "Truck drivin' son-of-a-gun", "Two Six Packs away", "There ain't no easy Run", "One more Mile", "The original Travelling Man", "Trucker's Prayer" and "Truck Driver's Waltz", many of which were written by or together with Tom T. Hall.

In 1970, Dudley's "The Pool Shark" became a number one country hit; he also recorded a duet with Tom T. Hall, "Day drinkin'", and had some success with "Rolaids, Doan's pills and Preparation H" in 1980, which he recorded for Sun Records.

In total, Dudley recorded more than 70 albums. However, he did not manage to reclaim his past success, and neither his single "Where's that Truck?", recorded with DJ Charlie Douglas, nor the track "Dave Dudley, American Trucker", recorded in 2002 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, helped revive his career.

Dudley died on December 22 2003 after suffering a heart attack.

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