3 May 1928
Spencer, Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States
22 December 2003 (aged 75)
Dave Dudley (May 3, 1928 - December 22, 2003) was a country music singer. Born David Darwin Pedriska, he is best known for his truck-driving country anthems of the 1960s and '70s.
Dave Dudley is best-known for his trucker songs including "Six Days on the Road" and "Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun". His duet with Tom T. Hall called "Day Drinking" demonstrated that he was not limited to trucking songs. He is one of the best-known singers of the truck-driving era in country music and was one of the icons in this category.
Dave was born in 1928 in Spencer, Wisconsin. He had a short career as a semi-professional baseball player. After he suffered an arm injury he was no longer able to play baseball. He then decided to pursue a career in country music. He was one of the earliest artists to record for National Recording Corporation on the NRC label.
He first appeared on the Country charts in 1961 with the song "Maybe I Do," released by Vee Records. He later moved to Golden Wing Records. Two years later, in 1963, the label released the single "Six Days on the Road". In 1963, Dudley moved on to Mercury records. Dave Dudley continued to have success into the 1970s. He continued to record for Mercury Records.
In the 1980s, Dave Dudley continued to record, but not as much as he once had. He remained popular in concert. 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 at his home in Wisconsin.
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