If you like songs about car crashes and their horrific aftermaths, then you probably already know that country music tends to be a bit more extreme than any other genre. Hell, probably more than all the others combined for that matter.
In many ways, the songs below can be considered a fine aural complement to the gruesome blood-soaked drivers' ed films to which so many high school students were subjected in the past. As seen in the riveting documentary Hell's Highway, these films were full of horrifying and grotesque footage shot on site at grisly car crashes. Like those films, the songs below do not flinch when it comes to depicting the devastating results of vehicular mayhem.
Listen up and learn the grim consequences of riding the bus, walking alongside the highway, parking on train tracks, hot rodding, drunk driving, and dope smoking. Even speeding to the hospital to see your daughter in the emergency room can result in catastrophic tragedy!
You've been warned.
- Roy Acuff - A Wreck On The Highway (2:25). Originally recorded in 1942, this is Roy's1962 remake.
- Howard Vokes - A Death On The Highway (2:02)
- Howard Vokes - The Yellow Tomb (3:24) - LP cover This one tells the true story of a school bus that plunged into the freezing waters of the Levisas Fork of the Big Sandy River, just outside of Prestonsburg, Kentucky. For some reason, this song reports the number of dead at 20, rather than the actual 27.
- Ralph Bowman - The Tragedy Of School Bus 27 (2:39) Label shot Another telling of the same horrific accident, which happened on February 28, 1958. Both this and the song below were borrowed from over here.
- The Stanley Brothers - No School Bus In Heaven (2:43) Another mournful ballad concerning the Prestonsburg tragedy.
- Jim McGinnis - 11 W. Bloody Highway (3:13) Label shot One more bus accident record, though this time it's a Greyhound in Tennessee, and not a school bus in Kentucky
- Porter Wagoner - The Carroll County Accident (2:51)
- Johnny & The J.C.L. Rangers - The Tragedy (We Were There) (2:49) Label shot Suicide by train.
- Cal Veale - Paralyzed (3:16) Label shot This one first came to my attention via the truly warped country compilation known as God Less America. A total misery overdose.
- Ferlin Husky - The Drunken Driver (1:59) "Get out of the road, you little fools!"
- Stonewall Jackson - Drinking and Driving (2:46) Label shot
- Trooper Jim Foster - Four Chrome Wheels (2:30) LP cover Trooper Jim Foster (pictured above) was an actual highway patrolman for the state of Florida.
- Trooper Jim Foster - Four On The Floor (And A Fifth Under The Seat) (2:33) Worth noting: Foster was the co-author of Chesley Carroll's Hippie From Mississippi, which can be heard here.
- Trooper Jim Foster - Four On The Floor (And A Fifth Under The Seat) (2:38) Label shot Believe it or not, Foster actually cut this one twice. This version, with spiffed up major label production, was recorded for United Artists.
- Red Sovine - I'm Only Seventeen (4:19) Label shot This graphically repulsive recitation was taken from the pages of Dear Abby's advice column. It's a dead teen's sorrow-wracked recounting of the car accident that took his life and the terrible grief his family and friends suffered upon learning of the death of their loved one. The words were originally penned in 1967 by John Berrio, a father of five from Rochester, New Hampshire, who wrote the piece after one of his son's friends died in an auto accident.