Carrying a Tune
Trucker Bobby Dean took the long road to music success
By Nancy Henderson
Back in 1982, Bobby Dean was a new driver with his own truck, and he was pretty happy about it.
“I was running from Seattle to the Oakland Bay area and into Spokane and Idaho,” he recalls. “It was just me and the old country radio station.”
As he sang along, he dreamed that one day it might be his own record playing over the radio. Though it took a couple of decades, he saw that dream come true.
Thirty years on the road
Dean loved trucking from the minute he tried it. He asked a veteran driver to teach him, and after learning all he could, decided to go ahead and buy his own truck. His mentor and his wife both thought he might be jumping in a little too fast, but Dean knew that if he couldn’t make a career out of music, he was going to be fine as a trucker.
He was, building a thriving business over the years. He took that first truck in for a custom mural. Less than a year later he got a new truck, and took it in for its own unique paint job.
“Every time I bought a new truck, I put a driver in the old truck,” Dean says. Now, his company Edgmon Trucking, has a total of 23 company trucks and has leased on 41 owner-operators.
Still, Dean always found time to perform. In 2010, he was playing at a casino by the Canadian border every Thursday night.
“A woman came in, got one of my CDs and said she had a lot of connections,” Dean recalls. Apparently she did, because soon he was recording in Nashville and his song “Hank on the Radio,” got some radio airplay.
Singing and trucking
Now Dean has released his third album, Country Country. As the title makes clear, the music he makes is traditional, twangy, old-time country. He’s living out his dream, and even had the chance to sing with country star George Hamilton IV.
Of course he still runs Edgmon Trucking, and has found a way to combine his two professions by promoting his albums on the road.
“Eight of my trucks are wrapped on both sides with my picture, so people on either side can see,” he says with a chuckle.
Sometimes the person driving that truck is Dean himself. He’ll hop in behind the wheel to make sure a delivery is made. It’s just him and the old country radio. And you can be sure that he’s singing along.