Joseph “Red” Simpson was born on March 6, 1934, and died at January 8, 2016.
He was an American country singer-songwriter.
He was popular for his trucker-themed songs.
When he was 14 yrs old, he wrote his first song.
He was working at the Wagon Wheel in Lamont when Fuzzy Owen saw him and arranged for Simpson to work at his Clover Club as a piano player.
Red Simpson then got a job replacing Buck Owens at the Blackboard Club on weekends.
He was influenced by Owens, Merle Haggard and Bill Woods, who asked Red if he would write a song about driving trucks.
At that time Simpson handed him four truck songs, however, Woods had stopped recording.
He started writing songs with Owens in 1962, including the Top Ten hit “Gonna Have Love.”
Red debuted on the Grand Ole Opry and had two more “truck” hits for Capitol, in 1972.
Simpson signed to Warner Brothers and released “Truck Driver’s Heaven”, in 1976.
In that same year, he teamed up with Lorraine Walden for a series of duets that included “Truck Driver Man and Wife.”
Simpson appeared for the last time on the charts with “The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver, in 1979.” Haggard recorded his song “Lucky Old Colorado” in 1988.
During that year, Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer.
He had surgery, but he fully recovered and continued his writing and performing career.
During 1995, Simpson re-entered the studio to record a pair of duets with Junior Brown “Semi Crazy” and “Nitro Express”.
Although Simpson no longer tours, he performs frequently in the Bakersfield area including a regular Monday night gig at Trout’s in Oildale.
His current single was most recent release is “Hey, Bin Laden”. He is also working on a project with Windsor Music tentatively entitled The Bard of Bakersfield.
Appearing alongside Bakersfield business owner Gene Thome on his ode to Simpson, Haggard, and Owens “It’s a Bakersfield Thing” released in early 2015, was some of his best time.
Red Simpson passed away at 81 yrs old in a hospital in Bakersfield.