Keep On Truckin'

Album: Eddie Kendricks (1973)
Charted: 18 1
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Songfacts®:

  • "Keep on truckin'" is a phrase of encouragement meaning to stay focused regardless of circumstances or setbacks. The term originates from a song first recorded by Blind Boy Fuller in the 1930s, "Truckin' My Blues Away."

    Truckin' on down the line
    Hey hey hey
    I say keep on truckin'
    Truckin' my blues away


    The phrase was popularized by the US underground cartoonist Robert Crumb in a one-page comic published in the first issue of Zap Comix in 1968. In this song, Kendricks is in pursuit of good lovin', as he's truckin' to see his girl.
  • This song was Eddie Kendricks' first major hit as a solo artist, coming two years after his departure from The Temptations. He believed it was the title that ensured it was a success. "The old people used to truck when they were dancing. And I knew the trucking industry would embrace the record," Kendricks told Fred Bronson.
  • The song's grooves were clearly aimed at the dance floor and it was arguably the first-recorded and released disco hit record. Other possible candidates for the first disco hit include "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)," George McRae's "Rock Your Baby," The Hues Corporation's "Rock The Boat" and Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe."
  • The line, "In old Temptation's rain, I'm duckin'" is a sly reference to Kendricks' former band, The Temptations.

Comments: 5

  • Gloria Krolak, The Vibes Lady from The South At 2:40 - 3:10 you can hear Gary Coleman playing the vibraphone, unusual instrumentation for this genre. Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo introduced the vibes to jazz in the 1930s where it caught on. Same not true of rock, r&b, etc.
  • AnonymousWhat a track, stands the test of time.Eddie Kendricks gone way too soon
  • Patrick K. Merrick from Hillsboro Oreg.I remember the song. There is a part one and part two. Were both parts released as singles or only part one?
  • Joyce from VegasNot true. Back when Blind Boy Fuller recorded it, songs alluding to sex were not permitted, hence the word "truckin" which rhymes with another word. That's what Fuller's song was about. Re-read the lyric using the forbidden word and you will see what I mean.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 29th 1973, Eddie Kendricks performed "Keep on Truckin'" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #40 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and seven weeks earlier on November 4th, 1973 it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on September 30th it also reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    On the same 'Bandstand' show he also performed "Boogie Down"; and the very next day it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 at position #76, then on March 3rd, 1974 it peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} and stayed on the chart for 18 weeks...
    Edward James Kendricks passed away on October 5th, 1992 at the young age of 52...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The 2 weeks "Boogie Down" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks; but on February 3rd, 1974 “Boogie Down” peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart.
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