Chip Davis is known across America for his connection to Christmas music. As the #1 Christmas music artist in history with over 28 million records sold, Chip’s reputation as Santa’s minstrel isn’t changing anytime soon. But what gets overlooked in all the fanfare surrounding Chip’s unparalleled contribution to the sound of the season is his connection to country music. You see, before Chip made Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in 1984 or Fresh Aire in 1974, he was an independent jingle writer. One of his clients was an advertising agency Bozell & Jacobs in Omaha, Nebraska.
While Chip wrote more than 2,000 jingles, one about a trucker named C.W. McCall for the Old Home Bread Company made him and co-ad man Bill Fries country music stars. The series of ads Chip and Bill created were so popular that they ended up inspiring a song, “Convoy,” and album called Black Bear Road. Released in 1975, the album rose to #12 on the Billboard pop chart and its single “Convoy” went gold in two weeks. Eventually selling 10 million copies, the song inspired a major motion picture by the same name starring Kris Kristopherson.
As C.W. McCall, Chip recorded nine albums, sold 20 million and, at 27 years old, was named Country Music Writer of the Year.
Chip’s Legacy as C.W. McCall
Fast-forward 40 years and the influence Chip had on country music is still being felt. Just this July, a AAA baseball all-star game gave Chip a chance encounter with country music star Keith Anderson and revealed an influence over the star he didn’t realize he had. It turns out that the Grammy-nominated writer, certified Gold and Top 10 hit artist was inspired as a kid by “Convoy” to go into country music.
Keith and Chip connected after the game and talked about their shared experience as country music writers and successful musicians over a tour of the American Gramaphone studios.
We’re honored and thankful that “Convoy” is a part of Keith’s incredible story of country music success. (In case you don’t know, Keith’s debut album, Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll was certified Gold and garnered two Top 10 hits – “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” and “Every Time I Hear Your Name.”) Like the rest of America, we love his music, especially his latest hit – “I’ll Bring the Music” and encourage you to catch him this summer when his tour swings through your town.