Red Simpson

Best known for his string of trucking songs, Red Simpson was raised in Bakersfield, California, the youngest of a dozen children. At age 14, he wrote his first song -- about chickens -- and sang it to his family's fowl. During the Korean War, he served aboard a naval hospital ship, the Repose, where he found relief by forming the Repose Ramblers, who played any instruments they could scrounge up. He bought better ones in Japan and began to practice in earnest, and became a professional musician in California after his discharge.