“Six Days on the Road” is an American song written by Earl Green and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio songwriter Carl Montgomery, made famous originally by country music singer Dave Dudley. First released in 1963, the song became a major hit that year and is often hailed as the definitive celebration of the American truck driver. In 1997, the song was covered by country music band Sawyer Brown, who took the song into the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Dudley “strikingly captures the sense of boredom, danger and swaggering masculinity that often accompanies long-distance truck driving. His macho interpretation, with its rock-and-roll overtones, is perfect for the song.”
Allmusic writer Bill Dahl, called “Six Days” the “ultimate overworked rig driver’s lament; indeed, the song’s lyrics bemoan highway patrolmen, scale weigh-ins and loneliness for the narrator’s girlfriend, and speak of using “little white pills” to keep him awake. Like Malone, Dahl also cited Dudley’s voice as perfect for the song, as “his bottomless pipes were certainly the ultimate vehicle for its delivery, reeking of too much turgid coffee and too many non-filtered cigarettes.”
Dudley’s version was also played during the STS-3 mission as a wake-up call.