C.W. McCall, an outlaw country singer best known for truck-themed songs like “Convoy,” has revealed that he’s in hospice.
The 93-year-old one-time chart-topper shares that he’s battling cancer, as his most famous song becomes a modern theme song for the “Freedom Convoy,” a group of Canadian Truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and shutting down bridges.
McCall (real name William Fries Jr.) spoke by phone to the Drew & Mike Show podcast, though the hosts were unaware that the singer is in poor health. Pretty quickly they hear him say he’s in hospice, but McCall adds that he’ll do his best to talk to them. The full episode is available at the Drew & Mike Show podcast website — the interview starts at about the 41-minute mark.
“I’m battling cancer,” McCall shares. “We have a deal here now where I can have nurses on-call at home. I don’t have to go to hospitals. It’s a hospice service here locally from Montrose, Colo.”
After stepping away from music, McCall served as mayor of Ouray, Colo., from 1986-1992.
The Freedom Convoy protests began in January and got serious earlier this month, when the Prime Minister invoked the Emergencies Act (per Fox News). Protests continued, and at one point the brigade shut down the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ont., to Detroit. The Drew & Mike Show is based in Detroit and stars Drew Lane, Trudi Daniels and more. It’s an extension of the long-running rock radio morning show Drew & Mike, which also starred the late Mike Clark.
When he learned that “Convoy” was being used by protestors, McCall sounded energized and enthusiastic, if only because his biggest hit is getting a second life. He wrote the song with Chip Davis, and it was released in 1975, eventually topping country and Hot 100 charts at Billboard. A movie based on the song was released in 1978, starring Kris Kristofferson.
During this interview, McCall — who is vaccinated — recalls writing the soundtrack. Other country hits in his catalog include Top 20 country songs “Wolf Creek Pass” and “Classified,” plus his final charting single, “Roses for Mama.”
Toward the end of this interview (first shared on Feb. 9), McCall revealed that he and his wife would celebrate 70 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day 2022.
See the Most Played Country Song from the Year You Were Born
Who had the most played country song during the year you were born? This list is a fascinating time capsule of prevalent trends from every decade in American history. Scroll through to find your birth year and then click to listen. Some of these songs have been lost through the years, many of them for good reason!