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‘Truck Drivers Aren’t Supposed to Cry’

By on September 1, 2017
Winston

Walt Winston

And Other Online Hit Songs from the Heart

Looking back at 52 years of memories, Walt Winston has more than enough to fill the pages of an autobiography written by a person twice his age. Some of those memories are very good; most are less good. Suffice it to say, he’s had a tough row to hoe in overcoming more obstacles than most people ever face.

While living through a variety of tough circumstances, almost from day one to the present, he has taken great pride in two gifts—one professional, one personal. Professionally, his radio announcer’s pipes provided his livelihood for many years. Personally, his passion for music provided an outlet for singing and songwriting that most can only dream about.

In the music world, Walt is best known for his appearances on the NBC Television program “America’s Got Talent!” in Seasons 6 and 7. In 2011, he performed his #1 Online Hit Single “Truck Drivers Aren’t Supposed to Cry!” for an audience of 12.67 million viewers, only to be cut short by the three-judge panel. Although he didn’t win the big prize, he won many new fans from more than 20 countries. He came back for a Season 7 audition, which wasn’t broadcast, with another #1 Online Hit Single, “Have You Seen My Heart? Walt is only one of 22 performers to appear in multiple seasons of America’s Got Talent!

Gifts Spark Interest

Little toy instruments played a big role in Walt’s big love of music. His grandfather, an accordion player, encouraged him to take up music at an early age. The gift of a little toy piano started things off, and a little red guitar set him on a course he would follow. Early success playing whatever he knew on the guitar resulted in people donating money. By his mid-teens at Mehlville (MO) High School, he had picked up an interest in the Beatles and was jamming with friends. Pages copied from a Beatles chord book by a caring teacher helped Walt figure out chord diagrams and ultimately play at a higher level. He began writing his own music in 1977 and performing professionally in 1981.

Walt’s distinctive voice and a 1986 degree from the Broadcast Center in St. Louis paved the way for career opportunities in radio. Over the course of the next 22 years, Walt worked at a variety of stations stretching across the country from coast to coast. During that time, he lived in 14 states and worked for 24 radio stations. He did everything from on-air personality, DJ, news director, sports broadcasting and game play-by-play to cutting commercials and performing some behind-the-scenes production duties. He was even the track announcer at the Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA for a short time.

Burned out on the broadcast industry, he became a professional truck driver for the first time in 2008. After his older sister passed away unexpectedly, a series of snafus prevented him from making it home to St. Louis in time for her funeral. That’s when he wrote and initially recorded, “Truck Drivers Aren’t Supposed to Cry.”

Career Accomplishments

As a testament to his dedication, Walt’s musical career has spanned 40 years as a prolific songwriter and 36 years as an entertainer and folk musician. Based on the number of plays, downloads and streams, he’s had 94 #1 Online hits. His music is available at mp3.com, iTunes, and ReverbNation. He also has his own walteria1964 YouTube channel. At TRUK radio on the CB, he sometimes reports traffic conditions and what’s going on when he’s on the road.

“Allyson,” perhaps the song he is most proud of, is a special tribute to his 18-month old granddaughter. He relishes the opportunities to spend time with her when he’s off the road. The hit single is the lead song on a new album, “Alcoholic Dreams”, which will debut about the time this issue of RoadKing arrives at TA-Petro locations. It will be the latest addition to the five albums already available online. To listen to Walt’s music, just Google his name tied to music or any of the sites that carry his albums and/or individual songs.

Back in the Saddle

During 2014, Walt resumed his professional driving career with Witte Bros. Exchange, Inc. of Troy, MO, running LTL refrigerated freight. “I love the freedom of the road; the ability drivers have to be themselves,” he said. “Except for an occasional West Coast trip, I usually travel the Eastern half of the country, so I’m home on most weekends. Witte Bros. is a great employer. They respect drivers and the home time that is so important to our families. And the pay is two to three times higher than anything I ever earned working in radio. Plus I can take my guitar along wherever I go, so I can work on new songs and entertain others and myself as the spirit moves me.”

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