Pisgah, Iowa: Old Home Fill-er Up And Keep On Truckin' Cafe

Sign out front says it all. Cafe takes its name from a song written and recorded by C.W. McCall, better known for his 1976 hit, "Convoy."

Dave's Old Home Cafe and Bar

200 1st St., Pisgah, IA
At the Little Sioux exit off I-29 take State Highway 301 to Little Sioux. From there follow County Road F-20 across the bluffs to Pisgah. Corner of Main St. and 1st St.
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Important Trucker Shrine.

Old Home Fill-er Up An' Keep On A-Truckin'

In the early '70s C.W. McCall had a string of successful song releases about an over the road trucker that were enhanced by the CB radio craze. C.W. McCall was the nom de chanteur of Bill Fries, an advertising man who created the character of C.W. McCall.

In 1972, while working for the Omaha advertising firm of Bozell Jacobs, Bill Fries created a television campaign for the Old Home Bread brand of the Metz Baking Company. The advertisements told of the adventures of truck driver C.W. McCall, his dog Sloan, and of the truck stop that McCall frequented, The Old Home Cafe. Bill based the character and his environment on his own upbringing in western Iowa. The commercials were very successful. So successful, that the Des Moines Register published the air times of the commercials in the daily television listings.

From those commercials came the first of the C.W. McCall songs, named after the restaurant: "Old Home Fill-er Up An' Keep On A-Truckin' Cafe". While Bill provided the lyrics to the song and the voice of C.W. McCall, his collaborator Chip Davis wrote the music. Soon C.W.'s first album -- Wolf Creek Pass -- was released, whose title song was a misadventure of a truck with brake failure.

C.W. McCall's popularity reached its peak in January 1976, when "Convoy" -- from his second album, Black Bear Road -- reached the number one position on both the pop and country charts of Billboard.

Like most musical acts, C.W. McCall toured the country, with Bill singing the words of C.W. and the "Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant Boys" playing the music. In reality, the "Boys" were Chip Davis and an eclectic mix of musicians, who spent their non-C.W. McCall time recording albums of Chip's music. Chip was a pioneer of "New Age" music, and his albums, recorded under the group name of "Mannheim Steamroller", were also successful. But the fact that Chip Davis was the music behind C.W. McCall was not a well-known fact.

Another little known fact is that the Old Home Fill-er Up An' Keep On A-Truckin' Cafe exists in Pisgah, Iowa.

[Steve McIlree, 02/09/2002]

March 2016: The cafe was sold way back in 2003, but continues to operate, and the cafe sign still hangs over the front entrance.

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