A single 1974 Dodge Club Cab pickup in Oak Vale, Mississippi, has somehow escaped the gaze and thoughtful tune-smithing of country music songwriters. The sky blue four-speed vehicle resting beneath the spreading boughs of a 61-year-old magnolia tree to the side of retired farmer Clyde Henderson’s modest home has never once been the lyrical setting of a tailgate party, mudding adventure, or late night tryst.
Henderson says he feels bad for “Brenda” (his affectionate name for the Dodge) because even though she has taken part in such activities as circling up for a party, carrying wood for a bonfire, rolling over in a ditch on a tight curve, cranking ol’ Hank, and other country music tropes, not so much as a chorus has ever memorialized her in song. “I think it hurts her – yeah, I think she has feelings – to hear literally every other pickup truck in America get its own few minutes of fame on country radio,” said a downcast Henderson.
These days, Brenda spends much of her time taking Clyde to his morning breakfast club or hauling the occasional load of firewood, her hard-partying glory days only documented in the dings, scrapes, and squeaks on the old Club Cab. “Don’t tell Lena [Clyde’s wife of 42 years] I said this, but our first kid was made in that ol’ truck one night down by Jeff Davis Lake, while fireflies danced and Ray Price sang on those crackling speakers,” recalled Henderson. “Hell, that’s a platinum Jason Aldean single just waiting to happen.”
Other marketable, high-country-cred events in Brenda’s past that have inexplicably been overlooked by Nashville’s finest include: hauling ass down River Road with a stolen case of High Life in the bed, getting stuck in a soybean field on purpose, playing host to a tailgate striptease by Lena (don’t tell her we said that), flying a rebel flag, taking Clyde and a friend to a Bocephus concert, and more.
At press time, 64 Music Row songwriters were wondering why their GPS couldn’t locate Oak Vale.