Thursday, December 3, 2009

Needed: The Ballad of Bobby Allison

He came from Alabam
Lugnut wrench in his hand
No one drove harder than
Ol' Bobby Allison...

Why has no one written a song about Bobby Allison, a tragic figure in stock car racing? Or the star-crossed Alabama Gang? Maybe somebody has and I just haven't tripped across it.

Bobby's son Clifford was killed on the track at Michigan. His son Davey died in a helicopter crash beside Talladega Superspeedway, near the clan's home in Hueytown, Alabama. Bobby, who turns 72 today, was nearly killed in an awful wreck at Pocono -- just months after becoming the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500 -- and he never was the same again.

Bobby was coming to Sarasota a few years ago so I decided to interview him for a newspaper column. I was anxious to hear the memories of his 1988 Daytona 500 victory, when he and Davey finished 1-2 in one of those storybook endings. He's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever run into.

And you know what he said? He said he couldn't remember. He remembered winning two other races that weekend at Daytona. He even remembered a few details about the celebration dinner after his big Sunday win. But he has no recollection of the race.

Now that's a sad song waiting to be written.


  1. You have the chorus, Dude. Just add a couple verses and it's done!

  2. I've been itching to get back to writing songs now that school's about done. I'm on it.