We don’t know anything about Jack Derrick’s early life. He seems to have emanated from Texas in 1921, and he began recording as early as 1946 in a sparse honky tonk (mainly guitars) instrumentation for King. This label did issue on both main serie as well as on Deluxe and Federal the result of 12 songs two sessions. Best tunes are one « Truck Drivin’ Man » , « Got Worried Blues In My Mind », « I Want A Woman (That Can Cook) » or « Triflin’ Baby ». I don’t know if any tune did meet the success, although « Truck Drivin’ Man » remains as a minor classic : it even has been re-recorded in the early ’60s on a « trucker » LP (# 866 « Truck Drivers Songs »). Another curiosity is the line in the song: «
« When my truck drivin’ man comes into town
I’ll dress up in my silken gown »
So Derrick was ahead of his time with a gay trucker song.
Derrick also had issues on the Clifton and Eagle labels (untraced) during the early 50s.
Back in 1955, Cowboy Jack Derrick was working at KNUZ in Houston, Texas. He hosted a show called the « KNUZ Corral » each day from 11:00am to 1:25pm, Monday through Saturday.??On Saturday night, he would sing and do comedy as well as part of the KNUZ Saturday Night Jamboree. To finish off his weekends of personal appearances, he performed at the Magnolia Gardens on Sundays where they did outdoor shows.??In late 1954, Biff Collie and Jack wrote Martha Ferguson of Pickin’ and Singin’ News that they had a ‘homecoming’ type of show lined up for their Christmas Jamboree show over KNUZ. Texas Bill Strength and Arlie Duff were to make appearances.??In May of 1955, we note that Jack wrote a letter of encouragement to the new publication, Country & Western Jamboree to help disc jockeys like himself keep up on the news.??In the summer of 1955, Jack wrote one of those regional roundup columns and gave us some insight into the KNUZ Saturday Night Jamboree show. It was held at the City auditorium and broadcast every Saturday night from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. At that time, he told readers some of the members of their cast were Link Davis, Sonny Burns, Floyd Tillman, and, Burt and Charley. The show would also include guest appearances by other acts who were probably making appearances in the area and included such names as Red Foley, Tex Ritter, Eddie Dean, T. Texas Tyler, Tommy Collins and Jimmie Davis. He also told readers of another Jamboree show that he had learned about when he visited with the show’s organizer, Hank Jones over in Hammond, Louisiana. That show, The Southeastern Jamboree was held on Saturday nights at the Reimers Auditorium in Hammond.??
Finally he had two interesting boppers in 1955-57. One is on Starday (# 205) , « Waitin’ and Watchin’ », which is fine. Even better is the very first Longhorn issue « Black Mail », full of energy and happiness (# 501). After that Derrick disappears at least from the recording scene : only one more picture shows him in 1960 with Hal Harris.
Note. Drunken Hobo pointed out the two versions of « Truck Driving Man », which had escaped me.
credits: Allan Turner for Federal and True-Tone (South Africa pressing) scans. Hillbilly Researcher for Majestic issue. « HillbillyBoogie1 » (You tube) for the mid-50s bio details.Various sources (also own collection) for the rest. Comments welcome!