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Overview (3)

Born in Audubon, Iowa, USA
Birth NameBilly Dale Fries
Nickname C.W. McCall

Mini Bio (1)

William Dale Fries, Jr. was born on November 15, 1928 in Audubon, Iowa. Although he showed musical promise as a child, Fries nonetheless was more interested in a career in graphic design. He attended the University of Iowa and majored in fine arts. While at the University of Iowa Bill also studied music and played in the school's concert band. Following graduation Fries got a job handling art chores at an Omaha, Nebraska television station. He began hosting his own TV program after working at this particular job for five years. In the early 60's Bill started working as the art director for the Omaha advertising agency Bozell Jacobs. In 1972 he created the character of truck driver C.W. McCall for a series of TV commercials for the Metz Baking Company. McCall was originally portrayed by Dallas, Texas actor Jim Finlayson. These ads were not only hugely popular with viewers, but also lead to Fries winning the prestigious Clio Award. In 1974 Bill recorded the country song "Old Home Filler-Up 'an Keep on A-Truckin' Cafe" using the pseudonym C.W. McCall. The song was a Top 20 country radio hit. The follow-up single "Wolf Creek Pass" did even better. In January, 1976 Fries scored a huge crossover smash with the rousing trucker's country anthem "Convoy," which peaked at #1 on both the pop and country radio stations alike. The tremendous success of "Convoy" played a key role in popularizing the whole 70's CB craze and the song was adapted into a theatrical film by noted director Sam Peckinpah in 1978 (a new version of "Convoy" was prominently featured on the soundtrack to the movie). Bill recorded several more albums and singles before quitting the music business in 1980. Fries became active in the environmental movement in the early 80's. In 1986 Bill was elected mayor of the town of Ouray, Colorado and would ultimately serve two full terms as mayor. In 1990 Fries released his last solo album "The Real McCall: An American Storyteller" which contrary to common belief, it was not an attempt at a comeback but done for his fans, so they could have some of his music on CD. He also released one album with Mannheim Steamroller in 2003 titled American Spirt. Bill Fries lives in Ouray, Colorado with his wife Rena.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (1)

Rena (? - present)

Trivia (4)

Was one time mayor of Ouray, Colorado.
His song, "Convoy", was instrumental in giving rise to the C.B. radio craze in the late '70s.
In the late 1960s, he wrote a series of story-songs used in TV commercials for Old Home Bakery. The stories involved a fictional long-haul truck driver named "C.W. McCall", from which he took his pseudonym.
His wife Rena is referenced as "RJ" in the lyrics of the C.W. McCall song "Black Bear Road".

Personal Quotes (1)

"Life is simply a collection of memories...but memories are like starlight...they live forever." (Written as C. W. McCall)

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