In 1983, David Allan Coe released “The Ride” as the lead single off his album Castles in the Sand. The song became one of the biggest hits of Coe as it spent nineteen weeks on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, where it peaked at No. 4.
It also spurred the success of Castles in the Sand as the album ranked No. 8 on the country albums chart – making it a huge comeback for Coe, who had had the same mark eight years earlier.
Meaning Behind The Song
Written by Gary Gentry and J.B. Detterline Jr., “The Ride” finds David Allan Coe trying to hitch a ride from Montgomery, Alabama, to Nashville, Tennessee, with a guitar on his back. Luckily, a stranger in an antique Cadillac gave him a ride.
However, he felt there was something strange about the ride – especially with the mysterious driver who was ghostly white pale. Soon, the man played some country classics and started asking him how dedicated he was to becoming a star in the country industry.
The driver later dropped him off south of Nashville and told him he was going back to Alabama.
So, he stepped out of the Cadillac and thanked the Mister. However, the man told him he didn’t have to call him Mister and revealed that “the whole world called me Hank.”
It turns out that peculiar man was no other than the ghost of country legend Hank Williams, Sr. – who died in the backseat of his 1952 Cadillac. He and his hired driver were on a long drive from Williams’ home in Montgomery, Alabama, to perform a concert planned in Canton, Ohio.
“The Ride” was later covered by Hank Williams Jr.
Well, tune in and play the video below to listen to “The Ride.” Just like most songs by David Allan Coe, the country singer showed off how great of a storyteller he is. The eerie tale would surely send chills down your spine.
David Allan Coe