December 17

“Pickup Man” at No. 1: Joe Diffie’s Early Gift in 1994

For sure, Joe Diffie has more reasons to celebrate Christmas that early since 1994. Each year, he looks forward to remembering the gift he received on December 17, 1994. Today marks the 24th year since the singer earned his long-lasting No. 1 hit “Pickup Man.” Written by Howard Perdew and Kerry Kurt Phillips, the song was released in October 1994 as the second single on his album Third Rock from the Sun. The “A Night to Remember” singer scored a total of five No. 1 hits throughout his renowned career. However, “Pickup Man” remains his most successful record to date. It stayed atop the country chart for four consecutive weeks.

Joe Diffie, singer of "Pickup Man."
Photo credit: Joe Diffie’s Official Facebook Page

Immersing Into the Lyrics

Set to a moderate up-tempo beat, “Pickup Man” narrates the story of a man’s affection toward his pickup truck. He strongly believed that driving it would make him meet the woman of his dreams. In fact, the song’s lyrics clearly indicated how the protagonist has always won over women. His first win happened when he was still a kid:

Well, I got my first truck when I was three
Drove a hundred thousand miles on my knees
I hauled marbles and rocks and thought twice before
I hauled a Barbie doll bed for the girl next door
She tried to pay me with a kiss and I began to understand
There’s something women like about a pickup man

When the narrator turned 16, he had the chance to secure a ride for Bobbie Joe Gentry, a high school homecoming queen. At this point, the song seems to imply two things: the man not only drives a pickup truck but also picks up women in it.

I was cruisin’ the town and the first girl I see
Is Bobbie Joe Gentry, the homecoming queen
She flagged me down and climbed up in the cab
And said “I never knew you were a pickup man!”

“Pickup Man” offered some help in setting the standard for upbeat, rock-influenced country music. But more than that, the song was able to capture the winning humor and honky tonk style of Joe Diffie. Perhaps many of you would agree that this funny song is the best that a real flexible artist could ever make. In effect, the song’s music video vividly displayed the elements of fun and fantasy. The clip was shot at a drive-in theater in Lewisburg, Tennessee under Deaton-Flanigen Productions’ direction.

Watch the official music video for Joe Diffie’s “Pickup Man” below.


Howard Perdew, Joe Diffie, Kerry Kurt Phillips, Pickup Man

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