Why Billy Craddock Became ‘Crash’
With summer comin' on I'm reminded of one of the all-time great sing-a-long country classics.
1974 was a great year in country music. And that was great for me, since I was a fresh faced 18 year old kid in my first year of working in the radio business. And more than four decades later, I still have to crank up and sing along with a great hit whenever I hear it.
The song was 'Rub It In' and the artists was the great Billy 'Crash' Craddock. Billy already was a star, having had over a half dozen Top Ten hits by then, including the 1971 smash 'Knock Three Times'. But it was 'Rub It In' that got me hooked. I can remember sitting in the studio at KWYR in Winner, South Dakota and wailing along (thankfully I was alone) while I watched that 45 go round and round and round. (OK kids, if you don't know what a 45 is, talk to your parents...or maybe grandparents!).
Being the youngest of 13 children, I thought maybe the North Carolina native got his nickname 'Crash' battling his siblings for food at the supper table, but no. According to Billy's website it was a name he received on the football field in high school. Now I'm not sure how good Billy was, but I don't think I'd care tun run into a player nicknamed 'Crash'!
Billy 'Crash' went on to have a fantastic career and through the years I played every Craddock song that came along. And as it turns out, Billy wasn't just about 'country/rock'. Two of my favorite Billy 'Crash' Craddock classics are beautiful ballads, 'Broken Down In Tiny Pieces', a chart topper in 1976, and 1978's 'If I Could Write A Song As Beautiful As You'.
And the really good news? At 76 years young Billy is still doing shows and, no doubt, thrilling his fans (of which I a big 'un!).
But for now, since it's summer, let's lay out and see if we can find someone to 'Rub It In'!