Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Whatever happened to CB radios?

Apr 5, 2022, 3:57 PM
Trucker uses CB radio. CW McCall sang trucker songs....
Sherman Peterman of Abbeville, Ala., on his CB microphone while at an Albany, Georgia truck stop on Dec. 11, 1989. Photo credit: Elliot Minor, AP Photo.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — We should have known. Way back in 1977, America got a brief glimpse of what social media would do to society.

Because in 1977 every American who had 75 bucks bought a CB radio.

They mounted it under the dash. Ostensibly you could monitor traffic conditions on the road ahead, the way truckers did on Channel 19.

Now if you don’t know, a CB radio has something Americans never had in their car before.

A microphone.

Press the key and you could broadcast to everybody on the highway.

So what did we have to say when almost every American was given the ability to broadcast?

Gibberish. Nonsense. We all started speaking nothin’ but trucker CB Slang.

Conversations, even at the dinner table were littered with references.

References like “yeah good buddy I’m takin Ike to Salty, eyeballin’ Evil Knievel at the taco stand. 10-4 goodbuddy.”

Which means “I’m taking I-80 to Salt Lake, watching for motorcycle cops–Evil Knievels– at the border station.” And 10-4 means… you know what? Forget it.

The important part is everybody used that fake trucker accent.

This got so out of hand that the number one song of the year was a little ditty about CB radio slang called “Convoy”.


CW McCall sang trucker songs, including this accidental hit called “Convoy” which every person in America could sing word-for-word.

So what happened to CB radios?

The CB airwaves got overcrowded with idiocy, just like social media. We should have known.

Truckers scattered to other channels and people realized “why am I listening to this nonsense when there’s good music on the radio?”

So CBs went away, as did CW McCall, who died over the weekend at the age of 93.

Gone to the great big choke n puke in the sky. That’s CB slang for a truck stop.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Whatever happened to CB radios?