Songs Of Their Own | Robert Doerr – Truckin

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, JamBase teamed with Telefunken to produce the Songs Of Their Own video series. We began with a list of 100 Grateful Dead original songs (exclusively their tunes, not covers they often played) and tapped many of our favorite artists to record a cover version either at the JamBase office in San Francisco or at one of the many venues around town and beyond. No song was allowed to be covered twice, and today’s participant Robert Doerr squeezed out “Truckin.’”

One of the most well-known and most played Grateful Dead songs, “Truckin’” made its debut opening an acoustic first set at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on August 18, 1970. It was a relative hit for the band, issued as a single from their album American Beauty and their highest chart success until “Touch Of Grey” in 1987. Credited to Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Robert Hunter the autobiographical tale of the band’s highs and lows on the road was played live by The Dead over 500 times. Its long strange trip ended with the band’s final take on “Truckin’” coming June 6, 1995 at Riverport Amphitheatre outside St. Louis.

Robert Doerr’s music may be most familiar to San Francisco locals and visitors who travel on the city’s BART train system. Doerr was filmed playing his accordion version of “Truckin’” at the Civic Center BART Station where he frequently performs for commuters with his trusty dog Ginger by his side. Passersby couldn’t help but stop and listen to Doerr’s spirited instrumental arrangement of the track. He is currently raising funds to replace his broken Roland FR3X accordion through a GoFundMe campaign, which you can contribute to here.

Watch all of the Songs Of Their Own entries including Anders Osborne & Luther Dickinson, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams and more via the YouTube Playlist below.