Tony Justice is proof that dreams can come true.
The truck driver and OOIDA member performed in front of thousands of country music fans as part of the Mid-America Trucking Show on March 24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
“Special thanks to God, my family, Trucker Nation and Mobil Delvac for making a dream come true,” Justice wrote on Facebook shortly after opening the concert for Thompson Square. “Best crowd I’ve ever played in front of.”
In 2012, Justice attended MATS for the first time, handing out CDs to spread the word about his music. Since then Justice and his wife, Misty, have pounded the pavement, while Tony played as many shows as possible in between hauls.
On Friday night, the Justices were rewarded for their work after many truckers asked MATS organizers to let Tony perform.
“I wouldn’t be here without all of you guys going to their website and Facebook pages, asking for me to be here,” Justice said in a Facebook Live post moments before the show. “You’ll never know how much I appreciate this.
“We’re fixing to rock the house trucker style. This is because of you guys. If you think truckers don’t have a voice and we can’t be heard, you’re so wrong because this wouldn’t be happening without truck drivers. All you guys, who sacrifice time from your homes with your friends and family and from your hobbies, I know what that’s about. I do it every day of the week. … I wouldn’t be here without you.”
Justice, a second-generation truck driver, climbed the ladder in the country music industry the past several years. A grassroots effort of sorts started with the release of the album “On the Road” in 2011. He followed with “Apple Pie Moonshine” in 2013, and “Brothers of the Highway” in 2016. Singing about life on the road, Justice continues to resonate with truck drivers and attract new country music fans.
In the title track of his 2016 album, Justice sings with OOIDA Life Member and country music star Aaron Tippin. The video boasts a half-million views on YouTube.com.
In 2016, Justice opened for John Michael Montgomery at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas and headlined the Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo. He also will perform in June at the Wheel Jam Truck Show in Huron, S.D.
The video features OOIDA’s Jon Osburn, “The Spirit,” and several other trucks driven by OOIDA members.
Justice spent most of his time at MATS, meeting fans at signing autographs at various booths.
Truck driver Allan Morgan and his wife, Betty, said Justice’s music relates to over-the-road truckers.
“He’s down to earth,” Allan said moments after Justice took photos and signed autographs for his family. “He sings true stories about truck drivers.”
Mark Schremmer, staff writer, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant sports editor at The Joplin Globe, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and 16 years of journalism experience to our staff. Mark is a graduate of Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.