Twenty-six years ago today, on Dec. 17, 1994, Joe Diffie received an early Christmas present: It was on that date that his single “Pickup Man,” from his Third Rock From the Sun album, landed at the top of the charts, where it stayed for four consecutive weeks.
“Pickup Man,” written by Howard Perdew and Kerry Kurt Phillips, defends a man’s penchant for his pickup truck with cleverly crafted lines such as, “You can set my truck on fire and roll it down a hill / And I still wouldn’t trade it for a Coupe de Ville / I got an eight-foot bed that never has to be made / You know, if it weren’t for trucks we wouldn’t have tailgates / I met all my wives in traffic jams / There’s just something women like about a pickup man.” The song was the second one from Third Rock From the Sun to reach No. 1; Diffie’s previous single, the album’s title track, also landed in the top spot.
Although Diffie notched five No. 1 hits throughout his illustrious career, “Pickup Man” remains his most successful to date, and his only song to stay at No. 1 for so long. The tunesmith included “Pickup Man” on his 1998 Greatest Hits album, as well as his 2002 16 Biggest Hits record and 2011’s Playlist: The Very Best of Joe Diffie.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.