Howes is honored to induct Tony Justice into its inaugural class of 2020. A truck driver of over 20 years, Tony is also an authentic musician who draws inspiration from the roads he travels and the people he meets. Born in the small town of Visalia, CA, he has become one of country music’s most talked about independent artists. Tony has sold over 100,000 albums in the past 9 years, all while averaging 2,500 miles per week as a professional truck driver.
Nothing moves Tony more than country music and truck driving. “I’m the most blessed guy in the world. I get to live two childhood dreams,” Tony says. “I get to drive trucks and make music.” His passion and dedication to his two-lane career made him a perfect candidate for the Howes Hall of Fame. “It’s truly humbling,” Tony continues. “The thought that so many people are supporting my music and my dreams. I’d like to thank Howes for welcoming me into the Hall of Fame. As a 100-year-old, family owned American company, it’s a real honor to be recognized by them.”
Howes has a long standing connection to music as well. Bruce Howes, father of current company president Robert Howes, dabbled in country music for several years. Under the persona of Kenny Westwood, Bruce would get on stage with his guitar and perform for truckers nationwide in his search for the ultimate All-American Trucker, the one he called Big Earl. He wrote two full albums of trucker-themed country songs, The Legend of Big Earl and Big Earl Returns. Bruce sang on the albums along with Nashville stars such as Porter Wagoner, Jeannie Seely, Lee Greenwood, Red Simpson, and Dick Curless. Produced by beloved Nashville producer Mark Moseley, Bruce’s albums represent America and, more specifically, America’s truckers. Tony knows more than anyone that when you understand the trucking industry, you understand the meaning behind these types of songs. They represent pride for the job, the lifestyle, and the hard-working people you see day in and day out on the road. The Howes family believes that Tony would have been Bruce’s perfect example of “Big Earl.”
Embodying so much of what it means to be a trucker, it’s no surprise that Tony is an in-demand performer around the country. Yet while he may play in front of several thousand people at a time, he continues to be a friendly, approachable, everyday guy as well. After a show, you can find him signing autographs and listening to the stories of each and every fan about the impact his music has had on their lives. On the road, you can find him at a truck stop café talking shop about what you’re hauling or where you’re headed. This connection with people is what helps make Tony’s music so relatable. “I’ve been blessed to be in a unique position as an artist,” Tony explains. “Not only can my fans relate to my music and to me, but I can relate to them… and so does my music. They understand I’m out here in the trenches with my brothers and sister most every day.”
In between long hauls and playing shows, Tony makes sure to take time to appreciate what truly matters; his family. On his rare days off, he can be found next to his loved ones around a watering hole or a dirt track. Tony often emphasizes that he couldn’t make it on the road or on the stage without so much support from home.
With deep passion for his music, unwavering love for his family, and steadfast dedication as a driver, Tony is genuinely an All-American inspiration. For all of this and more, Howes is thrilled to welcome Tony Justice into the Howes Hall of Fame.
The Howes Hall of Fame was inspired, in part, by the company’s 100th Anniversary, which they are celebrating this year. It serves as a platform for Howes to thank and acknowledge all the great work that has, and does, go on in the trucking and agricultural industries. With the goal of recognizing unique achievements across a broad spectrum of categories, the Hall will provide a showcase that will live on for generations. The Howes Hall of Fame officially launched on March 26th, and can be viewed now at www.howesproducts.com/HOF.