Theron Eugene “Ted” Daffan (September 21, 1912– October 6, 1996) was an American country musician noted for composing the seminal “Truck Driver’s Blues” and two much covered country anthems of unrequited love, “Born to Lose” and “I’m a Fool to Care”.
In the 1930s, Western Swing bandleader Milton Brown convinced Daffan to start performing. Soon after he scored his first success as a songwriter with “Truck Drivers’ Blues”, one of the first truck-driving songs, a motif which would come to dominate country music for decades.
Daffan wrote “Truck Drivers’ Blues” after he stopped at a roadside diner, and noticed that every time a trucker parked his rig and strolled into the cafe, the first thing he did, even before ordering a cup of coffee, was push a coin in the jukebox. He decided to write a song to capture some of the truck drivers’ nickels and make himself rich and famous. Recorded by western swing artist Cliff Bruner (with Moon Mullican on lead vocal) in 1939, the song sold more than 100,000 copies, the best-selling record of that year.
Forming his own band, The Texans, Daffan scored a string of hits, including “Worried Mind”, “Those Blue Eyes Are Not Shining Anymore”, “She Goes The Other Way”, “No Letter Today”, and “Born to Lose”, which was also a platinum disc for Ray Charles in 1962. Daffan’s version of “Born to Lose” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
“I’m a Fool to Care” was first released by Ted Daffan’s Texans in 1940. Its enduring lament, “I’m a fool to care, when you don’t care for me”, was recorded by numerous artists over the ensuing 75 years. The Les Paul and Mary Ford version went to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1954, and was featured in a popular Southern Comfort commercial in 2013.Joe Barry‘s 1961 swamp pop version sold over one million copies.Ray Charles recorded it in 1965; Ringo Starr included it on his first solo album in 1970; and Boz Scaggs made it the title song on his 2015 release, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard blues chart.