Trains

It’s night time in the big city
A night watchman rinses out his thermos
The last train from Overbrook pulls into the station. “Today we’re gonna hit the road, we’re gonna ride the blinds, and dodge the yard bulls. We’re gonna take a ride on the Redding, transfer over to the B & O, and if we have time, pick up our tickets for the Orient Express. So all you box car tourists, get yourselves out of the roundhouse and hop aboard, as we spend the next hour contemplating the iron horse. It’s not a crazy idea, but we got a ‘loco motive’ and it’s all about trains. In the background, Meade Anderson Lewis; perhaps you know him better as Mead Lux Lewis. He was one of the kings of the honky tonk piano and, like a lot of the great piano players, he used his rockin’ left hand to imitate the rhythm of the trains on the tracks.”

The Singers and Songs

  • Johnny Burnett Trio
    Lonesome Train on a Lonesome Track
    “Believe it or not, the Johnny Burnett Rock and Roll Trio were invited to appear on Ted Mack Amateur Hour (http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=originalamat), where they won the competition three times in a row. I want you to listen to this record, and just imagine anything this raw winning 3 weeks in a row on American Idol.”
  • Mystery Train
  • Waiting For A Train
    “Well you can’t do a show about trains without playing something by the Singing Brakeman. We played him a bunch of times, and we’ve talked about him, and the most you’re gonna get here is a sample. There’s no substitute for going out and listening to all of his records or reading about his life. There’s a bunch of great books about him, or you can just look him up on Wikipedia!”
  • Draw Your Brakes
  • The Clash
    Train In Vain (Stand By Me)
  • Jimmy Forrest
    Night Train
  • Freight Train Boogie
  • Lonesome Whistle Blues
  • Frankie Lane
    Mule Train
    “HeyAAHH!”
  • The Train
    “An eccentric performer who got his start as the master of ceremonies at dance marathons. He had a unique vocal style, rhythmic in presentation, as you can hear for yourself on this little piece all about trains.”
  • Train Kept Rollin’
    “I want you to listen to the beginning of this record. There’s a call and response section. Tiny goes ‘Boodow!’ and the whole band goes ‘Boodow!’ Then Tiny goes ‘Booday!’ and the whole band goes ‘Booday!’ Except for one guy who still goes ‘Boodow!’ Nowadays, you’d just take pro tools and take that guy out, or maybe you’d re-record the whole track. But back then, it was more important to be great than to be perfect.”
  • Last Train To Clarksville
    “I’ve always believed that the first rule of being subversive is not to let anybody know you’re being subversive.”
  • Leadbelly
    Midnight Special
  • The Jubilaires
    Casey Jones
  • Grateful Dead
    Casey Jones

The Other People and Players

  • Ray Pennington
  • The Yardbirds
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Grand Funk Railroad
  • W.H. Auden
  • Bunky Parker
  • Johnny Hodges
  • Wayne Raney
    "King of the choke style harmonica"
  • Augustus Chapman Allen
  • Derek Harriott
  • Auburn Hair
  • Glen Moore
  • Milton Subotsky
  • Sam Houston
  • Don Kirby Allen
  • Syd Nathan

    "Listen to a little bit of Syd addressing the troops. Any of you record company employees? Might wanna take some notes."

  • Duke Ellington
    Jungle Band
  • Muddy Waters
  • Aerosmith
  • Benny King
  • John Coltrane
  • Elvis Presley
    "Cleaned up that naughty 'One Night' and hit big with it" “the swivel hipped rockabilly cat”

The Other Songs and Albums

The Books and Poems

The Places

  • Canton
  • Sugar Land, TX
  • Gilmore, TX
  • Minneapolis
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

“So we’re just gonna pick up our bags at the station, pull our arms outta the window when we go through a tunnel, get our ticket punched, and we’ll see ya back at the depot next week, on your home for interstate travel, Theme Time Radio Hour. Look out for the cow catcher.”