First, this word from Good & Plenty candy!
Sheldon Cooper would be thrilled to death with today’s theme, chosen by Stacy: songs about trains and railroads! This kid from Chicago, at one time the railroad hub of the nation, can actually remember when trains were a bigger deal than planes. My Dad worked for the Monon Railroad, “The Hoosier Line,” which ran from Chicago to beautiful Monon, Indiana and other points around the Midwest. The Santa Fe Railroad used to sponsor the Ten O’Clock News on WBBM, and there were commercials for the Super Chief, the train that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles and at one time carried some of the biggest stars of the day. By the end of the Sixties, most people had switched over to air travel, and now the trains are used mostly for commuters. Amtrak runs most intercity service now. But at one time? The train was the way to go.
Steve Goodman, “City of New Orleans” Arlo Guthrie’s is the best-known version of this, but here you have the composer singing it. Steve, who was from Chicago, wrote this around the same time Amtrak took over the train that ran from Chicago to New Orleans.
Butterfield Blues Band, “Mystery Train” Written by Junior Parker, it’s been recorded by Elvis, but this is a better version, in my humblest of opinions.
Quintette of the Hot Club of France, “Mystery Pacific” More Django Reinhardt! This is from 1937.
Howlin’ Wolf, “Smokestack Lightnin'” I’ve used this one a few times, but this is the only live version they know of, from a Folk Blues concert tour in the UK in 1964. That’s Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Big Willie Dixon on bass, and I’m not sure who’s on piano and drums.
The Beatles, “One After 909” The Beatles wrote this song back when they got their start, and didn’t record it until the Let It Be album. This is a live version fromn 1962, when Pete Best was still the drummer.
Theme from “Petticoat Junction” I just had to toss this one in. The song was written by Paul Henning, the show’s producer and Linda Kaye Henning’s (who played Betty Jo for the entire run of the series) father.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 13, 2017.