Cover image for Night train. Vol. 3 classic railroad songs.
Night train. Vol. 3 classic railroad songs.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Rounder, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc (44 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Blues and rhythm and blues.

Subtitle from program notes.

Program notes by Norm Cohen ([16] p. : ill.) inserted in container.
Choo choo ch' boogie (Louis Jordan) (2:41) -- Take the "A" train (Delta Rhythm Boys) (3:01) -- All aboard (Muddy Waters) (2:54) -- Leavin' Memphis, Frisco bound (Jesse Fuller) (5:07) -- There's a train (Holmes Brothers) (3:56) -- Rock Island Line (Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir) (2:45) -- Mainliner (Little Esther and the Robins) (2:34) -- Railroadin' some (Henry "Ragtime Texas" Thomas) (3:15) -- Mystery train (Little Junior Parker and his Blue Flames) (2:23) -- Night train (Bill Doggett) (3:22) -- Cannon ball (Nora Lee King) (2:41) -- B & O blues (Joe Turner with Pete Johnson's Orchestra) (2:53) -- Trouble in mind (Sister Rosetta Tharpe with Lucky Millinder's Orchestra) (2:34) -- Boogie woogie choo choo train (Brenda Boykin with the Johnny Ncturne Band) (2:58)
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FOLKUS .ZN687 N V.3 Compact Disc Central Library

On Order



Trains were a major industrial force for over a hundred years in America. Starting around 1830, they became key components in how the country moved goods, people, and information across previously unimaginable distances. They also provided themes and metaphors for popular songs and music, many of which also drew underlying structure and dynamics from the chug-chug and clickety-clack rhythms of a train in passing, while horn players and harmonica wizards worked to simulate the blast of the steam whistle on their instruments. As a metaphor for arrivals and departures, as proof for deliverance to a better place, the train was a strong signature in the Afro-American musical community. This interesting collection from Rounder Records underscores the role of the train in that regard, full of train-like rhythms and the use of the train image to convey all manner of social connections, from deliverance to release. Muddy Waters' "All Aboard," for instance, an early variation of a folk song that would eventually emerge as "Mystery Train," mimics the chugging sound of a train pulling into a station, complete with harmonica fills that stand in for a train's whistle. Henry Thomas' "Railroadin' Some," recorded in 1929 and the oldest piece compiled here, is nothing less than a litany of train stops punctuated by Thomas' cane fife blasts. Song after song here draws on the sound and thematic possibilities of the train, and as the 21st century chugs forward, the train becomes a perhaps even more potent image, conjuring the past and where and what we've been even as it pulls out of the station toward some uncertain future. ~ Steve Leggett