Monday’s Music Moves Me: ALL ABOARD!

Freebie day, which means I had to come up with a topic, and I chose trains. Here are a dozen songs about trains or trainyards.

  1. The O’Jays, "Love Train": We’ll start with Gamble & Huff’s Philly classic, sung by the O’Jays on SOOOOOOOOOOOOOUL TRAAAAAAAAAAAAIN! This was #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1972-73, and Lord knows we needed it then (and now)…

  2. Elvis Presley, "Mystery Train": A classic blues song written by Junior Parker in 1953 and covered by Elvis in 1955 as the flip side to "I Forgot To Remember To Forget." Established Elvis as a legitimate country star. It was released later in 1955 on RCA Records and reached #11 on the Country chart.

  3. Steve Goodman, "City Of New Orleans": Steve wrote this toward the beginning of his career, and it’s been recorded by many artists, including Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Reed, and Johnny Cash. Steve’s another one that left us way too soon.

  4. Charlie McCoy, "Orange Blossom Special": Sounds great on violin, but sounds even greater on harmonica especially when someone like Charlie McCoy does it.

  5. Django Reinhardt, "Mystery Pacific": Recorded in 1937 with Stephane Grappelli and the Quintette du Hot Club de France. I love how it starts like a locomotive gaining steam…

  6. Johnny Cash, "Folsom Prison Blues": A classic from his concert at Folsom Prison in 1968. He wrote this back in 1953 and recored it on his first album in 1955. It became one of his signature songs.

  7. Lonnie Donegan, "Rock Island Line": The "King of Skiffle," who inspired many a young British musician who ended up on our shores as part of the British invasion. Reached #8 in the UK and the US in 1955.

  8. Brook Benton, "Rainy Night In Georgia": One of my favorite songs, written by Tony Joe White one day when he couldn’t work because it was raining. Brook Benton had been popular in the ’50’s but slid off the chart in the ’60’s, so this was his big comeback song. Reached #4 on the Hot 100, #1 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

  9. Glen Campbell, "Gentle On My Mind": A song written and recorded by John Hartford for which he won Grammys for Best Folk Performance and Best Country & Western Song in 1968. Glen Campbell recorded it a demo of it later that year with some of his Wrecking Crew buddies, and Al DeLory, his Capitol Records producer, liked both the demo and the actual recording, took out Glen’s shouted instructions to his band, and issued it as a single. It only reached #39 on the Hot 100, but earned Glen Grammys for Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Male and Best Country & Western Recording in ’68.

  10. The Monkees, "Last Train To Clarksville": The Monkees’ first single, written by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart. It reached #1 in the US and Canada around the same time the TV show was starting.

  11. Supertramp, "Rudy": I hadn’t heard of this song before, but when I heard it I knew it fit. From their third album, 1974’s Crime Of The Century.

  12. Jethro Tull, "Locomotive Breath": Another more-or-less favorite from my high school days, this was from Tull’s 1971 Aqualung album.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 9, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

17 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: ALL ABOARD!

  1. No wonder people fell in love with trains; singing and listening to train songs is so much fun. What a selection; old favorites like City of New Orleans, Locomotive Breath, and Last Train to Clarksville, Rudy was an interesting find; we had one of their albums but not Crime of the Century. Nice playlist!

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    1. I remember running into an old road warrior from Scotland (and I can’t remember where, other than that it was in a hotel bar that seemed to be under construction) and him telling me that the train was the only way to travel. I regret that I never have. And I grew up in Chicago, the railway hub of the nation, where if you wanted to go coast-to-coast you had to pass through. The sort of romance that we held for air travel in the ’60’s and ’70’s was what we had for train travel in the ’50’s and ’60’s. Glad you enjoyed it!


  2. Hey! Because of you I listened to the Orange Blossom Special when I had the 60s version on my blog. This was a lot of fun listening to all the train songs. I had no idea there were that many. I knew the ;last one was Jethrow Tull because if his unique voice. Have a Happy Monday and stay cool.

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  3. What a great bunch of songs. You caught me at the very beginning with Soooul Train, Love Train. Then I got lost as the Monkees were jumping around my brain. Didn’t they do…? And I kept scrolling. You didn’t disappoint! Just a scroll away I remembered clarksomethin’ And there it was. Thank you for being so thorough! My day can get started!

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  4. John,

    I’m getting onboard to listen to your train themed songs. You picked a great on to start your playlist The O’Jays’ “Love Train”. Now to enjoy the rest of your selection while I do a few things around the house. Thanks for joining the 4M crew on the dance floor. Have a boogietastic week, my friend!

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