The Wabash Cannonball!

The Wabash Cannonball! 

Old.train

“The Wabash Cannonball” is an American folk song about a fictional train, thought to have originated in the late nineteenth century. Its first documented appearance was on sheet music published in 1882, titled “The Great Rock Island Route” and credited to J. A. Roff. All subsequent versions contain a variation of the chorus:

Now listen to the jingle, and the rumble, and the roar,
As she dashes thro’ the woodland, and speeds along the shore,
See the mighty rushing engine, hear her merry bell ring out,
As they speed along in safety, on the “Great Rock-Island Route.”

A rewritten version by William Kindt appeared in 1904 under the title “Wabash Cannon Ball”. The Carter Family made one of the first recordings of the song in 1929, though it was not released until 1932. Another popular version was recorded by Roy Acuff in 1936. The song has been covered many times by many artists over the years.

From the great Atlantic ocean to the wide Pacific shore
From the queen of flowing mountain to the south bell by the shore
She mighty tall and handsome and know quite well by all
She’s a combination on the Wabash Cannonball

She came down from Birmingham one cold December day
As she rolled in the station you could hear all the people say
There is a girl form Tennessee she long and she tall 
She came down from Birmingham on the Wabash Cannonball

Our the western states are dandies so the people all ways say 
From New York to St. Louis and Chicago by the way
From the hills of Minnesota where the rippling waters fall
No changes to be taken on the Wabash Cannonball 

Here’s to daddy Claxton may his name forever stand 
And always be remembered in the courts of Alabam
His earthly race is over and as the curtain around him fall
We’ll carry him Home in victory on the Wabash Cannonball

Listen to the jingle the rumble and the roar 
As she glides along the woodland through the hills and by the shore 
hear the rush of the mighty engine hear the lonesome hobos call 
You’re traveling through the jungle on the Wabash Cannonball

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The Wabash Cannonball 698

The song “The Wabash Cannonball” is part of
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list!

There was a “Wabash Cannonball” Rollercoaster at the Opryland USA Theme Park 1975-1997:

It is a signature song of the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjack Marching Band, the Kansas State University Marching Band, the University of Texas Longhorn Band, and of the Indiana State University Marching Sycamores, as ISU is close to the Wabash River. It was also used as the theme song by the USS Wabash (AOR5). There was a B-17 Bomber that flew in World War II named The Wabash Cannonball and Lionel Toys produced a signature named train set.

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Lionel Wabash Cannonball Train Set

NOTE: The train was named after the song, not the other way around!
In the wake of the song’s popularity, the Wabash Railroad named its express run between Detroit and St. Louis as the Wabash Cannonball 1949 – 1971.

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Wabash ‘Cannonball’ Steam Locomotive 2800 at Pine Junction 26 October 1947 Harry Zilmer/ Strombeck Collection.

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Wabash Cannonball GP7 475 two tone grey & blue with the flag herald Springfield, Illinois 15 August 1965

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The Wabash Cannonball!

Benny Martin, John Hartford & Roy Huskey (this is great!)

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I’ve Been Everywhere Man!

I’ve Been Everywhere Man!
And now for a little traveling music…

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Hank Snow “I’ve Been Everywhere!” (1962) produced by Chet Atkins
performed on the National Life “Grand Ole Opry” in 1965:

 

“I’ve been everywhere, man/I’ve been everywhere, man/
Crossed the deserts bare, man/I’ve breathed the mountain air, man/
Travel, I’ve had my share, man/I’ve been everywhere!”

I’ve Been Everywhere is a song which was written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959 and made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962. The song as originally written listed Australian towns. Original singer Lucky Starr released an EP called “Lucky’s Been Everywhere” that contained four different versions: United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The North American version (with cities in United States and Canada) was sung by Canadian Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow RIP (May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999 and he became an American citizen in 1958), “I’ve Been Everywhere” was a number-one country hit in 1962 for “The Singing Ranger”. It was also sung by Australian singer Rolf Harris with English and Scottish cities in 1963 and by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealand cities in 1966.

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Hank Snow & The Rainbow Ranch Boys: Chubby Wise, Kayton Roberts, Bobby Wright and Jimm Widener

Hank Snow was a gifted songwriter and was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978, and the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame in 1979. In Canada, he was voted the top country music performer ten times and inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. A victim of child abuse, he established the Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse and Neglect in 1976.

NOTE: In 1954 Hank Snow persuaded the directors of the Grand Ole Opry to allow a young Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Elvis as his opening act and introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team Hank Snow Attractions and signed a contract with Presley but soon Snow was out and Parker had control of Elvis.

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Hank Snow backstage at the Grand Ole Opry – Nashville 1978

Geoff Mack rewrote the song using an atlas supplied to him by his music publisher. Most of the cities in the U.S. version are located in North America, but two are in Central America (Costa Rica and Panama) and three in South America (Barranquilla, Tocopilla, and Argentina):

First verse
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla and Padilla.
Second verse
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake and Crater Lake.
Third verse
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena and Catalina.
Fourth verse
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, Eldorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City and Dodge City.

The song was covered (and adapted for other countries) by many other artists over the years and most notably the U.S. version was recorded by Johnny Cash for his Grammy winning “Unchained” (Best Country Album) in 1996.

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“Unchained” produced by Rick Rubin

Johnny Cash “I’ve Been Everywhere”

 

Read the Blog> “Music Makin’ Mama from Memphis” (also by Hank Snow)

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And be sure to do the “Rhumba Boogie” (also a #1 Country Hit) with Hank Snow too!


 

Extra-Credit:
Hank Snow sings “City of New Orleans”

“Good morning America how are ya
Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son
I’m a train they call the City of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done…”