The Train in Jazz & Blues

Since the first half of the 19th century, the sounds, symbols and metaphors of the train have cut across the American musical landscape. The significance of the train has been reflected in virtually every musical form: work songs, spirituals, folk, blues, jazz and pop. From the work-gang rhythms of pounding railroad track spikes to the sounds of train whistles and the clickety-clacks of the tracks, the onomatopoeia of the railroad has been a strong presence in American music. Author Albert Murray called the rhythms of trains, “the definitive percussive emphasis in jazz.”

This podcast gives the listener an ear into some of the amazing sounds and symbolisms of the train woven throughout our country’s music.

Playlist 

“All Aboard” Muddy Waters
“Honky Tonk Train Blues” Meade “Lux” Lewis
“Locomotive” Thelonious Monk
“This Train” The Staples Singers
“Move Along Train” The Staples Singers
“Build That Railroad” Duke Ellington, Al Hibbler
“Track 360” Duke Ellington
“B & O Blues” Joe Turner and Pete Johnson
“Mystery Train” Little Junior Parker
“On the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe” Johnny Mercer
“Dixie Flyer Blues” Bessie Smith
“Rock Island Line” Lead Belly
“Chattanooga Choo-Choo” Susannah McCorkle
“Mystery Pacific” Django Reinhardt
“Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” Louis Jordan
“Happy Go Lucky Local” Duke Ellington
“Daybreak Express” Duke Ellington
“Along the Track Blues” Duke Ellington
“Take the ‘A’ Train” Duke Ellington, Betty Roche

Share this:

Published March 11th, 2019 by Bob Hecht

Comment on this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *