You'd be forgiven for thinking that the iconic American folk song The Wabash Cannonball
was written as a tribute to an actual train, but in fact, in an interesting case of life-imitates-art, the actual train name was inspired by the song. The Lake Erie, Wabash, and St. Louis Railroad Company was formed in 1852, but there was no train called the “Cannonball” when the song was first sung late in the 19th century. There have
, many wonderful versions
through the years, but I think Roy Acuff
pretty much owns
it, wouldn't you say? [NOTE: See hoverovers for link descriptions]
Scroll down on this Dick Kay and the Demise of the Wabash
page and you'll find: "Click here
to view streaming video of Dick Kay's Wabash Cannonball piece". It's an NBC news report from 1971, when the Wabash Cannonball was taken out of service. Interesting.
I had never heard of him before researching this post, but Matthew Sabatella has a nice version that you can hear on this page
, selling his CD. Scroll down to "Wabash Cannonball Listen
by a coupla good ole boys with 'lectric guitars playing along to a cheesy backing track probably won't win any awards, but they've thoughtfully included, in the text description of their video, a list of "variations" to be found in the lyrics of different versions.
Here's a discography
for Blind Willie McTell. You'll note his version of Wabash Cannonball was recorded at his "Last Session", in 1956, and released in 1962.
Wabash Railroad Wikipedia page
A stretch of former Wabash Railroad track has been reclaimed as the Wabash Trace Nature Trail
, popular, apparently, with bicyclists.