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RE: Today's LTAR

Yes, yes. But little of that really explains the PARTICULAR connection between 
trains and gospel music. I suppose that it would be appropriate for people who 
grew up in a time like the latter half of the 19th century, when trans were the 
primary conveyance on long trips, would expect to ride a train on the ultimate 
long trip, that is, the trip to heaven. And I suppose that these people would 
expect to be singing gospel music on that trip. If so, that would explain radio 
program names such as Gospel Train and Gospel Express. OK, that makes sense, 
but is it the REAL story?

I think the first gospel music I ever heard on the radio (or anywhere) was on a 
program whose name DIDN'T allude to trains. The program, which aried for 15 
minutes each day M-F at around 9:45 AM on the NBC Blue Network (later just the 
Blue Network and still later ABC Radio) in the early and mid 1940s, was simply 
called The Southernaires--the name of the featured singing group. I think the 
group was Black, which, I guess would mean that the music genre was Black 
gospel. The theme song was "The Weatherbeaten White-washed Church." Although 
the melody was quite different, the thought was similar to that of "Come to the 
Church in the Wildwood," which I believe is considered a hymn.

If I recall, there was enough similarity between the the gospel music of the 
Southernaires and the secular music of the Ink Spots, who were popular at about 
the same time, that every time I heard the Southernaires, I thought of the Ink 
eFax 707-215-6367
> Years ago, we did a lot more travelling by trains so
> there were many songs about them. "Mystery Train",
> "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Orange Blossom Special",
> "The Atcheson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe",
> "She Caught the Katy" (the Kansas and Texas Railroad,
> or K-T), and more.
> "Midnight Special", originally by Leadbelly, refers to
> a superstition prisoners have. If the light of a train
> passing at midnight shines into their cell,
> it means they will be getting released. "Let the
> midnight special shine a light on me."