Say, Can You Hear That Whistle Blow?

10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters

I’m away this week. This is a rebroadcast of a show that originally aired on May 2, 2014.

This is an entire program, complete with trains sounds, devoted to songs of the rails and the hobos who road those rails. It’s a snapshot in song of a bygone era in America history that produced some of the most classic and memorable songs in American music. And it’s also the stuff of myth, legend and folklore.

[Note: Unlike in years and decades past, there are now so many anthologies of railroad songs available, that it makes for relatively easy work putting this thematic show together. If you want to know the original source albums, please drop me a note at]

  • Artist, "Title", Album, Label

  • New Lost City Ramblers, “Train 45”, Classic Railroad Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Peter Rowan & The Red Hot Pickers, “Hobo Song”, Peter Rowan With The Red Hot Pickers, Sugar Hill


  • Sonny Terry/Woody Guthrie/Cisco Houston, “Lonesome Train”, Classic Railroad Songs, Smithsonian

  • Folkways, , ,

  • Utah Phillips, “Daddy What’s A Train?”, Good Though!, Philo

  • Gove Scrivenor, “I’ve Got A Thing About Trains”, Shine On, Compass

  • Fred Eaglesmith, “I Like Trains”, Freight Train Blues, Rounder

  • Kate Campbell, “Trains Don’t Run From Nashville”, Freight Trains Blues, Rounder


  • Unknown, “Calling Trains”, Railroad Songs & Ballads, Library of Congress/Rounder

  • Seldom Scene, “Big Train (From Memphis)”, Long Time, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Tom Rush, “Panama Limited”, No Regrets, Columbia

  • Stanley Brothers, “Orange Blossom Special”, Appalachian Stomp, Rhino

  • Steve Goodman, “City Of New Orleans”, Mystery Train, Rounder


  • Koerner/Ray/Glover, “Southbound Train”, [Lots More] Blues Rags & Hollers, Elektra/Red House

  • Utah Phillips, “Queen Of the Rails”, “Frisco Road”, Good Though!, Philo

  • Scott Brannon, “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride”, Freight Train Special, Wango Records

  • Tom Russell, “Lord Of The Trains”, Steel Rails, Rounder

  • Don Lange, “Here’s To You Rounders”, Same River Twice, Independent


  • Palmer McAbee, “McAbee’s Railroad Piece”, Train 45, Rounder

  • Roy Acuff, “Wabash Cannonball”, Steel Rails, Rounder

  • Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston, “John Henry”, Classic Railroad Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Johnny Cash, “Casey Jones”, Mystery Train, Rounder

  • Otis Mote, “Railroad Bill”, Virginia Roots, Outhouse Records

  • Pete Seeger, “Hobo’s Lullaby”, A Link In The Chain, Columbia