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8/24/12 – “Rock Island Line” Cat Fight Podcast

Posted: August 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Doo Wop, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Podcast

“Rock Island Line”

This week’s “Friday Night Cat Fight” features the classic American folk tune, “Rock Island Line,” which was first discovered by musicologist John Lomax in 1934.  Lomax was making his way through the South recording and preserving folk music for the Library Of Congress.  It was at a penitentiary in Arkansas that he came across Kelly Pace and his group and they sang “Rock Island Line” for him.  It is documented that this tune was very popular among inmates, who sang it as they worked the prison yards.  Leadbelly also heard the tune while in prison and he first recorded it in 1937.  The version by Leadbelly up for competition this week, though was taking from a 1940 session he had with the Golden Gate Quartet. 
There are also five more versions of “Rock Island Line” vying for your vote, including the most popular one to date by British Skiffle sensation Lonnie Donegan.  His version was released in 1955 and went to #8 on the US charts in 1956.  Charting versions by Don Cornell and Johnny Cash are also featured.
Listen to the podcast in full and then decide which version of “Rock Island Line” you DIG THE MOST!  Then, voice your choice and vote below.


Which One Do You DIG THE MOST? - "Rock Island Line"

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