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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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5/21/10 – The History of “Midnight Special”, 7-way Cat Fight & More

Posted: May 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Show


History Of

“Midnight Special”

The “Midnight Special” is a traditional folk tune about a passenger train that roared past a prison every night.  The singer of the tune dreamed of the freedom that waited just outside his prison walls.  It was first committed to paper in 1905, but didn’t appear on record until 1926 when Dave “Pistol Pete” Cutrell recorded it for Okeh with some new lyrics that referenced his band.  Leadbelly popularized the song after he let Alan Lomax record him singing it for the Library Of Congress in 1934.  The song entered the R&B charts as an instrumental in 1948 with Tiny Grimes cutting it for the then new Atlantic Label.  In 1952, The Weavers had a small hit with is, but it didn’t hit the Rock n’ Roll Era until Big Joe Turner cut it in 1957.  From there, it became a pop hit for Paul Evans in 1960 and Johnny Rivers in 1965.  Credence Clearwater Revival included their inspired version of “Midnight Special” on their 1969 LP, “Willie & The Poor Boys”.  This week, 7 versions of the tune (Leadbelly to CCR) will be competing for YOUR Vote.  For historical purposes, I do include the original 1926 recording by Dave Cutrell.

I’ll also take a look at some of the popular songs that were recorded on THIS DAY (5-21-10) in rock n’ roll history.

So listen, VOTE and DIG the “Midnight Special” Cat Fight With Matt The Cat.

Which One Do You DIG The MOST? - "Midnight Special"

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5/15/09 – Train Songs Pt. 3 – “Night Train”

Posted: May 15th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Catch That Train…

Train Songs

Part 3

Here is the third and final show dedicated to the theme of “train songs”.  This week’s show features tunes by James Carr, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Leadbelly.  It is also your chance to vote for your favorite version of the classic “Night Train.”  So dig the show, vote and don’t miss that train, baby!

Which One Do You DIG The MOST? - "Night Train"

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Next week…Summer Songs pt. 1

5/8/09 – Train Songs Pt. 2 – “Mystery Train”

Posted: May 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Train Is Comin’…

Train Songs

Part 2

The Friday Night Cat Fight continues its focus on Train Songs this week, as we feature part 2 of our 3 part musical journey on “Trains”.  Hop a freight with the Delmore Brothers or just dig with The Box Tops, Louis Jordan, Johnny Cash and many more.

This week, 2 hep cats battle it out over the classic Sun Records’ side, “Mystery Train”.  Listen to the program and decide for yourself who is “king” of the “Mystery Train”.

Which One Do You DIG THE MOST? - "Mystery Train"

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5/1/09 – Train Songs Pt. 1 – “Train Kept A-Rollin'”

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

All Aboard!

Train Songs

Part 1

The Friday Night Cat Fight focuses on one of the most popular song themes, TRAIN SONGS!  This week’s show is only part one of a multi-part series on TRAIN SONGS and features great tunes from Johnny Cash, The Cardinals, Tom Waits, Rufus Thomas, Al Green and many more.

We also trace the history of the rock n’ roll classic, “The Train Kept A-Rollin’,” which was written by and originally recorded by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951.  Tiny’s up against some of the greatest guitar solos in history as The Johnny Burnette Rock n’ Roll Trio (guitar: Paul Burlison), The Yardbirds (guitar: Jeff Beck) and Aerosmith (guitar: Joe Perry) all have a crack at it.

Listen to the show and then choose your favorite version below.

Which One Do You DIG THE MOST? - "Train Kept A-Rollin'"

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