When my son was young, I sure got a lot of mileage out of Buffalo Bop’s bootleg compilation of American train song 45s – Choo Choo Bop.
Rusty Draper’s version of “Freight Train” is only one of many highlights on this packed 29-song set that includes a bonus track of vintage steam train recordings. Striking how many competing versions of “Freight Train” were released in 1957 alone – over a dozen. Even though the song is attributed to two individuals with the surnames James & Williams, the simple truth of the matter is that folk musician & songwriter, Elizabeth Cotten, is the acknowledged author of “Freight Train” – a song written in the early 20th century that only became popular during the British skiffle & American folk revival era.
Duane Eddy would put together his own fetching version with strings in 1969 – produced by Jimmy Bowen and arranged by Glen D. Hardin:
“Freight Train” Duane Eddy 1969
Link to other train songs profiled on Zero to 180.