Site hosted by Build your free website today!

The History of The Wreck Of The Old (Southern) 97

This page is to be a short history on one of the most famous of all country songs,destined with any luck to be an authentic "folk" song.OBVIOUSLY THIS IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW...

1. Well, they handed him his orders in Monroe, Virginia, Sayin', "Steve, you're way behind time. This is not 38, it is Old 97 You must put her into Spencer on time."

2. Well, the engineer he said to his black, greasy fireman "Shovel on a little more coal, And when we cross that White Oak Mountain You can watch Old 97 roll."

3. It's a mighty hard road from Lynchburg to Danville A road with a three-mile grade. It was on that grade that he lost his airbrake, You can see what a jump she made.

4. He was goin' down the grade making 90 miles an hour, When his whistle broke into a scream, He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle, He was scalded to death by the steam.

5. Now the telegram came into Washington Station And this is what it said: That brave engineer that drove old 97 Is layin' down in Danville, dead.

6. Now listen, all you ladies, you must all take a warning, From this story a lesson learn: Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband, He may leave you and never return.

The Wreck

(Ill get the wreck info here soon,until then check out Scalded To Death By The Steam which is where my info mainly comes from anyways)

Early history of the song

The song apparently was first recorded by Henry Whittier(who was known for having a less than spectacular voice).Vernon Dalhart(Marion Try Slaughter,b.1883-d.1948)recorded it in 1924 and it was backed with "The Prisoners Song"to become the first million selling song for hillbilly or country music. .

Modern versions and appearances:

There is an excellent Band The Old 97s,link in the links section til i link it here...if you have anysightings for The Wreck Of The Old 97(non country/bluegrass covers or references),lemme know..