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Ride This Train CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, February 5, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Join Johnny for a cross-country ride on the rails with this 1960 concept album that weaves together songs and narration, and now features four bonus tracks.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Loading Coal
  2. Slow Rider
  3. Lumberjack
  4. Dorraine of Ponchartrain
  5. Going to Memphis
  6. When Papa Played the Dobro
  7. Boss Jack
  8. Old Doc Brown
  9. The Fable of Willie Brown
  10. Second Honeymoon
  11. The Ballad of the Harpweaver
  12. Smiling Bill McCall


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMX7O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
1. Loading Coal
2. Slow Rider
3. Lumberjack
4. Dorraine of Ponchartrain
5. Going To Memphis
6. When Papa Played The Dobro
7. Boss Jack
8. Old Doc Brown
Bonus Tracks:
9. The Fable Of Willie Brown
10. Second Honeymoon
11. The Ballad Of The Harpweaver
12. Smiling Bill McCall
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
As with several other albums/cd's I've bought, I didn't like this at first. After repeated listenings, I'm a true believer. This is a concept album in the truest sense of the word - between tracks you hear Johnny talking about America, along with the sounds of a steam locomotive - it's as though Johnny is travelling cross country and telling stories of various Americans including slaves, slave-owners, outlaws, Cajuns, lumberjacks, miners etc. This cd could be used by history teachers - it's that interesting. My favorite track is Dorraine of Ponchartrain - it's a real tear jerker along the lines of a 19th century Ebony Eyes (Everly Brothers). Goin to Memphis is also really cool - reminds me of John Fogarty's "Workin on a building". All four bonus tracks are excellent - Willie Brown is a feminist's delight - the "player" dies of a broken heart. The Ballad of the Harpweaver isn't really a song, it's a narration along with an ethereal sounding reverb on the electric guitar - it's an other-worldly psychic tale - genuinely weird and interesting. Smiling Bill McCall is hilarious - a Nashville radio star idolized by all the kids who attempts suicide because he hates his theme song and turns out to be 4 feet tall and bald. If a Cash fan loves "Boy named Sue" - he/she will positively love Smiling Bill McCall. I think the 1959-1963 period was among Johnny's finest years of output. I love this CD so much, it's a narcotic to me - I have trouble removing it from my cd player. I recommend it as highly as possible.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ride This Train reflects a new feeling of freedom and exploration in America's culture. Interstate highways were being built and cars mass produced, making it easier for travelers to discover America's treasures. The memories of World War II belonged to a generation past, and although America was entering a time of high pressure Cold War, without the media presence that we have today to keep people on alert and fearful for their safety, many people were still living simple lives, dreaming of the day they could take their families to travel around the nation. This album allowed them to do just that without leaving their homes.

When Columbia Records first released this recording, the public assumed it was a compilation of songs about trains, due to the title and the cover showing Johhny Cash on a desert ridge holding a gun, with a train in the background. What they soon discovered was that the record contained eight tracks that gave examples of the different people that make up our great land. It uses the train as transport--complete with sound effects--to take the listener on a tour of America, through space and time, a historical travelogue combining narrations and songs.

The first track, "Loading Coal", tells the story of a boy whose father is a miner in Kentucky. Not a glamorous occupation by any means, but the boy is dreaming of the day when he can follow in his father's footsteps. The train then moves westward where we hear about John Wesley Hardin, a notorious outlaw, followed by the glimpse of the life of an old saddle tramp, "Slow Rider".

The traveling theme continues, with narration between the songs, as the music takes the listener to Oregon, timber country, where the song "Lumberjack" tells of the first day of climbing for a new high-climber.
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Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
If you read my reviews, you will know that I generally don't hand out a 5 star rating for just anything.
This is a masterpiece. It is like watching a movie. All the songs tell a different tail, but they all fit together somehow.
For a recording this old, it sounds like it was recorded yesterday. The songs are clear and Cash's voice sets far up front of the instruments.
None of these songs were ever released as singles as far as I know, so if you haven't heard the album, then most likely you haven't heard any of the songs before.
And also, most Johnny Cash fans know that in the 60's he was having voice problems that seriously hindered some of his recordings. I really take that into account when I buy his albums from that period. This album, however, was before all the voice problems, and his voice is as robust and clear as it ever was. In fact, I dare you to find a recording where Johnny is vocalizing any better than he does here.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the hard-to-find actual studio albums of JC, buried among the Greatest Hits collections. It's a real treasure though - but you'll have to get used to the concept of a travelogue. Each song is preceded by a narrated introduction which today would sound corny, but on this album it doesn't. The songs are haunting and beautiful. No hits on this one - which makes it better for hard core fans who've heard Ring of Fire enough already.
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By A Customer on October 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have almost everything Johnny released now on CD. To me this album stands alone on a par by itself. I have never been a huge fan of contemporary country/pop but have always been a fan of good story telling. I mostly prefer loud bombastic heavy metal and rowdy, beer drinkin' honky tonk like The Outlaws, Kevin Fowler and Roger Creager. Johnny is one of the exceptions. I guess having it played constantly back in the early 70's by my folks psychologically preconditioned me. Storytelling is a lost art and when it is done as masterfully has it has been done here...you are at a loss if you don't get to hear it. I recommend this to anyone who likes storytelling or Johnny.
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