Friday Night Concert: Def Americans, “Wreck of the Old 97”
Arguably the most widely-known event in Danville, Virginia’s history was the September 1903 wreck of a southbound Southern Railway Fast Mail. Accidents of that sort were sadly common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the Danville wreck was immortalized in the song, “Wreck of the Old 97,” that became a big hit for Vernon Dalhart in 1924. His version was, reportedly, the first country song to sell over a million copies. It’s been covered by many artists since, including Woodie Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Pink Anderson, Boxcar Willie, Hank Snow, Bobby Osborne (featured briefly here) and others. Here’s a Dutch group, Def Americans, doing a worthy effort in tribute to Johnny Cash’s recording.
Y’all have a great weekend. I’m off to Arlington to talk about blockade runners.