Utah Phillips' radio show was rebroadcast on pledge time for KBOO in Portland, so I was able to catch a piece of it, wherein he discussed his letter from the musical power elite about "Wabash Cannonbill." He said that many people are under the misconception that Roy Acuff wrote it, and he was delighted to fire back an angry letter saying just how long 'bos had been singing the song, and he had documentation from the Library of Congress to prove it.
Now, that might not have happened if Utah hadn't actually done time as a hobo, and was also a trained archivist who could do the research. Too bad that commercial music is full of stuff like this.
He also had a great story about taking The Wabash Cannonball (train) on its last run -- by accident; some of you must know that he refuses to transport by gas guzzler since the Gulf (Oil) War. According to U., every country western star was busy getting their picture took on that train. The train was actually named after the song, and not the other way around.
'Course, Utah has been known to stretch a point ...