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Decca Records - The Lonesome Train

landmvintage 18 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Ron Davies 18 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM
Desert Dancer 18 Apr 11 - 10:34 PM
landmvintage 19 Apr 11 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,999 19 Apr 11 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Linda Z 29 May 11 - 02:50 PM
Thomas Stern 29 May 11 - 06:40 PM
Fred McCormick 30 May 11 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Exbury 22 Aug 11 - 05:13 PM
beeliner 22 Aug 11 - 06:11 PM
Thomas Stern 22 Aug 11 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,999 22 Aug 11 - 11:15 PM
Stringsinger 23 Aug 11 - 04:38 PM
Thomas Stern 23 Aug 11 - 08:23 PM
beeliner 23 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,small45 22 Sep 12 - 08:22 PM
GUEST 30 Sep 12 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,denise 03 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,nancy 26 Aug 13 - 03:00 PM
Thomas Stern 26 Aug 13 - 06:05 PM
ChrisJBrady 21 Apr 15 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Brian Flaherty 06 Oct 17 - 09:57 PM
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Subject: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: landmvintage
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

I am sorry, I posted this under a previous very old thread and thought perhaps better to have a more relevant subject line. I apologize for the double up.

I recently picked up a milk crate full of 1940s Box Set 78s. I think most of them are classical and aren't too interesting. I did find one called "The Lonesome Train - A Musical Legend" and am wondering if anyone can tell me more about this set.

Decca Records Album No. DA-375 from the 29M Personality Series with a copyright of 1944 on it.

The cover has Abraham Lincoln on front and it contains 3 double sided records.

Cover says:
Music by Earl Robinson
Words by Millard Lampell
Lyn Murray and His Orchestra
Jeffrey Alexander Chorus
Earl Robinson Narrator
Burl Ives Ballad Singer
Raymond Edward Johnson Abraham Lincoln
Richard Huey Preacher
and Supporting Cast
Entire Product directed by Norman Corwin

I am assuming this more than just a musical recording...is it an entire production? I can't find another copy of this online anywhere so if anyone can tell me more about it, I would be very interested. I know that value is tricky and hard to determine but I would be interested to hear general thoughts on the topic.

Thank you all so much. Stumbled upon site a few hours ago and have enjoyed reading lots of posts.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM

Don't have any information on this. However, a bit on Decca.   Reading a fascinating biography of Bing Crosby (early years--til 1940) .   Among bons mots like "Prohibition was the government's gift to jazz", the book also deals with the founding of Decca.   Book says the name Decca was picked so, like Kodak, it would be pronounced the same all over the world.

Also says Decca almost went bankrupt in its first year--mainly due to the fact that it shipped lots of records to jukeboxes, but all were a bit too large to fit the jukebox--so all were returned.

And that despite having Bing, Louis Armstrong, and a host of other big names, the only thing that saved Decca the first year (1935) was the novelty "The Music Goes Round and Round", which was so ubiquitous, and recorded by so many people that it was described by a critic as " like Japanese beetles or chain letters".


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 10:34 PM

Here are the informational posts from the other thread (Lyr Req: Lincoln's Funeral Train(Norman Blake) ). I have omitted some non-informational inquiries to which some of these are responses.

---

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lincoln's Last Train Ride
From: Art Thieme - PM
Date: 18-Feb-01 - 09:41 PM

I'm thinking of an old radio program from the 1940s called THE LONESOME TRAIN. It was on this topic------Abe coming home to Illinois-----s-l-o-w-l-y-------passing from town to town with sides draped and the people solemnly waiting as the train passed.
If I'm remembering right, featured folks in the show were Burl Ives, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Earl Robinson Bess Lomax Hawes and others . It was written by Earl Robinson.

Is this what you are looking for?

Art Thieme

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lincoln's Last Train Ride
From: Abby Sale - PM
Date: 19-Feb-01 - 01:47 PM

Art - as general, your memory is correct. I still have the 78 12-inch records of it. Interesting bit of still- Socialist Burl Ives. Of course the whole thing's polemic but a super-fine piece.

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lincoln's Funeral Train
From: Art Thieme - PM
Date: 01 Jan 04 - 01:37 PM

I remember Earl Robinson himself doing the entire LONESOME TRAIN as part of a concert he did in the early 70s (I think) at the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago. Mr. Robinson did all the parts and backed himself on guitar as well. (Maybe Ray Tate helped him with guitar.) WFMT-FM recorded it and played it over the air at least once. Their entire archive of the show, THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, (not the TV show) current host Rich Warren now tells me, is housed in a room at the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago, Illinois and is not available to the public.

Art Thieme

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lincoln's Funeral Train
From: Abby Sale - PM
Date: 01 Jan 04 - 05:18 PM

Hi, Guest. I'm around now & then. If'n you're gonna ask, Yes, I've still got the original 78s. Since about 1948. Happily, I taped it just before one of the disks broke in half. Been thinking about what kind of glue to use for a while.

Yes, Jim's clicky does seem to be the whole text but the music was marvelous.

It will likely appear on CD but the raw Socialist message might slow down any producer's perception of its commercial viability...

"Well I say: America for Americans!
What happens on the other side of the ocean shouldn't be any skin off our backs.
Isn't that right Mr. Lincoln?"

"Well I'll tell you, Ma'am:
It seems to me the strongest bond of human sympathy, outside your family, of course,
should be the one uniting all working people of all nations, tongues, and kindred!"

Happy New Year.

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lincoln's Funeral Train
From: Peace - PM
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 12:47 AM

Jim, your link for "The Lonesome Train" wouldn't work for me. Here is another.

---


~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: landmvintage
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the insight. I did read the older post but I guess I was trying to sort out whether what I have was same thing. I appreciate the responses - thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 06:24 PM

There was one on Ebay that was `closed` to bidding as of Aug 6. It go no bids at all.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,Linda Z
Date: 29 May 11 - 02:50 PM

The lonesome train was put out in the 50s on LP. I listened to it repeatedly in college, but can't find my old record now. It doesn't seem to be on sale anywhere - it should be re-issued. If you google "lonesome train burl ives" you'll find info on the production.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 29 May 11 - 06:40 PM

The broadcast shows up on eBay on CD-R from time to time:
NORMAN CORWIN PRESENTS
"The Lonesome Train" Columbia Presents Corwin. March 21, 1944. Program #3. CBS net. "The Lonesome Train". Sustaining. A "folk-contata" about the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination, dedicated to Carl Sandburg. The performance takes place before a large and wildly enthusiastic audience (the location is not identified). Norman Corwin (producer, director), Raymond Massey, Earl Wrightson (narrator), Burl Ives, Earl Robinson (composer, orchestration), Millard Lampell (composer), Lyn Murray (conductor), Richard Huey, Laura Duncan, Lavinia White, William Beebe, Charles Alpha (?), Amadeo Di Felipe (orchestration), Hester Sondergaard, Lon Clark, Larry Robinson, The Jeff Alexander Chorus, Harry Marble (announcer). 29:47.

The DECCA studio recording has been issued on 78rpm and LP:
Decca Album No. DA-375 3-10" 78rpm records 1944
Decca DL 5054             10" LP            1950
Decca DL-9065             12: LP          c.1960
The 12" has the following on the 2nd side:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN POETRY & PROSE, read by Orson Welles, Carl Sandburg & Walter Huston.

Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 30 May 11 - 05:33 AM

Two points of interest.

Firstly, Robinson is also remembered for composing the cantata, Ballad For Americans, which on the Decca recording, featured Paul Robeson as the lead singer. He also composed the melodies for the songs Joe Hill, The House I Live In, and Black and White.

Secondly, the English radio producer, Charles Parker was heavily moved by, and heavily influenced by, Lonesome Train. Shortly after he got hold of a copy, the railywayman, John Axon, died while trying to stop a runaway freight train which eventually crashed at Chapel-En-Le-Frith, in Derbyshire.

Parker decided to produce a folk cantata, along the lines of Lonesome Train, to celebrate Axon's death, and hired the services of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Not unnaturally, the project sprouted legs and evolved into the radio ballad, The Ballad of John Axon, which itself became a milestone in broadcasting history.

There is an autobiography by Robinson and Eric Gordon, called Ballad of an American, published by Scarecrow Press, which is well worth investigating.

Unfortunately, due to his communist affiliations, Robinson is now much less well remembered than he deserves to be. In fact, before being blacklisted, he had some success as a Hollywood composer, which included composing the music for the movie, Walk In The Sun.

Yet despite his leanings towards "serious" composition, I once asked the staff of a university music department if they could tell me anything about him. (I was writing a review of Robinson's biography at the time). None of them had even heard of the man. Sad.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,Exbury
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 05:13 PM

I also have the LP set of Lonesome Train. I started listening to it and will be sure to listen to the whole thing before I figure out what to do with it! I was also wondering if it was worth something!


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: beeliner
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 06:11 PM

There was also a version with Pete - then billed as Peter - Seeger, a friend of mine played it for me a long time ago. I can't recall if there were other perfromers on this version.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 10:11 PM

Hello beeliner,
Can you get more information? Seeger was on the broadcast and
the Decca album, and also there are references to a HOLLYWOOD BOWL
performance in August 1944.   I would be very interested in knowing
if that was recorded, or if Pete did a recording later....
Thanks, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 11:15 PM

It's worth checking on YOUTUBE


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Stringsinger
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 04:38 PM

Earl tried to break into Hollywood but 1. He was blacklisted and 2. Highly stylized in his oratorio approach to composing. Jerry Fried, a successful film composer attempted to help Earl gain a foothold but Earl was a square peg in a Hollywood round hole.

I had the honor of working with him a couple of times. He always called me "Frankie" since when I knew him, I was young.

I grew up listening to "Lonesome Train" and "Ballad for Americans" as did many others.
Earl had a chorus or two out in California.

Millard Lampell was one of Harry Belafonte's first accompanists.

Earl was very close to Lee Hays and hosted Lee as a permanent visitor in his home, Lee having the upstairs bedroom in Brooklyn Heights.

Earl was originally from Seattle and died tragically,there, in an auto accident in his eighties.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 08:23 PM

I met Earl Robinson around 1963, when he was living in Brooklyn Heights, same building as Lee Hays. A very warm, generous man.
I was researching the TIMELY records label, which had recorded an
album of Earl (4-78rpm disks)
He had some success in Hollywood - Frank Sinatra recorded THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, and I think it was a short film.??? - Also did the score
for A WALK IN THE SUN(1945), and The NEGRO SOLDIER(documentary short, 1944).
Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: beeliner
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM

Hello beeliner,
Can you get more information? Seeger was on the broadcast and
the Decca album, and also there are references to a HOLLYWOOD BOWL
performance in August 1944.   I would be very interested in knowing
if that was recorded, or if Pete did a recording later....
Thanks, Thomas.


Thomas, the friend and I have been out of touch for many years, but I have no doubt, knowing his habits, that he still has the record, I will try to contact him. I remember only that "Peter" Seeger had first billing on the jacket, whether there were other performers I cannot recall, except that I'm pretty sure there was a narrator, Seeger doing only the musical segments.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,small45
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:22 PM

I heard this album became rare because of the anti-communist blacklist. Earl Robinson & Paul Robeson were communists, & Burl Ives may have had leftist connections. The album was pulled and you could never find it. Then, in the 1970's, Decca came out with a reissue. This is the one with the Lincoln Memorial on the cover. The original album came out in the late 1940's following a Radio broadcast of the work.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 12:16 PM

I have this album. Took me 30 years to find it, and it is MINT ! You can't find it for love or money. Just try! Check the internet.

Selling it for $30

small45@verizon.net

9/30/2012


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,denise
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM

I just picked up the 3 album set for $1.49 at a Goodwill store. Dated 1944. All 3 albums in great condition.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,nancy
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 03:00 PM

I have an original album (1944) & note someone selling it on Amazon for $300, so it is worth quite a bit, not easy to find. I was lucky enough to catch an unadvertised performance of the piece with Earl Robinson, Burl ives and Leadbelly at UCLA the three of them doing the different parts. Robinson and Leadbelly on guitar and banjo. Don't have the actual date, possibly before it was recorded on Decca and the performance in NY.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 06:05 PM

a couple of comments on "worth" -

Just because someone is ASKING a high price, does not mean
it will ever sell for that price.

In an auction, remember that usually the person who "wins" an item
has paid a price that no one else was willing to pay.

I track Earl Robinson offerings on eBay, and based on what
has been offered, this album is not particularly rare.

During the 1950's blacklist period, a lot of Robeson,
Weavers, etc. recordings were dropped from the catalogs
of the major labels - but there were plenty of other
sources for their work. Robeson had his own OTELLO label
which issued both 78rpm and LP versions of about 3 albums,
and various other "privately" issued material.
Weavers were on Vanguard. Earl Robinson had an album on
Vanguard (Sandhog), and a couple of Folkways LP's, as well
as albums from Eastern Europe.

Another phenomenon effecting perceived rarity is availability!
Some albums which sold well have not entered the secondary market
because they are treasured by the people who own them. As that
generation retires, down-sizes, or dies, those albums start to appear
in the market place.
If a record is TRUELY "rare", it is sometimes because it has little
interest or very niche market, so would not have sold many copies.

Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 21 Apr 15 - 09:58 AM

It is here (from badly digitised 78s):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GdiUNRrEz0

Cleaned up (declicked etc.):

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/a8p6lbj1r653e/The_Lonesome_Train_Cantata

====


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Subject: RE: Decca Records - The Lonesome Train
From: GUEST,Brian Flaherty
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 09:57 PM

I just checked a few records (78's & LP's) in my collection. Actually, not a "collection" . . .It's more of a "Legacy" bunch of records that I grew up with; that my parents bought in the 30's & 40's. . . One of the "perks" of growing up in a "Red House!" Or, as Earl Robinson would say: "The House I Live[d] In"

I have an album of "The Lonesome Train" [three 12 inch 78's] and, the Decca LP that I bought in the 60's as "insurance" against breaking the 78's (I wanted to play it for my kids but they weren't interested) I've also got "original" 78's of the Almanac Singers & Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger & Josh White & Paul Robeson's "St Louis Blues" (recorded in the mid-40's) I also have an on-site recording of the Peekskil (NY) Riot when Robeson gave a concert in 1949.

Pete and others would stay at our house when they came to San Francisco in the 40's & 50's. And, HUAC et al would send my folks and their friends "invitations [subpoenas] to appear" when THEY came West around the same time. Which usually meant for this kid to get the crap kicked out of him at school. . .another perk of "Being Red". . .

But, we had REALLY good music!


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