This song was written by bluegrass and Delta blues musician "Shorty" Medlocke - the grandfather of this band's frontman Rickey Medlocke. The song is best remembered for its harmonica intro, performed by Shorty, which mimics the sound of a steam locomotive blowing its whistle, pulling out of the station and accelerating to full speed.
The song is about a man whose lover is leaving town on a "Midnight train to Memphis," and who decides to follow her there. He may even be intent on taking the same train, but the lyrics aren't clear about this.
Before founding Blackfoot, Rickey Medlocke was also an early member of Lynyrd Skynyrd (a band he would rejoin later in his career). Blackfoot also included drummer/singer Jakson "Thunderfoot" Spires, bassist/singer Greg T. Walker, and lead guitarist Charlie Hargrett. They had a number of hit albums, but proved to be more popular in Europe than in the United States. Blackfoot Strikes was their first platinum album, and produced their only two US Top 40 hits: "Highway Song" (which hit #26 US in September 1979) and "Train, Train" (#38 in December).
The group disbanded in the early 1980s but have reunited a few times since then, the second time including all the original members except Medlocke, who had rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd. Spires died in 2005 of an aneurysm, leaving Walker and Hargrett as the only remaining original members.
This song has been covered by hard rock band Warrant and even by Dolly Parton.
Suggestion credit: Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for all above
Jim Drumm from Grafton, NyHow does this song compare to The Band's "Mystery Train"? The lyrics and melody are the same.
Michelle from Wausau Wi I saw these guys in 1985 when I was only 16 years old and they were a great bunch of guys ! Even though there are no original members left I will be seeing the new members on August 13 the at Q and Z in Ringle Wisconsin ! This should be interesting.
Jason from Aurora, CoEvery time I play this song the dog howls to the harmonica in the beginning.
Laurent from Manama, BahrainBest Southern Rock band ever. Medlocke not singing in Lynyrd Skynyrd is a waste of talent! "Train Train" is a great live song.
Joann from Portsmouth, VaAlways liked Blackfoot, along with 38 Special, wish Highway Song was on the list cause I would like to hear that 1 also. Also like Molly Hatchett, their music is all similar.
The Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" was named in March 2009 the official Rock Song of Oklahoma. Four years later, Oklahoma's governor Mary Fallin pulled the tune as the state's official rock song in a move her office said had more to do with priorities than musical taste.
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