Lonesome Train

Album: New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (1952)

Songfacts®:

  • With brooding lyrics and melancholic melody, "Lonesome Train" was written by Gene Roland and first recorded by Stan Kenton and his Orchestra in 1952, featuring Kay Brown on vocals. Kenton's orchestra simulates the chugga chugga rhythms of a slow-moving train, while Brown sings rather suggestively, imploring her man to make love to her. This was a time when the rock and roll sound was just starting to take shape; the lyrics are clearly blues influenced, but the arrangement is more standard.
  • In 1956, Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n Roll Trio released a completely different song called "Lonesome Train" in rockabilly style.
  • The Dex Romweber Duo covered an abbreviated version of the song on their 2009 release Ruins of Berlin, with fellow Bloodshot Records artist Exene Cervenka, best known for her work with punk band X, contributing vocals to the recording. While the instrumentation of the original and Romweber's cover are different - big band vs guitar and drums - Romweber retains the haunting tone of Kenton's recording.

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