Album: Rock Invasion (1956)
Charted: 8 8
  • Now this here's the story about the Rock Island Line
    The Rock Island Line she runs down into New Orleasn
    And just outside of New Orleans is a big toll gate
    And all the trains that go through the toll gate
    They gotta pay the man some money
    But of course, if you got certain things on board
    You're okay and you don't have to pay the man nothin
    And just now we see a change comin down the line
    When you come up to the toll gate
    The driver, he shout down to the man
    I got pigs, I got horses, I got cows
    I got sheep, I got all livestock, I got all livestock
    I got all livestock
    The man say, you alright boy just
    Get on through, you don't have to pay me nothin
    And then the train go through
    And when he go through the tollgate
    The train gotta have a little bit of steam
    And a little bit of speed
    And when the driver think he safely on the other side
    He shouts back down the line to the man
    I fooled you, I fooled you
    I got pig iron, I got pig iron
    I got all pig iron,
    Now I'll tell you where I'm goin boy

    [Chorus:]
    Down the rock island line is a might good road
    Oh the rock island line is the road to ride
    The rock island line is a mighty good road

    Well if you want to ride you gotta ride it like you find it
    Get your ticket at the station of the rock island line
    Well I may be right, I may be wrong
    You're gonna miss me when I'm gone

    [Chorus]
    Hey you are safe within
    The good Lord's comin to see me again

    [Chorus]

    ABC WXYZ
    The cats on the cover but he don't see me

    [Chorus]

Comments: 5

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 19th 1956, Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group performed "Rock Island Line" on the NBC-TV program 'The Perry Como Show'...
    At the time the song was at #24 on Billboard's Top 100 chart; one month earlier on April 5th, 1956 it had peaked at #8 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores chart and stayed on the Top 100 for 17 weeks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 25th 1970, Johnny Cash performed "Rock Island Line"* on his own ABC-TV weekly series 'The Johnny Cash Show'...
    A little over a month earlier on February 22nd, 1970 his covered version of the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #93, and that was its peak position on the chart because it stayed on the chart for only one week...
    It reached #35 on Billboard's Hot Country singles chart and #22 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    'The Man in Black' passed away on September 12th, 2003 at the age of 71...
    May he R.I.P.
    * This version by Mr. Cash was actually recorded in 1958.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 10th 1956, Bobby Darin performed "Rock Island Line" on the CBS-TV program 'The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show', it was his first appearance on TV...
    Two years and three months later his first charted record, "Splish Splash", would entered Billboard's Top 100 at #51, and on August 4th, 1958 it would peak at #3 {for 1 week} and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1958 and 1973 he had forty Top 100 records; ten made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Mack the Knife" for 9 weeks in 1959...
    He just missed having a second #1 record when "Dream Lover" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} in 1959; the week it was at #2, "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton was at #1...
    Mr. Darin, born Walden Robert Cassotto, passed away on December 20th, 1973 at the young age of 37...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 10th 1956, "Rock Island Line" by Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group entered Billboard's Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #8 and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    The group had two other records make the Top 100; "Lost John" (#58 in 1956) and "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor (On the Bedpost Overnight)" (#5 in 1961)...
    R.I.P. Mr. Donegan, born Anthony James Donegan MBE, (1931 - 2002).
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandAlthough Donegan spent most of his (successful) career on the Pye label in the UK, it is this Decca song for which he will probably be most fondly remembered.
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