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A slave since birth, Harriet Tubman escapes slavery for the first time from a plantation in Poplar Neck, Caroline County, Maryland, USA. She will be recaptured but will escape again making use of a secret network known as The Underground Railroad or The Freedom Train, which helped slaves escape to the Northern states. Harriet Tubman would make over 19 trips back South to help others escape and her 1987 biography was titled Freedom Train. The hope and succour provided by the Underground Railway will inspire the musical Freedom Train, and numerous songs, including The Ballad Of The Underground Railroad, by Charles L. Blockson, best-known in a version peformed by the actor Danny Glover. The metaphor of the Freedom Train will also be widely adapted and adopted during in the civil rights stuggle of the 1960s, in such songs as People Get Ready [1965] by Curtis Mayfield And The Impressions and Freedom Train [1969] by James Carr. There is also a compilation LP, Steal Away : Songs of the Underground Railroad by Kim and Reggie Harris.
The Hawaiian Glee Club, Warren And Blanchard, Jessie Dale and Wincherman's Trained Bears are among the entertainments on offer at The Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, California, USA.
Put Me Off At Buffalo, billed as a "hilarious musical comedy success", is playing at The Bijou Theatre, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
Fred Hamm and His Orchestra record Flag That Train [To Alabam'] for Victor Records in Camden, New Jersey, USA.
Sippie Wallace, aka The Texas Nightingale, records The Mail Train Blues, I Feel Good and A Man For Every Day Of The Week, for OKeh Records in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Cornet on the recordings is played by Louis Armstrong.
Henry Horton is re-elected to a third term as governor of Tennessee, USA. Immediately, Nashville residents begin withdrawing money from Caldwell-affiliated banks en masse, because Horton and the Caldwell Bank had both been involved in a scandal involving awarding contracts without bids. The story of the scandal will inspire the song The Wreck Of The Tennessee Gravy Train by Uncle Dave Macon.
Trixie Smith records Jack I'm Mellow for Decca Records in New York City, USA. Sidney Bechet plays clarinet on this track. At the same session, she records Freight Train Blues, He May Be Your Man (But He Comes To See Me Sometimes), My Unusual Man, Trixie's Blues and My Daddy Rocks Me.
Jazz pianist/songwriter and recording star Fats Waller dies of pneumonia on a train near Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Perry Como records Patricia and Watchin' The Trains Go By, at RCA Victor Studio 2, New York City, USA, with an Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Mitchell Ayres.
Hank Williams releases a new single Lonesome Whistle, on MGM Records, in the USA.
The popular musical Blossom Time, starring Gordon MacRae, is broadcast on The Railroad Hour radio show, sponsored by The Association of American Railroads, on the ABC Network in the USA.
The Sons Of The Pioneers perform Blues In D, Whistlin' Rufus and other songs, on their radio series The Lucky-U Ranch, in the USA.
The Maddox Brothers And Sister Rose record I'd Rather Die Young [Than Grow Old Without You], These Wasted Years, The Nightingale Song and I'm A Little Red Caboose [On The Choo Choo Train Of Love] for Columbia Records in the USA.
BBC Radio in the UK broadcasts the first of an ambitious series of musical documentaries known as The Radio Ballads. The first of these is The Ballad Of John Axon by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker.
Mrs Avis Connor and her son, Ingram Cecil Connor III, later to find fame as Gram Parsons, board a train in Waycross, Georgia, USA, en route to Winter Haven, Florida, for the holiday season.
Mick Jagger bumps into an old acquaintance, Keith Richards, in Dartford Railway Station, Dartford, England, UK, Europe. Together, they will go on to join a group formed by guitarist Brian Jones - The Rolling Stones.
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Vocalist Eddie Jefferson records I Cover The Waterfront, Take The A Train and Night In Tunisia, in New York City, USA, for Riverside Records.
Johnny Cash records Peace In The Valley, Waiting For A Train and Casey Jones for Columbia Records in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
The Homesteaders, a folk music group including future star Judy Collins, record Mary Ann, Railroad Bill and other tracks for Riverside Records at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, USA.
When The Beatles arrive at Pennsylvania Station, New York City, their carriage is detached from the train and brought in to an inconspicuous side-platform, enabling the group to be smuggled past the waiting crowds. That night they play at Carnegie Hall.
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Muddy Waters, Cousin Joe Pleasants, Otis Spann, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry And Brownie McGhee, Willie Smith and Ransome Knowling appear on the Granada tv show Blues And Gospel Train in the UK.
Jazz drummer and songwriter Denzil Da Costa Best dies as a result of a fractured skull caused by falling down the stairway in a subway in New York City, USA. In a long career he had worked with Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Illinois Jacquet, Errol Garner, George Shearing, Nina Simone and many others.
The Beatles travel by train from Lyon, France, Europe, to Milan, Italy, during a European tour.
Jazz pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali records Epitome and True Train for Atlantic Records in New York City, USA.
Jimi Hendrix and his band collect visas from the Swedish Embassy in London, England, UK, Europe. On the same day, Hendrix writes a deposition decrying Capitol Records' recent release of tracks recorded before he was famous, on the album Get That Feeling. Later, Hendrix jams with John Mayall at Klook's Kleek, Railway Hotel, Hampstead.
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Having consumed some seconals and alcohol, Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady, an associate of The Grateful Dead, sets off from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to walk fifteen miles to Celaya, along the railroad tracks in driving rain. He will be found in a coma the next morning, and will die the following day. His life and death will inspire several songs including Jack And Neal (1977) by Tom Waits, Styrofoam Plates (2001) by Death Cab For Cutie, Neal Cassady Drops Dead (2014) by Morrissey, Neal Cassady (1989) by The Washington Squares.
Fleetwood Mac play at Klook's Kleek, Railway Hotel, Hampstead, London, England, UK, Europe.
Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll And The Trinity play at Klook's Kleek, Railway Hotel, Hampstead, London, England, UK, Europe.
Blues-rock band Earth play at The Marquee Club, London, UK, with The Bakerloo Blues Band, Locomotive and Roy Everett. Earth will find rather more success after a name-change to Black Sabbath.
Jimi Hendrix's guitar is stolen from his Corvette while he is in a clothes store on East 9th Street, New York City, USA. At the Record Plant, Hendrix records Valleys Of Neptune and Hear My Train A'comin'.
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The Festival Express tour, featuring Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, The Band and others, plays in Winnipeg, Canada. The tour is unusual in that the artists all travel together on a train.
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During a three-day trip to Russia, Europe, David Bowie attends the May Day Parade in Moscow. (Not being an enthusiastic flier, he made the trip by train, on his way home after a Japanese tour)
Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue is taped for the tv show Midnight Special in the Starlight Room at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, Clearwater, Florida, USA. The show also features Joan Baez and Roger McGuinn.
Slow Train Coming by Bob Dylan peaks at No3 in the Billboard US Top 40 albums chart, during a thirteen-week run.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the fourth of fourteen nights at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, California, USA.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the ninth of fourteen nights at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, California, USA.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the eleventh of fourteen nights at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour Bob Dylan plays the twelfth of fourteen nights at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, California, USA.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the last of fourteen nights at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the last of four nights at The Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California, USA.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the last of four nights at the Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California.
On his Slow Train Coming Tour, Bob Dylan plays the first of two nights at the Gammage Theatre, Tempe, Arizona.
Randy Crawford and Bell Biv Devoe appear on tv series Soul Train in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Charlie Daniels hosts Volunteer Jam XV at The Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The event features Eddie Rabbitt, Paulette Carlson, Suzy Bogguss, Jo-El Sonnier, Pirates Of The Mississippi, Confederate Railroad, The Oak Ridge Boys, Little Feat, Hal Ketchum, Poco and The Desert Rose Band and more.
Stereophonics release a new album, Graffiti On The Train, in the UK.
Bruno Mars and Ellie Goulding play at The Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California, USA.
Train play at Matthews Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
On a tour in support of his third album, Gilded, Blair Dunlop plays at The Railway Inn, Winchester, England, UK.
The Dixie Chicks play at The Sleep Train Amphitheater, San Diego, California, USA.
Reverend James Leg plays at The Railway Hotel, Southend, England, UK, Europe, supported by The Bonnevilles.