Thursday, November 24, 1988

50 years ago: Roy Acuff charted with “Wabash Cannonball”

Wabash Cannonball

Roy Acuff & the Smoky Mountain Boys

Writer(s): J.A. Roff, adapted by A.P. Carter (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 24, 1938

Peak: 12 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3.31 video, 1.97 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This is “a genuine knight-of-the-road ballad with a touch of the Paul Bunyan flavor,” RA “perhaps the greatest of all train songs.” SS The song originated in the 1880s, In 1882, J.A. Roff wrote words and music for “The Great Rock Island Route!,” a song about a mythical train which traveled coast to coast. It became an anthem for hoboes. In Southern America in the late 19th century, the railroad offered a different form of work for those wishing to escape the farms and served up a touch of romanticism for those who wanted to live a less conventional life, riding the rails and going wherever the trains would take them.

William Kindt adapted Roff’s piece in 1905 under the title “Wabash Cannonball.” There were several Wabash Railroad passenger trains dating back to the 1880s while the term “cannonball” was used to reference a fast train. When the song entered the public domain in 1928, it was reworked and claimed by A.P. Carter whose group, the Carter Family, recorded the song the next year, but didn’t release it until 1932. In the meantime an unissued version was recorded by Clark & Edans in 1928 and Tennessee singer and guitarist recorded and released the song in 1929.

Roy Acuff, who was billed as “the King of Country Music,” SS recorded the song in 1936 with Dynamite Hatcher on vocals, but didn’t release it until 1938. NRR He didn’t record it with his vocal until 1947, although he performed it regularly on the Grand Ole Opry, SS where he first appeared in 1938 and was its top star by 1942. NRR His “voice was pure country and he was one of the first to carry the title ‘hillbilly’ proudly.” AC He embraced the plain and simple values of poor, rural Americans and gained an audience via his recordings, tours, and movie appearances. NRR In 1962, he was the first living artist elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame. NRR


  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Roy Acuff
  • AC Ace Collins (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley
  • NRR National Recording Registry Publishing Group.
  • RA Theodore Raph (1964). The Songs We Sang: A Treasury of American Popular Music. A.S. Barnes and Co., Inc.: New York. Page 367.
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Pages 67-8.

First posted 11/24/2014; last updated 8/26/2022.

Tuesday, November 22, 1988

Willie Dixon The Chess Box released

The Chess Box

Willie Dixon

Released: November 22, 1988

Recorded: 1951-1969

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: blues

Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title Performer (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. My Babe by Little Walter (3/12/55, 1 RB)
  2. Violent Love by The Big Three Trio (1951)
  3. Third Degree by Eddie Boyd (7/4/53, 3 RB)
  4. Seventh Son by Willie Mabon (1956)
  5. Crazy for My Baby by Willie Dixon (1955)
  6. Pain in My Heart by Willie Dixon (1955)
  7. Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters (3/13/54, 3 RB)
  8. Evil by Howlin’ Wolf (recorded 1954, charted 4/12/69, 43 RB)
  9. Mellow Down Easy by Little Walter (12/18/54, --)
  10. When the Lights Go Out by Jimmy Witherspoon (1954)
  11. Young Fashioned Ways by Muddy Waters (1955)
  12. Pretty Thing by Bo Diddley (1/7/56, 4 RB, 34 UK)
  13. I’m Ready by Muddy Waters (10/23/54, 4 RB)
  14. Do Me Right by Lowell Fulson (1955)
  15. I Just Want to Make Love to You by Muddy Waters (6/5/54, 4 RB)
  16. Tollin’ Bells by Lowell Fulson (1956)
  17. 29 Ways by Willie Dixon (1956)
  18. Walking the Blues by Willie Dixon (9/10/55, 10 BB, 6 RB)

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Spoonful by Howlin’ Wolf (6/30/60, --)
  2. You Know My Love by Otis Rush (1960)
  3. You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover by Bo Diddley (8/18/62, 48 BB, 68 CB, 63 HR, 21 RB)
  4. I Ain’t Superstitious by Howlin’ Wolf (5/62, --)
  5. You Need Love by Muddy Waters (1962)
  6. Little Red Rooster by Howlin’ Wolf (10/61, --)
  7. Back Door Man by Howlin’ Wolf (recorded 6/30/60)
  8. Dead Presidents by Little Walter (1964)
  9. Hidden Charms by Howlin’ Wolf (1962)
  10. You Shook Me by Muddy Waters (6/62, --)
  11. Bring It on Home by Sonny Boy Williamson II (recorded 1/11/63)
  12. Three Hundred Pounds of Joy by Howlin’ Wolf (recorded 8/14/63)
  13. Weak Brain, Narrow Mind by Willie Dixon (1964)
  14. Wang Dang Doodle by Koko Taylor (4/16/66, 58 BB, 4 RB)
  15. Same Thing [Live] by Muddy Waters (1/66)
  16. Built for Comfort by Howlin’ Wolf (recorded 8/14/63)
  17. I Can’t Quit You Baby by Little Milton (1969)
  18. Insane Asylum by Koko Taylor (1968)


4.403 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Songwriter, producer, and talent scout, singer-bassist Willie Dixon essentially built Chicago's Cobra and Chess labels with his sweat.” AZ This collection features 13 different artists but with one unifying theme – all of these songs are written by Dixon, “a testament to his songwriting prowess” AZ that makes a case for Dixon to be crowned “king of the blues composers.” BF He also produces and plays bass on most of these tracks. Dixon “is the only blues songwriter to be honored by a major label with a retrospective of this type.” AMG

It makes for a variety of styles; “amplified Delta blues, big band, Mills Brothers-style harmony blues, jazz-influenced jump blues, and near-pop style R&B are all here; guitar pyrotechnics by Muddy Waters or Hubert Sumlin (on the Wolf’s records), vocal acrobatics by Little Walter, and rippling performances by Koko Taylor illuminate this set throughout.” AMG

“There's Howlin’ Wolf tearing through Spoonful, Little Red Rooster, Evil, and Back Door Man. There’s Muddy Waters belting You Shook Me, Hoochie Coochie Man, and I’m Ready. There’s Bo Diddley delivering You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover and Koko Taylor launching her career with Wang Dang Doodle.” AZ

“The six tracks featuring Dixon as vocalist are probably the least familiar to collectors. Crazy For My Baby and his Big Three Trio’s previously unreleased take of Violent Love, both from 1951, are the earliest recordings here.” BF These, as well as Pain in My Heart, “are great records, lacking perhaps only a slight measure of the energy that a Muddy Waters brought to recording.” AMG

“Dixon biographer Don Snowden’s informative 12-page booklet adds to the value and also includes a complete session discography for every track; note, however, that the 1965 date given for The Same Thing from the Fathers and Sons/i> album (one of the few tracks here where Dixon was not present as bassist or A&R director) should be 1969.” BF

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 3/19/2024.

Tuesday, November 15, 1988

Journey’s Greatest Hits released

First posted 7/24/2008; updated 9/17/2020. This page has been expanded, reworked, and moved here.

Tuesday, November 8, 1988

R.E.M. Green released



Released: November 8, 1988

Peak: 12 US, 27 UK, 14 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.3 UK, 4.5 world (includes US + UK)

Genre: alternative rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Pop Song 89 (12/3/88, 86 BB, 14 AR, 16 MR, 94 CN, 94 AU, 30 DF)
  2. Get Up (9/89, 35 DF)
  3. You Are the Everything (33 DF)
  4. Stand (12/3/88, 6 BB, 6 CB, 5 GR, 6 RR, 1 AR, 1 MR, 48 UK, 8 CN, 56 AU, 11 DF)
  5. World Leader Pretend (33 DF)
  6. The Wrong Child
  7. Orange Crush (11/12/88, 1 AR, 1 MR, 28 UK, 15 AU, 9 DF)
  8. Turn You Inside-Out (3/18/89, 10 MR, 38 DF)
  9. Hairshirt (40 DF)
  10. I Remember California
  11. This World Is Big [unlisted track]

Total Running Time: 40:43

The Players:

  • Bill Berry (drums, percussion, etc.)
  • Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin, etc.)
  • Mike Mills (bass, piano, keyboards, etc.)
  • Michael Stipe (vocals)


3.819 out of 5.00 (average of 27 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“As far as major-label debuts by underground bands go, Green is fairly uncompromising. While it displays a more powerful guitar sound on Get Up, Turn You Inside Out, and Orange Crush, it also takes more detours than Document, whether it’s the bizarrely affecting contemporary folk of The Wrong Child and You Are the Everything, the bubblegum of Stand and Pop Song 89, or the introspection of the lovely Hairshirt and World Leader Pretend.” AM

“But instead of presenting a portrait of a band with a rich, eclectic vision, Green is incoherent. While its best moments are flat-out great, the band has bitten off more than it can chew; many of the songs sound like failed experiments, and its arena-ready production now sounds slightly dated. Nevertheless, half of the record is brilliant, and it certainly indicates that R.E.M. are continuing to diversify their sound.” AM

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/6/2011; last updated 6/18/2024.

Saturday, November 5, 1988

Fleetwood Mac released Greatest Hits

First posted 4/6/2008; last updated 9/17/2020.

Greatest Hits

Fleetwood Mac

Released: November 5, 1988

Recorded: 1975-1988

Peak: 14 US, 3 UK, -- CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 0.9 UK, 16.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (1) Rhiannon (2) Don’t Stop (3) Go Your Own Way (4) Hold Me (5) Everywhere (6) Gypsy (7) You Make Loving Fun (8) As Long As You Follow (9) Dreams (10) Say You Love Me (11) Tusk (12) Little Lies (13) Sara (14) Big Love (15) Over My Head (16) No Questions Asked

Total Running Time: 64:19


4.370 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


A Brief History:

Fleetwood Mac started in 1967 as a British blues band. Over eight years, members came and went with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie being the only constants. By 1975, they’d settled on the lineup that over a dozen years, would bring them to their greatest commercial heights. The American folk-duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band in 1974, giving the band a poppier, classic rock feel.

  • Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar, et al)
  • Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine)
  • Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
  • John McVie (bass)
  • Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)
These years include five studio albums each with their own DMDB page. All have brief snapshots on this page.

The Studio Albums:

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the Greatest Hits are noted. Song titles are followed by the names of writers in parentheses, the song’s length in brackets, and then the date the song charted and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.

Fleetwood Mac (1975):

After ten studio albums, Fleetwood Mac leapt into the arena of commercial stardom with a self-titled release. On the strength of three top-20 hits in the U.S., the album which introduced Lindsey Buckingham to Stevie Nicks, hit #1 and became a multi-platinum seller. The band had previously never reached higher than #34 on the Billboard album chart.

  • Over My Head (C. McVie) [4:11] (11/8/75, 20 US, 32 AC, 9 CN, airplay: 2 million)
  • Rhiannon (Nicks) [4:11] (3/6/76, 11 US, 33 AC, 46 UK, 4 CN, 13 AU, airplay: 3 million)
  • Say You Love Me (C. McVie) [4:11] (7/4/76, 11 US, 12 AC, 40 UK, 29 CN, 38 AU, airplay: 2 million)

Rumours (1977):

Expectations were high and so were the band members. They were also fighting so much as a band that the success they’d just found looked certain to derail. Instead, the broken relationships behind the scenes fueled their songs and the album became one of the most successful in history. Sporting four top-ten U.S. hits, it sold 40 million copies worldwide and spent 31 weeks atop the Billboard album chart in the U.S.

  • Go Your Own Way (Buckingham) [3:43] (12/76, 10 US, 45 AC, 38 UK, 11 CN, 20 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  • Dreams (Nicks) [4:14] (3/24/77, 1 US, 11 AC, 24 UK, 1 CN, 19 AU, sales: ½ million, airplay: 5 million)
  • Don’t Stop (C. McVie) [3:13] (4/30/77, 3 US, 22 AC, 32 UK, 1 CN, 30 AU, airplay: 3.0 m)
  • You Make Loving Fun (C. McVie) [3:31] (9/77, 9 US, 28 AC, 45 UK, 7 CN, 65 AU, airplay: 2 million))

Tusk (1979):

Fleetwood Mac got ambitious the next time out, releasing a double album. It didn’t match the success of the previous outing – which would have been damn-near impossible – but it still gave the band two more top-ten hits in the U.S.

  • Tusk (Buckingham) [3:37] (10/6/79, 8 US, 6 UK, 5 CN, 3 AU)
  • Sara (Nicks) [6:22] (12/15/79, 7 US, 13 AC, 37 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, airplay: 2 million)

Mirage (1982):

Since their last album, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had each found solo success. Nicks had gone all the way to #1 on the U.S. album chart with Bella Donna, which had two top-ten hits, and Buckingam hit the top 10 with his song “Trouble.” Audiences were eager to hear the band as a whole again. Ironically, though, it was Christine McVie who had the highest-charting single from the album with “Hold Me.”

  • Hold Me (C. McVie/Robbie Patton) [3:44] (6/19/82, 4 US, 3 AR, 7 AC, 94 UK, 9 CN, 12 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  • Gypsy (Nicks) [4:24] (7/24/82, 12 US, 4 AR, 9 AC, 46 UK, 16 CN, 17 AU, airplay: 2 million)

Tango in the Night (1987):

After some more solo forays, which now included a solo album and top-10 hit from Christine McVie, the band came together again for what would be the last studio album with the classic lineup that brought the group its biggest taste of fame. Seven songs from Tango in the Night hit various charts with four of those reaching the top-20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Big Love (Buckingham) [3:37] (3/28/87, 5 US, 2 AR, 23 AC, 9 UK, 17 CN, 16 AU)
  • Seven Wonders (Stewart/ Nicks) [3:38] (4/25/87, 19 US, 2 AR, 13 AC, 56 UK, 47 CN, 23 AU)
  • Little Lies (McVie/ Quintela) [3:40] (8/2/87, 4 US, 14 AR, 1 AC, 5 UK, 3 CN, 16 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  • Everywhere (C. McVie) [3:48] (11/28/87, 14 US, 22 AR, 1 AC, 4 UK, 45 AU, airplay: 1 million)

Greatest Hits (1988):

Greatest Hits is a fine overview of Fleetwood Mac’s hit-making years, containing the bulk of the group’s Top 40 hits of the late ‘70s and ‘80s,” AMG which included such fare as top-10 hits Go Your Own Way, Tusk, Sara, Hold Me, Big Love, and Little Lies and their only #1 hit, Dreams. Minor hits like ‘Think About Me’ [and] ‘Love in Store’… are missing, making room for the new songs As Long as You Follow…and No Questions Asked, but overall, Greatest Hits is an excellent choice for casual listeners.” AMG

  • As Long As You Follow (11/26/88, 43 US, 15 AR, 1 AC, 66 UK, 35 AU)
  • No Questions Asked (12/4/88, 37 AR)

Notes: “Seven Wonders” was added to the 2006 reissue.

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