Words By: Sam Pethers | March 9th, 2015
"My Daddy told me, lookin' back. The best friend you'll have is a railroad track. So when I was 13 I said 'I'm rollin' my own. I'm leavin' Misouri and I'm never comin' home'." Tom Waits.
Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers - Ramblin' Blues
Charlie Poole recorded "Ramblin' Blues" in 1928 in New York City.
Woody Guthrie - I Ain't Got No Home
Woody Guthrie wrote "I Ain't Got No Home" for what was (arguably) the first ever concept album, Dust Bowl Ballads. It was recorded in New York City in 1940. Guthrie adapted the song from a traditional gospel hymn titled "I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore".
Big Bill Broonzy - Key To The Highway
Big Bill Broonzy recorded this song about hitting the highway in 1940.
Muddy Waters - Rollin' & Tumblin'
Muddy Waters recorded "Rollin' & Tumblin'" in 1950 for Chess Records. In 2006, Bob Dylan reinterpreted the song for his album Modern Times.
Hank Williams - Ramblin' Man
Hank Williams wrote this track about his life on the road in 1951.
"When I'm gone and at my grave you stand. Just say God's called home this ramblin' man".
Old Hank wasn't lying. He died two years later in the back of his Cadillac at age 29 outside of Oak Hill, West Virginia.
Domonic Behan - Irish Rover
Domonic Behan recorded this track in 1960. The song tells of a group of Irishmen on their way to a new life in New York City. It has since been covered by many artists - most famously by The Pogues & The Dubliners in 1987 (Shane McGowan & Ronnie Drew sharing lead vocals is worth a listen if you've never heard it)
Jack Kerouac - On The Road (Home I'll Never Be)
"I left New York in 1949, to go across the country without a bad blame dime".
Jack Kerouac recorded this track in 1960. Tom Waits performed it in 1997 at the Allen Ginsberg tribute concert, and later included a version of the song on the 2006 album Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.
Bob Dylan - I Was Young When I Left Home
Dylan recorded this track in 1961. It was written as an adaptation of the folk traditional, "Nine Hundred Miles", and it was intended for Dylan's debut album, but at the last minute he decided to exclude it.
Terry Callier - Nine Hundred Miles
Callier recorded "Nine Hundred Miles" for his 1964 album The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier.
Dave Van Ronk - Wanderin'
Dave Van Ronk recorded "Wanderin'" for his 1964 album Just Dave Van Ronk. Van Ronk adapted the song from the 1950 single by Sammy Kaye.
The Clancy Brothers - The Leaving Of Liverpool
The Clancy Brothers recorded "The leaving of Liverpool" for their 1964 album The First Hurrah.
Gaslight Records is a way of reviving and reliving the music of 50 Years Ago. Unlike any other music site, everything you'll hear or read about on Gaslight Records will be sourced from music that is at least 50 years old.
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