One of the most unique concerts from the British blues revival of the 1960s was the “Blues and Gospel Train,” filmed May 7, 1964 by Granada TV for the BBC. Fans who were lucky enough to get tickets–some 200 of them–were instructed to gather at Manchester’s Central Station by 7:30 that evening for a short train ride to the abandoned Wilbraham Road Station. When the train pulled in at Wilbraham Road, the audience poured out and found seats on one platform. The opposite side, decorated to look like an old railway station in the American South, served as a stage for Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Cousin Joe and Reverend Gary Davis. The performances are available on DVD as part of American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966. In the scene above, Muddy Waters sings, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”

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  • Marian Carter says:

    I remember Muddy Waters and some of his music. One in particular was “What you need with a rooster when the fool won’t crow for day? What you need with a woman who won’t do a thing you say?” My mother did not like blues, so my brother could only play the records when she was not at home on that old Victrola. Such a rich sound it had that we could hear it all over those hills in Greenwood and Greenville, S.C.. “Those were the days.”

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