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.”
If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!