The Pan-American train, Nashville, and Country Music

Those of us who are old remember when country music wasn’t entirely a place peopled by whites. DeFord Bailey passed in 1982, when I was quite young, but I remember one of the country stations playing an hour-long set of his unfortunately few recordings.

What has he got to do with sustainable cities and transport? Well, he’s one of those people that captured train music. This is him doing the Pan American Blues:


The Pan-American ran between Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, and New Orleans from the mid-1920s until 1971. It had the full passenger train package: sleepers, dining cars, observation areas, etc.

The Delmore Brothers and Hank Williams, Sr also recorded a song about the Pan American: