Ridin' the Rails
In 1929 the Stock Market had crashed.
Forcing banks to close, millions to loose their jobs.
Many had takin' to jump in' freight
trains by the hundreds of thousands!
Obviously to look for work, food and
sometimes just for the adventure!
Willie Littleton Seay was one of these
young men they called "Hobo's", along with
his buddy R.T. Blount they rode the rails for a
year maybe two in the early 1930's.

"He'd Hobo alot,him and R.T. Blount.
They'd get out and start to Alabama and
he would go to people's houses and ask
for some kind of vegetable. When they
got enough they'd make em' some soup in
a.. any kind of a can and eat it!"
"...Hobo their way on a freight train
just hop 'at train n' go to Alabama,
Wyoming...any where they wanted to go
they went..them two!"

                        -Thelma Norman Seay
Along with his companion R.T., Willie
toted along a guitar that helped him
on his way in earnin' a little money or
a meal! To sweetin' the deal he would
claim to be "The Father of Country
Music", that one and only..'singin
Brakeman'...Jimmie Rodgers!
I imagine he was pretty good at it,the
singin' part that is but when folks
realized that he wasn't Jimmie
Rodgers they would run him off!
"There's a place I know where the train goes slow
Where the sinner can be washed
in the blood of the lamb
There's a river by the trestle down
by sinners grove
Down where the willow and the Dogwood grow!
Take me, Down there by the train..
..down there by the train,
down there by the train
down there by the train,
Down there where the train goes......slow!

                                  -Johnny Cash
"Can a singer , sing  for his supper?
"Are you a singer?"
"We'll yeah...I'm Jimmie Rodgers!"
"His is the Music of Amercia. He sang
the songs of the people he loved, of a
young nation growing strong. His was
glistening rails, thundering boxcars,
and rain-swept nights"

       -Jimmie Rodgers statue
         Meridian Mississippi
click the picture
above for the
Jimmie Rodgers
Would the real Jimmie Rodgers please stand up!
"A Hobo's life ain't measured by the number of dollars in their pocket
but by the miles they traveled and places they have been..
...the storys told by the songs they sung!"
                                                                     -unknown author
Words to
"The Hobo Song"
John Prine
(click photo above)
Willie's Last Ride
Roy L. Seay