The "Old 97," a Southern Railway train enroute to Spencer, North Carolina, derailed at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia on September 27, 1903, killing eleven. The train wreck served as an inspiration for songwriters and balladeers. The song, "Wreck of the Old 97," has been recorded by numerous artists including Flatt and Scruggs and Johnny Cash. The Southern Railway (AAR designation SOU) was the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined since the 1830s. ... Spencer is a town located in Rowan County, North Carolina. ... Danville is an independent city located in Virginia, bounded by Pittsylvania County, Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina. ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 95 days remaining. ... 1903 has the latest occurring solstices and equinoxes for 400 years, because the Gregorian calendar hasnt had a leap year for seven years or a century leap year since 1600. ... Categories: Stub ... A songwriter is someone who writes either the lyrics or the music for songs. ... A ballad is a story in song, usually a narrative song or poem. ... Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were influential bluegrass musicans during the 1950s and 1960s. ... Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American country music singer and songwriter, known to his fans as The Man in Black, and a member of the outlaw country movement. ...
See also: List of rail accidents Notable historic train accidents: 1830s September 15, 1830 – England: William Huskisson becomes first ever passenger train death. ...
A 1920s recording of the song, "Wreck of the Old97" by Vernon Dalhart, is sometimes cited as the first million-seller in the American record industry, as well as the first song to inspire a major copyright lawsuit.
"Old97" vaulted off the trestle, and 11 people were killed.
Train wrecks occurred relatively frequently at the time, and it was the ballad which sustained this accident's national fame.
"The Wreck of the Old97" was initially recorded commercially by Virginia musicians G. Grayson and Henry Whitter, but when it was released by light-opera singer Vernon Dalhart, it became the first million-selling record in the United States.
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