Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!

55 years ago tonight, February 9, 1964! It was a Sunday night, at 8:00 PM, on The Ed Sullivan Show. In just one hour everything changed! America met John, Paul, George and Ringo. While over 700 fans screamed inside the Ed Sullivan Theater, 73 million viewers watched the broadcast live at home on their black and white televisions.

Here is the introduction by Ed Sullivan.

All My Loving

I Want to Hold Your Hand

The Beatles Set List for February 9, 1964

1st Song Set

    • All My Loving
    • Till There Was You
    • She Loves You

2nd Song Set

    • I Saw Her Standing There
    • I Want to Hold Your Hand


This Train

This page is dedicated to the traditional American folk song This Train, also know as, This Train Is Bound for Glory. Here we will attempt to chronicle the origin and history of this song, it’s importance and influence in American culture —and music as a whole—and the many people who have been involved over the past 100 years.


The origins of This Train are unknown, but we know this song has been sung and handed down in the American South for over 100 years. The earliest known recording was made by the Florida Normal and Industrial Quartette in 1922, and it was recorded in the field for the United Stated Library of Congress by folklorists and musicologists John A, Lomax and Alan Lomax in the 1930’s.

Over the years, This Train has been performed and recorded by artists such as, Big Bill Broonzy in the 1920s, to Louis Armstrong,  Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to Pete Seeger in the 30s and 40s, to Mumford & Sons in 2012. This Train inspired Bruce Springsteen to write and perform Land of Hope and Dreams in 1998.

Dis Train by the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute Quartette, circa 1922, is the oldest known recording of the song.

This Train Is Bound for Glory by Wood’s Famous Blind Jubilee Singers (ca. 1925).

This Train by Big Bill Broonzy (ca. 1925).

This Train by Sister Rosetta Tharpe (ca. 1939).

This Train by Sister Rosetta Tharpe (ca. 1959).

This Train by the Staple Singers (ca. 1965).

Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen (written 1998; performed live 2000).

This Train performed by Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show (ca. 2012).

Other Artists

Other artists that recorded the song are: Brothers Four, Hylo Brown, Alice Coltrane, Delmore Brothers, Sandy Denny, D.O.A., Lonnie Donegan, Jimmy Durante, Snooks Eaglin, Bob Gibson, Joe Glazer, John Hammond, Jr., Cisco Houston, Janis Ian, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Jenkins, Sleepy LaBeef, The Limeliters, Trini Lopez, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Ziggy Marley, The Alarm, Ricky Nelson, Peter, Paul & Mary, Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger, The Seekers, Roberta Sherwood, Hank Snow, David Soul, Staples Singers, Billy Strange, the Tarriers, Hank Thompson, Bradley Nowell of Sublime, Randy Travis, The Verlaines, Bunny Wailer, Nina Hagen, Girls at Our Best!, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Jools Holland. (source: Wikipdeia)


Signed ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ Sells for $290,500.00

SOLD! This Beatles-signed ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album sold at auction today for $290,500.00. This copy of the 1967 ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ album, acclaimed by most as the greatest of all Beatles’ albums, was signed by all four Beatles.

Today’s final bid exceeded the original estimated value by more than $260,000. The auction was held in Dallas, Texas by Heritage Auctions.

Link to Heritage Auction Lot: Beatles-Signed ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Mono UK Gatefold Cover (Parlophone PMC 7027, 1967)
All Music: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Wikipedia: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Artwork for The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Oak Crest Talent Show 1961

We enjoy receiving blog comments and emails from readers who are as passionate about music and guitars as we are here at Tone Gems. Recently, Ray Clearwater – who incidentally publishes 25 Years of Sears Musical Instruments on CD – shared a old photograph of his 1961 Junior High talent show.

Clarence Clemens Passes at 69

Clarence Clemons, the great saxophone player synonymous with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band passed away today at age 69. He had suffered a massive stroke on June 12. He played with Springsteen and the band for 40 years, and was described by Springsteen as the soul of the band. He will be sorely missed.

Read more here in the The Rolling Stone.

Sgt. Pepper is 44 Years Old Today

The Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on this day in 1967, forever changing rock and roll, and music as a whole. Tracks like A Little Help from My FriendsLucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Lovely RitaWhen I’m Sixty-Four, Good Morning Good Morning, A Day in the Life, and the album’s title song, are now timeless classics. Listening to the album’s Side Two is an experience within itself, that must be enjoyed from beginning to end without interruption. The songs on Side Two were carefully woven together so that the music flowed seamlessly, and almost endlessly.

Rock music had reached a pinnacle. Mick Jagger once said in a radio interview, that after hearing a early pre-release tape of Sgt. Pepper’s on cassette, “We’re done! No one is going to top that.”

So enjoy the day, and spin the vinyl if you have it. Because somewhere in the universe (pun intended), that magnificent final E chord is still fading…!

Roger McGuinn and the Regency TR-1

Long before iPods, CD’s and Walkmans there was the transistor radio.

The advent of the transistor radio is integral to the history of rock and roll. The first transistor radio, the American-made Regency TR-1, arrived on the scene in 1954 about one year before the Sony transistor. In this video Roger McGuinn, founding member of The Byrds, tells how he received his first transistor radio and how it inspired him to become a musician. The rest of course is history, as The Byrds became one of the biggest groups of the 60′s and transformed rock music with their own style called folk-rock.

More info:

Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio History

Roger McGuinn’s Home Page

Roger McGuinn’s Transistor Radio Collection

Roger’s Transistor Radio Collection