I hear the train.

The train is the reason Johnson City exists. In 1856 three train lines intersected at Johnson’s Depot and put this region on the map.

The stories you hear of the area almost always have the train as a character. There’s the story of Mary the elephant. The bootlegging distribution network that was established here in the 1920’s because of the trains, the mountains and the proximity to Chicago and Florida. Country music owes it’s start to the region. Old timey songs and modern songs like Wagon Wheel mention this region and travel. 

Bootlegging and Johnson City. Charlie Bowman and His Brothers from the hills of Tennessee.

 

Al Hopkins And His Hillbillies-Donkey On The Railroad Track. Charlie Bowman, the fiddle player, is a Johnson City native. 

It’s cold in Johnson City tonight, it’s going to get down to about 15, and I am not interested in suiting up to take Meg-o out for one final walk. Instead, I’m delaying the walk a bit longer by listening to the train and reading more about the musicians who had an influence on these hills.

 

Black Snake Moan by Blind Lemon Jefferson. Jefferson was known to hang out in Johnson City. Black Snake Moan is one of Jeffersons biggest songs, 

 
 

Johnson City Stickers

Johnson City has a rich culture of music and beautiful mountains for recreation, so I made two stickers to celebrate just that.