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Freight Train

Doctor Ross


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Smithsonian Folklife Fest '82


Doctor Isaiah Ross "The Harmonica Boss" performs his imitation of a race between an automobile and two trains titled "Freight Train." This footage was captured by Alan Lomax and his crew at the Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1982.

In 1951 Mississippi bluesman Isaiah Ross started performing on local radio in Arkansas and Mississippi. He began to be referred to as "Doctor" Ross for his habit of carrying his harmonicas in a physician's bag. By 1954 when he accepted a job at General Motors and relocated to Flint, Michigan Ross had already made records in Memphis for both the Sun and Chess labels.

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