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News — history

Elizabeth Cotten and "Freight Train"

art black voices elizabeth cotten folk music folk revival freight train history intellectual property music

If you're a Southerner and/or a fan of American folk music, you've probably heard the song "Freight Train" before. Freight train, freight train, run so fastFreight train, freight train, run so fastPlease don't tell what train I'm onThey won't know what route I'm going Yet you still might not know the name Elizabeth Cotten, and that would be a damn shame. Elizabeth Nevill Cotten was born in 1893 in North Carolina into a musical family. She was playing her brother's banjo by the age of 7. She had to drop out of school at age 9 to work, and by...

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