Original Author: Vernon Dalhart, performer; Fred Jackson Lewey and Charles W. Noell, songwriters
“The Wreck of the Old 97” Ballad
This is one of a number of ballads written about the wreck of the Old 97, a deadly accident that occurred when a speeding train left the tracks and crashed at the Stillhouse Trestle outside Danville in 1903. The most popular of the ballads, heard here, was recorded by Vernon Dalhart for RCA Victor Records in 1924. It became an early country hit and the first million-selling record in the United States.