The title track was previously recorded as ˝The Railroad Boomer˝ by Bud Billings (aka Frank Luther) and Carson Robison in a performance recorded at the studio at Liederkranz Hall in New York on September 9, 1929 (Victor V-40139).
Although it is credited on Cooder’s album as ˝traditional,˝ Robison was awarded a copyright and the song ˝can’t be shown to have circulated in oral tradition.˝
Gene Autry recorded it in December of the same year.
In the 1930s the song was recorded for Decca Records by the Rice Brothers’ Gang, in 1939 by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys, in 1941 by Riley Puckett for RCA, and in the 1950s by Cisco Houston (as ˝The Rambler˝) and by The New Lost City Ramblers, who included Cooder’s guitar teacher, Tom Paley.
Bass - Tommy McClure
Clarinet - Charles Lawing
Drums - Jim Keltner, Roger Hawkins
Guitar, Vocals on ˝President Kennedy˝ - Sleepy John Estes recorded in Collierville, Tennessee
Harmonica - Gene Finney
Horns - George Bohanon
Percussion - Milt Holland
Piano on ˝Rally ’Round the Flag˝ - Randy Newman
Piano, Bass - Jim Dickinson
Voices - Dan Penn, Jim Dickinson