DUQUESNE PENNSYLVANIA – THE SONG!

Well, at long last I have tackled technology head on and have ome out the victor!! About three years ago, I recieved a Christmas gift from my wife that I was SO excited about. I received a turntable that would allow me to convert my record collection into digital files that could be used to make CD’s, play on my computer and use in a large variety of ways.

As excited as I was to receive the equipment, I became immediately baffled and frustrated during my attempts to actually USE the item. The directions were written in a way that it would take a Audio Engineer to understand. Although I tried and tried to connect it to my computer, I repeatedly failed. Rather than ASK someone for help, I did the typical guy thing and removed the turntable to my garage workbench, where it remained until this week.

As I was frantically searching for something through my rubbish junk treasures that I have stored in the garage, I came across the turntable and decided that it wasn’t going to get the better of me. Three years had been long enough for me to “cool off” after my initial frustration, so I decided I would tackle it once more.

Since the instructions for installation and use had long since been suck into the “black hole” that exists in my “Man Cave,” I had to resort to exploring the internet to locate on-line instructions. After sifting through some unrelated websites, I finally located the directions. I was able to print, read, comprehend, install and operate the turntable after 3 years of feeling defeated.

With all of that said, I am finally able to share the song by Hank Snow that I mentioned a long time ago, DUQUESNE PENNSYLVANIA. The song was on an album that was released in 1971 and titled Tracks & Trains. Hank Snow was noted for singing songs that had to do with railroads. This album was one of many that paid homage to trains and tracks.

I have a “romantic” theory about this particular song. As I researched Snow’s life, I was surprised to read that even though he was born in Canada, after becoming a US citizen, he served in the US Army. He was stationed at the same training base as my Uncle Mark Puskaric and during the same time frame. Since Uncle Mark was such a congenial guy, I have convinced myself that he befriended Hank Snow and told him stories about Duquesne Pennsylvania! This is further evidenced by the fact that Uncle Mark was stationed in Monterey California after his North Carolina stint. Once you read the lyrics, you’ll understand the connection. Again, this is pure conjecture on my part, and just a hunky fantasy!

So please, enjoy the following video that I created to honor our hometown, and let me know what you think!

Duquesne Pennsylvania 

Ruby VanNoy – Danny Samson

© Tree Publishing, BMI

 

A train in the rain is my claim to fame

Since I broke the chain that shackled my brain

To that woman insane way back in Duquesne Pennsylvania

But my only regret is that I can’t forget all the outstandin’ debts

That she ain’t paid yet and that fuzzy brunette

Who always said don’t sweat the small stuff

 

So I ride in the rain on this big ole train

Like a man with no name and my language profane

Cause my only domain is this freight to Monterey California

With the rain on my face with the wind in the chase

It’s an open shut case I’m a happy disgrace

To the life I misplaced way back in Duquesne Pennsylvania

 

A woman untrue is a hard bite to chew

And the feelin’ was new but I knew what to do so I quickly withdrew

Cause a woman’s ado can detain ya

Yes a word of advice is enough to suffice

And I won’t say it twice and even though she seems nice

It’s a big sacrifice just one toss of the dice can restrain ya

 

So heed my request use the utmost finesse

On the girl statuesque enjoy her caress

But don’t be outguessed for she may distress and defame ya

Now you’ve heard my claim and there’s more of the same

It’s a heck of a shame but you can’t win the game

So we’ll ride in the rain on the train from Duquesne Pennsylvania

 

A train in the rain is my claim to fame

Since I broke the chain that shackled my brain

To that woman insane way back in Duquesne Pennsylvania

But my only regret is that I can’t forget all the outstanding debts

That she ain’t paid yet and that fuzzy brunette

Who always said don’t sweat the small stuff

 

So I ride in the rain on this big ole train

 

**********

HANK SNOW BIOGRAPHY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Snow

Biography

Hank Snow, (also known as Hank, The Yodeling Ranger
Hank Snow or, The Singing Ranger) was born in Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 9, 1914. He ran away from home to escape a brutal stepfather when he was 12 years old and joined a fishing boat as a cabin boy. When he was 14, he ordered his first guitar from an Eaton’s department store catalogue for $5.95, and played his first show in a church basement in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia at age 16. He then sang in local clubs in and around Halifax. He married Minnie Blanche Aalders in 1935 and had one son, Rev. Jimmy Rodgers Snow.

Canadian Years

A successful appearance on Halifax radio station CHNS led to Snow’s audition with the Canadian division of RCA Victor in Montreal, Quebec. In 1936, he signed with the label, staying for more than 45 years. A weekly CBC radio show brought him national recognition and, using the name, Hank, The Yodeling Ranger, and he began touring Canada until the late 1940s when American country music stations began playing his records.

Nashville Calls

Snow moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1945, and “Hank Snow, the Singing Ranger” (modified from his earlier nickname, the Yodeling Ranger), was invited to play at the Grand Ole Opry in 1950. That same year he released his hit, “I’m Moving On.” The first of seven number 1 hits on the country charts, “I’m Moving On” stayed at the top for 21 weeks, setting the all-time record for most weeks at number 1.

That same year ” “The Golden Rocket” and “The Rhumba Boogie” both hit number one with the latter remaining No. 1 for eight weeks.

Along with these hits, his other “signature song” was “I’ve Been Everywhere,” in which he portrayed himself as a hitchhiker bragging about all the towns he’d been through. This song was originally written and performed in Australia by Geoff Mack, and its re-write incorporated North American place names. Rattling off a well-rhymed series of city names at an auctioneer’s pace has long made the song a challenge for any singer.

While performing in Renfro Valley, Snow worked with a young Hank Williams.

In the February 7th 1953 edition, Billboard Magazine reported that Snow’s then seventeen year old son, Jimmy Rodgers Snow, had “signed with Victor” (RCA Victor Records). Billboard reported that the younger Snow would “record duets with his father”, as well as cover his own (presumably ghost-written) material.

Elvis

A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a young Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Presley as his opening act and introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team, Hank Snow Attractions. This partnership signed a management contract with Presley but before long, Snow was out and Parker had full control over the rock singer’s career. Forty years after leaving Parker, Snow stated, “I have worked with several managers over the years and have had respect for them all except one. Tom Parker (he refuses to recognise the title Colonel) was the most egotistical, obnoxious human being I’ve ever had dealings with.”

Later career

Performing in lavish and colourful sequin-studded suits, Snow had a career covering six decades during which he sold more than 80 million albums. Although he became an American naturalized citizen in 1958, he still maintained friendships in Canada and remembered his roots with the 1968 album, My Nova Scotia Home. That same year he performed at campaign stops on behalf of U.S. presidential candidate George Wallace.

Despite his lack of schooling, Snow was a gifted songwriter and in 1978 was elected to Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Canada, he was ten times voted that country’s top country music performer. In 1979, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

His autobiography, The Hank Snow Story, was published in 1994, and later The Hank Snow Country Music Centre opened near his ancestral home in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. A victim of child abuse, he established the Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse.

Illness and Death

In 1996, Snow experienced respiratory problems and at 12:30am on December 20, 1999, he died from heart failure[4] at his Rainbow Ranch in Madison, Tennessee and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville. Minnie died on May 12, 2003 in Madison, Tennessee.

 

This entry was posted in Duquesne Talent, Life in General, Movies, Music, Radio and TV. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to DUQUESNE PENNSYLVANIA – THE SONG!

  1. bornyek says:

    James, Thanks for the Acadamey Award Winner. I had never heard the song before. Amazing. You were a little to slick in the construction and cutting of the piece. Just as the eye and mind were beginning to capture each photograph, it was gone. Less and longer is more. You continue to refine Duquesne Hunkey, if only your could refine the (SEARCH) so that, if a person were entered into the search you would get all the info on that person, etc. Thanks, James George Bornyek

  2. Bill Fay says:

    It’s a great song. I had never heard it before this. Hank Snow was my favourite singer as a kid in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I also love steam trains. In recent years through my friendship with the president of the Old Hank Snow Fan Club, (Gordon Silver) whom I met in 1980, I had the extreme pleasure of playing on stage in Bridgewater Nova Scotia with 2 of Hank’s Rainbow Ranch Boys, Kayton Roberts on steel guitar and Roger Carroll on bass, as they would travel to Canada to take part in the annual Hank Snow Tribute Weekend. Without your perseverance I would probably never have heard the song about Duquesne and your Uncle Mark. It all fits!!
    Thanks
    Bill Fay
    Annapolis Royal Canada

  3. Chris Vanniy says:

    My father Rick Vannoy wrote that song

    • Since leaving my last comment I have since moved and got the old albums out of storage (still in great shape), but now my daughter has the stereo system that has the turntable so now i got to wait until i can talk her out of it so i can bring it back home to play the Good Old Country Albums including the one one mentioned here

  4. Jack Schalk says:

    “That big eight wheeler rolling down the track means your true lovin’ daddy ain’t coming back” so the lyrics go for Movin’ on.
    The first time I heard Hank Snow was when I was a sophomore at DHS in ’52 and used to ride to school with the older of the Oyler boys in his 41 Chevy coupe and Ed Schorr. The twin Oylers were in my class.
    They were big country fans and I was indoctrinated to country during that ride. Eventually I would sing country in a bar on Duquesne Ave where the customers were all too far gone, or had their hearing impared in the mill to know how bad I was.
    What a learning experience!

  5. Vickie reese says:

    Hi Jim, its funny you wrote this post, growing up (in Duquesne) I was raised on hard rock (my younger brothers type of music) oldies but goodies and mostly country. My dad had a big collection of record albums, i always enjoyed the old country and still do. Upon his passing about 6 years ago I was the lucky one one to get all the record albums, I heard “Duquesne Pennsylvania” played many times in our household, and to this day I still enjoy the song. I have a turntable but unfortunately my albums are packed away in storage, how I wish I would have the time to dig them out and enjoy them again…Vickie Brady Lilttle

  6. Beth Kracinovsky says:

    This song played often on the jukebox of my family’s business, Novak’s Tavern, back in the 70’s. I remember it well.

  7. Rome Sikora says:

    Jim
    Have you heard the Duquesne song by Bob Dylan. Enjoy
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/08/27/160015988/song-premiere-bob-dylan-duquesne-whistle

    Rome Sikora

  8. Harold West says:

    Jim Bob Dylan released his latest CD about 2 months ago. There is a song called Duquesne whistle stop on it. The video is on the web and was shot in LA. Maybe Dylan got his song idea from Hank Snow?

  9. Claudia Repko Misage says:

    OMG !!!! You talk about bring back memories. Gee it feels like yesterday instead of many moons ago. The last tall building in this picture is of my Aunt’s and Uncle’s Hotel and Beer Garden. I remember going there after school and even sometimes for lunch from high school. I could also remember running or walking fast past all the other beer joints before reaching theirs.Needless to say it was always hopping around there. We would leave her back door and be in the alley right along side the 5 & 10 cent store. All of those other building we have mentioned here on your site well they are all in that movie. The picture with the altar boys–that is Holy Trinity and my brother Mark Repko is in the second row and the first one on the far right looking at the picture. He was the one who clebrated his 50th year this past June of his becoming a priest. I just cannot thank you for doing all of this for us old timers. Sally Fashion, the food markets the flower shops the bank buildings everything fantastic, great. Now I am going to go back and listen to the words, I just watched the movie over and over and stopped on just about every picture. Call me nuts or crazy but those were the good old days and Duquesne was the best. Again thanks,

  10. John Galvanek says:

    Jim
    I played softball for Hunt’s Bar years ago and he had the Hank Snow song on the jukebox in his bar. I was told Hank Snow use to perform in Kennywood on the main stage in those days and had a fondness for Duquesne and thus the mention in the song.
    John Galvanek
    Holy Trinity Grad 1958

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s