Tonight’s blog is bought to you care of a workmate yesterday, who knowing my love of most things American, asked me if there was actually a midnight train to Georgia, as in the song? So fine, I took a look this morning, knowing there were all sorts of long distance trains on Amtrak, that there might be one, somewhere. In fact, no there isnt, and nowadays at least (and reputedly wasnt in the 70’s) there is no train direct from Los Angeles to Georgia anyway. The closest at the moment that I could find, was the overnight Silver Meteor train which calls at Rocky Mount, North Carolina at 11.50 pm, and gets to Savannah, Georgia at 6.34 in the morning. Mind, it might have left a few nights at midnight, but anyway…lol!
And no, the train from Los Angeles to New Orleans, from where you could, in theory, connect to a train to Atlanta, leaves at 9.00 pm on the nights that it runs anyway! So clearly, no is the answer.
The thing is, when you dig into these matters on the internet, you find all sorts of intriguing information. As in, in this case, that wasnt the original name of the song! It was, as I will prove shortly, originally called ‘Midnight Plane to Houston’, and yes, they have existed in the past! Not sure if there is a current one, with all the night flying regulations we have now, but back then…there was!
Seemingly, what happened was that some artists came along, who wanted to tweak the title to something different, and a new title was born! The fact that said train never existed, mere technicality lol! So yes, the next time you hear Gladys Knight, or Cissy Houston singing that song, just remember it wasnt always about a train to Georgia, but a plane to a whole different state.
Fine, you want proof? Here you go, the Country version, as sung by the songs writer, Jim Weatherley. Sorry, unsurprisingly, no live video!