Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - Train 45 / She's More To Be Pitied

(King 5155) Oct 1958

Train 45 (Promo)
She's More To Be Pitied (Promo) Train 45 (Gennett) by Grayson & Whitter Train Forty-Five (Victor) by Grayson & Whitter

This 7" was recorded at the Stanley's first King sessions for their seminal The Stanley Brothers And The Clinch Mountain Boys LP.

'Billboard' magazine reviewed the disc in their 3rd Nov 1958 edition giving Train 45 just two stars and describing it as:- "Instrumental with hoedown sound features busy fiddles for attractive effect". The flipside, She's More To Be Pitied scored a paltry one star and was described as:- "Ballad with traditional hill sound is based on Gay 90's standard."[1]

Billboard's reference to She's More To Be Pitied being "based on Gay 90's standard" is a reference to the old music hall song She's More To Be Pitied Than Censured which was published in the 1890's under the pseudonym 'William B. Gray', with the sheet music subtitled 'The Beautiful Sensational Pathetic Song'. The song was later featured in the 1932 Hollywood film 'She Done Him Wrong' with Mae West and Cary Grant, and recorded by vaudeville singer/actress Beatrice Kay in 1962.[2] Ralph later re-recorded She's More To Be Pitied with Raymond Fairchild on the Ralph Stanley & Raymond Fairchild cassette and as a duet with Marty Stuart on his Clinch Mountain Country 2xCD.

Train 45 seems to have stemmed from Reuben's Train and the 900 Miles (From Home) variant. As Train 45 Grayson & Whitter recorded the piece for Gennett at their first session in New York in Oct 1927. This was also issued under the alias Norman Gayle on Champion. The following year, the pair returned to New York to cut a second version for Victor.[3]

Grayson & Whitter were a huge influence on the Stanleys, and their versions of Train 45 are worth seeking out. You can hear both the 1927 and 1928 versions on youtube, but the Grayson & Whitter - 'Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1 1927-1928' (Document DOCD-8054) 2008 CD sounds a lot better.

In John Wright's "Travelling The High Way Home" book on Ralph Stanley, Joe Wilson recalls talking to Carter in Nashville circa 1960/61 about Grayson & Whitter and that Carter was aware of both the Gennett and Victor recordings:- "... Carter remembered that Grayson had his train start from two different places on (the) two different records. Terminal Station in Atlanta, and the other one's New York City."[4]

Train 45 is one of the numbers which the Stanley Brothers played for Larry Ehrlich in the informal Mar 1956 session, with Carter singing part of the song, and later issued on the Old Time Songs/An Evening Long Ago CD. It's interesting to compare with the King version, which aside from the spoken introduction/band member shout-outs, is performed as a steam-rolling instrumental. The Stanley's later re-recorded Train 45 for their America's Finest Five-String Banjo Hootenanny LP and Ralph also re-recorded it on his A Man And His Music and Short Life Of Trouble albums.

Both sides of the single can be found on The Early Starday/King Years, 1958-1961 4xCD box set.

PS: If anyone can supply images of the blue 'stock' labels for this 45, please get in touch via the Contact page - thanks!


For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 91-93 and 139.

Original Release:
Train 45
01 Oct 1958
King 5155 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Mayo
Bill Napier
Al Elliot

G.B. Grayson
She's More To Be Pitied
30 Sep 1958
King 5155 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Mayo
Bill Napier
Al Elliot

Ruby Rakes

Go To Top Of Page [1] https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3goEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PT58&lpg=PT58&dq=king+5155+billboard+stanley&source=bl&ots=DKQRI8fNQs&sig=DAsnIehodm72Q_h_fe1ynBBZN1U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUv4ahhPPVAhWEB8AKHWP1CIcQ6AEISjAI#v=onepage&q=king%205155%20billboard%20stanley&f=false
[2] The original sheet music version can be heard on youtube:- https://youtu.be/a8eb9p6tGek, as can the later Beatrice Kay version from her 'Gay 90's With Beatrice Kay' 1962 album:- https://youtu.be/pqH-OumlRLY. (Also see https://www.discogs.com/Beatrice-Kay-Arranged-Conducted-By-Gerald-Dolin-With-Eligibles-Gay-90s-With-Beatrice-Kay/release/2652156)
For info on the 'She Done Him Wrong' film see:- http://maewest.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/mae-west-more-to-be-pitied-than.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She_Done_Him_Wrong. There's also a poor quality copy of the film on youtube, where the song appears at around the 36min mark:- https://youtu.be/sVo6vZGGGC8?t=36m3s
[3] The 1927 version Train 45 / You'll Never Miss Your Mother Until She's Gone (Gennett 6320) was also issued as by Norman Gayle - I'll Never Be Yours / Train No. 45 (Champion 15447) 1927; the 1928 version Handsome Molly / Train Forty-Five (Victor 21189).
[4] John Wright's book "Travelling The High Way Home" (p81-82)