‘Gonna Buy Me A Ticket . . .’

Originally posted April 1, 2008

While wandering through the mp3s the other day, I came across Joe Cocker’s version of “Hitchcock Railway,” the track that closed the first side of his 1969 album, Joe Cocker! Cocker’s version of the song has been one of my favorites since I first heard the album early in the spring of 1972, an affection that was underlined by the powerful performance Cocker gave of the song when I saw him perform at the old Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, that April.

As I listened to the song the other day, though, I got to wondering about others who have performed the song. Who were they? How many were there? Where did the song come from? And all the other questions I consider when I’m thinking about cover versions.

The last question was easily answered. “Hitchcock Railway” came from the songwriting team of Don Dunn and Tony McCashen. This is not, however, the same Don Dunn known as Duck Dunn of Booker T & the MGs. This Don Dunn is a songwriter and performer from La Jolla, California, whose credits include numerous songs – at least some of them written, one assumes, with McCashen – that have been performed by artists ranging from Joe Cocker to Bobby Vee, Diana Ross, Linda Carter, Paul Williams, Bill Medley, Hoyt Axton, Frank Sinatra, Them, Sonny Charles and more.

Also listed as performing those songs is the duo of Dunn & McCashen. All-Music Guide has little information about the duo, but GEMM lists two albums for sale: A self-titled release listed without a date, and an album called Mobius from 1968 (the seller’s notes say that the album features Kenny Loggins), both on the Capitol label. Among the 45s listed at GEMM is one of “Hitchcock Railway/You Think You’ve Got Problems.”

I did Google searches for both men and for the duo, and those turned up lots of links but not many with solid information, except for Dunn’s site.* For this morning, it’s enough to know that the two wrote “Hitchcock Railway.” It’s a song that’s had only a few versions recorded, with Cocker’s being probably the most well known (based on the listing at AMG of CDs available that include the song.) Others listed as having recorded the song are an early Seventies duo called Anno Domini, Latin percussionist and bandleader Mongo Santamaria, José Feliciano, country/bluegrass singer Claire Lynch (as recently as 1997), and Dunn & McCashen themselves, on their Mobius album.

I did a little digging around, hoping to find the Feliciano version, but I had no luck. Nor could I find the Claire Lynch version or the original Dunn-McCashen version. But on Mongo Santamaria’s album Stone Soul, he and his band have some fun with “Hitchcock Railway.”

Mongo Santamaria – “Hitchcock Railway” [1969]

*Don Dunn’s site seems to have gone inactive. Note added June 20, 2011.

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2 Responses to “‘Gonna Buy Me A Ticket . . .’”

  1. Saturday Single No. 65 « Echoes In The Wind Archives Says:

    […] And now, after writing about the song earlier this week, I’m grabbing copies where I can find them of “Hitchcock Railway.” I wrote Tuesday: […]

  2. JIm Says:

    Here’s the Feliciano version:

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