Magic Carpet Made of Steel

The glory days of the American railway system are long gone, but hundreds of folk and popular songs remain to tell the story of our once-great romance with the rails. In this interactive program Foster shows how these songs reflect a particularly American sense of adventure, opportunity and freedom. History resonates in the songs of construction gangs who built the transcontinental rail lines, Gandy dancers who lined the tracks, conductors on the Underground Railroad, Civil Rights workers in the 1950s and '60s, and American composers like Woody Guthrie, Duke Ellington and Steve Goodman. Foster demonstrates how these songs are emblematic of our nation's development in their vitality, romance and cultural diversity.