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Western Railroad Discussion > Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!

Date: 04/06/21 04:49
Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: santafe199

In the early 1970s a country/southern rock/pop music band from Springfield, MO started making some “noise”. With all due respect, it was noise good enough for the band to earn a record contract. On May Day 1973 they signed on with major record label A&M, and were sent to England to record their 1st real album. Some of you geriatrics out there may remember the “Ozark Mountain Daredevils” and their 1st, self-titled album. Released in December of 1973, this album (nicknamed the ‘quilt album’) spawned an energetic, harmonica-laced toe-tapper with the longish name: “If You Wanna Get to Heaven (You Gotta Raise a Little Hell)”. It was their 1st chart success, reaching #25 in the summer of 1974. Also on the ‘quilt album’ is a cornball little ditty of a tune nobody knows about called “Chicken Train”. And I’m here to tell ya: you can’t be a complete railfan without a copy of Chicken Train…

But it was their 2nd album, “It’ll Shine When it Shines” that put the Daredevils into the big-time with a solid pop/rock tune called “Jackie Blue”. It climbed all the way up to #3 in the spring of 1975. Again, there was another tune nobody knows off of Shines that caught my ear: A simple, almost folksy composition called “Kansas, You Fooler!” It was written by Larry Michael Lee as the band was traveling across Kansas, homeward bound after a gig in Colorado.

As I shot the sequence that produced the image below, this 46 year old song popped into my head. At first, the song’s lyrics (see below) kinda fit the scene. Sorta. But the more I watched the clouds the more I came full circle back to the Daredevils’ 1st hit tune. Indeed, I was watching those clouds up in the heavens and expected to see a little hell raised at any time…

1. KYLE 3344 leads a westbound manifest stopping for a crew change at Humbarger Rd about 4 miles NW of Solomon, KS. It’s 6:08 PM on March 26, 2021.

Thanks for looking at the heavens!
Lance Garrels
count-down to norman

The first 10 stanzas from Kansas, You Fooler:
With a sky blue
And a cold ground
And a windmill stalled in mid-air
We head across Kansas
On our way home
Colorado, thank you, goodbye
Kansas, you fooler,
You're makin' me smile
'Cause I've never seen you this way before

DJ Sir L

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/21 04:54 by santafe199.

Date: 04/06/21 05:21
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: KimHeusel

Great photo and story to go with it Lance.

Kim Heusel

Date: 04/06/21 05:36
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: Jckaufman

That's a beautiful photo!  Thanks.

Date: 04/06/21 05:38
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: DLM

I had my children to listen to Chicken Train.  They don't get it. Maybe that explains why they are not railfans.

Date: 04/06/21 06:44
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: santafe199

DLM Wrote: > ...  my children ... They don't get it ...

Give 'em a year or 2............. or 20! I'm normally a way more straight-forward pop/rock fan. But I think it's the over-the-top twang purposely written into the tune that appeals to me... ;^)

DJ Sir L

Date: 04/06/21 07:57
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: thehighwayman

I just watched a video of a live performance over on youtube ...

They certainly had fun performing it .... and I like it!!


Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON

Date: 04/06/21 19:32
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: texchief1

Lance, that is one good  shot with the great closuds and sharp photo!

RC Lundgren

Date: 04/09/21 23:51
Re: Toto Tuesday: Kansas, you fooler!
Author: Odyssey

Thanks for posting the image Lance ...
Definitely a "keeper"!

Evergreen, CO

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