Billboard magazine has taken note of rising country music star – and Belmont University graduate – Josh Turner, whose song Long Black Train is rising up the country charts. In the story, which notes that Turner is the only new artist who debuted in 2003 to have the debut album go “gold” so far. Gold certification is awarded to albums that sell at least 500,000 copies. Turner describes the writing of the song, which he wrote while still a student at Belmont in 1999…
“I was over at the music library one night listening to the complete Hank Williams boxed set, and it really made me feel like I was in the same room with him,” he recalls.
Walking home from the library on what he describes as an “unusually dark” night, Turner had a vision of “this wide-open space, way out on the plains somewhere. There was this train track running right down the middle of this place, and from out of the darkness came roaring down this track this long, beautiful, shiny train. I could see people standing out to the side of this track, watching this train go by.
“I kept asking myself, ‘What in the world does this vision mean exactly? How was it relevant to me or anybody else?’ ” Turner explains. “It dawned on me that this train was a physical metaphor for temptation, and these people were caught up in the decision whether or not to get on this train. When I realized that, I knew I had something powerful, something really special. I got home that night, got my guitar out and sat on my bed.” The song, he says, “just poured out of me.”