capitol b


Views of the last Baltimore & Ohio Capitol Limited to depart Chicago Grand Central Station on the last day of operations there on November 8, 1969. On the next day, all B&O and C&O trains began operating out of the Chicago & North Western Terminal, as indicated on the bottom right of the sign in the last photo. The two station agents were apparently losing their jobs.

Chicago Grand Central Station was demolished in 1971. The site at Harrison and Wells in Chicago remains vacant to this day.

Photos by Joseph Petric


On this day in music history: June 4, 1942 - Capitol Records is established in Hollywood, CA. Founded by songwriting legend Johnny Mercer (“You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”, “Autumn Leaves”, “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”, “Hooray for Hollywood”), songwriter/film producer Buddy De Sylva, and music store owner Glenn Wallichs (Wallichs Music City), Mercer proposes the idea of starting a record label the year before to his friend Wallichs. A few months later, Mercer proposes the same idea to De Sylva who is an executive producer at Paramount Pictures. With the third partner aboard, the three get to work organizing their first releases and opening their first offices in a building south of Sunset Blvd. By July 1, 1942, the label releases its first nine singles. The label innovates new techniques in promoting the sales of records including being the first to distribute free records to disc jockeys for promotional purposes. Capitol quickly builds up an impressive roster of artists that includes Les Baxter, Les Paul, Peggy Lee, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, and Nat King Cole. Over the years that list of artists grows to also include Frank Sinatra, Stan Kenton, Judy Garland, Stan Freberg, Gene Vincent, Dean Martin, The Four Freshmen, Al Martino, The Kingston Trio, Nancy Wilson, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Linda Ronstadt, The Band, Steve Miller Band, Bob Seger, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, George Clinton, Duran Duran, David Bowie, Queen, Heart, MC Hammer, Garth Brooks, Radiohead, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Katy Perry. Happy 75th Anniversary, Capitol Records!!!


On this day in music history: April 6, 1956 - The Capitol Tower in Hollywood, CA is dedicated. The newly opened headquarters for Capitol Records, located at 1750 Vine Street (near the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine) is a thirteen story circular building by architect Welton Beckett (Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Pan Pacific Auditorium, The Beverly Hilton), designed to look like a giant stack of records on a spindle. The blinking light on top of the building spells out the word “Hollywood” in Morse Code since the buildings’ official opening. It was temporarily changed to blink “Capitol 50” to celebrate the labels’ fiftieth anniversary in 1992. Since then it has returned to its original message. Besides  the labels business offices, it also houses three world class recording studios (with echo chambers designed by musician and technical innovator Les Paul) that remain highly in demand to this day. Also known as “the house that Nat built” (after musician Nat King Cole), The Capitol Tower becomes an iconic structure in Hollywood, and is added to the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles in November of 2006.


On this day in music history: August 5, 1978 - “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by A Taste Of Honey hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also topping the Hot 100 for 3 weeks on September 9, 1978. Written by Janice-Marie Johnson and Perry Kibble, it is the biggest hit for the Los Angeles, CA based R&B band fronted by musicians Janice-Marie Johnson and Hazel Payne. The song is inspired during a gig the band plays at a military base. The audience, not used to seeing a band fronted by two women sit transfixed until lead singer and bassist Janice Marie Johnson entices the crowd to get on their feet. The incident inspires Johnson to write the song, collaborating with keyboardist Kibble. Signed to Capitol Records by R&B music executive Larkin Arnold, “Boogie” is the bands first single.  Released in May of 1978, it is an across the board smash, becoming one of the defining records of the Disco Era, selling nearly three million copies in the US.  A Taste Of Honey wins the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1979, making them only the second African American artists to win that award (Natalie Cole is the first). “Boogie Oogie Oogie” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


Grand Central Station.

B&O 1442 has just arrived at Grand Central Station in Chicago. This station had beautiful iron gates to the platforms

Taken 11-1-69.


B&O Columbian by Michael Bludworth
Via Flickr:
Publicity photos from the B&0 of it’s Columbian train in 1949. This is the Thomas Viaduct in Maryland.