Mining Town of Fame

We actually don’t know much about this song.  There is a thread on the mudcat cafe about our disaster song project and someone named “Marion” listed a number of disaster songs, including “Disaster at Glace Bay” by Bill Smith and the Country Emotions.  A search of the internet reveals nothing about a song by this name, but an album by Bill Smith and the Country Emotions was being sold on ebay and the track listings include “Mining Town of Fame.” This 1979 album was made by B&K Records, owned by Bill Smith, and carries the catalogue number BK-001.  These lyrics are clearly not about Glace Bay, but rather about Springhill.  However, it is hard to tell if the lyrics are about an actual Springhill disaster or a fictional event.  And we still don’t know if there is another song called “Disaster at Glace Bay” out there.  We welcome any information you may have about either song and/or audio recordings.

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Performances

Bill Smith & The Country Emotions

Lyrics

In Springhill, Nova Scotia
A mining town of fame
There lived a young coal miner
Bill Johnson was his name.

While working at a level
Eight thousand feet below
There came a great explosion
And why we’ll never know.

It was early in the morning
In that mining town of fame
When they started their long journey
They found Bill Johnson was his name.

All day, all night they laboured
To save this much-needed life
For he had two small children
And a true and loving wife.

It would be three days later
When they found an empty vein
And the body of Bill Johnson
Who was burned to death in flames.

Alas this is my story
Of the mining town of fame
And the death of a young coal miner
Bill Johnson was his name.
And the death of a young coal miner
Bill Johnson was his name.


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