It's the blues song that changed popular music forever. Rock Island Line was first recorded in 1934, sung by inmates at Arkansas State Prison. It was then popularised by Leadbelly (1937), and turned into a hit by skiffle star Lonnie Donegan (1955).
Donegan's version of the song proved to be a huge influence on a whole generation of musicians in Britain and beyond, including a young John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Both of the most famous versions of Rock Island Line can be heard below, as well as a live recording by Johnny Cash.