/ 30 March 2023

Ampersand Mixtape 1: “Tickets, please!”

Ampersand Mixtape 1: “tickets, Please!”
There are thousands of train songs across genres and the world. Charles Leonard picks some of his favourites on his first ever mixtape for the M&G.

All on board the first ever Ampersand Mixtape with Charles Leonard’s train-themed playlist of tracks from around the world. This show is as packed a rush-hour train, with the central song one of the finest from the South African popular songbook.

My first mixtape is ready for you: just press play

Mixtapes were mainly musical love letters. They were a compilation of songs which you recorded on blank audio cassettes, using songs instead of words to tell your romantic interest how you felt about her or him. Mixtapes became hugely popular back in the 70s and 80s when cassettes and appropriate technology became easily available.

The Ampersand Mixtape aims to bring back some of the original mixtape joy, albeit without the physical cassette and with an adapted format..

I will be using the small independent platform Mixcloud for The Ampersand Mixtape – they’re built by DJs, artists and a team of music lovers. Mixcloud is also the only platform that pays all rights holders: artists, labels, songwriters and publishers. Their monetisation programme pays 83% of revenue out to rights holders and channel owners. 


  1. The O’Jays – Love Train
  2. Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Stop That Train
  3. Nina Simone – Trouble in Mind
  4. John Coltrane – Blue Train
  5. The Impressions – People Get Ready
  6. Cassandra Wilson – Last Train to Clarksville
  7. Junior Parker – Mystery Train
  8. David Bowie – Station to Station
  9. Tom Waits – Downtown Train
  10. James Brown – Night Train
  11. Dub Syndicate – Night Train
  12. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
  13. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Last Train Home
  14. Shackleton – There’s A Slow Train Coming
  15. Hugh Masekela – Stimela (The Coal Train)
  16. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia
  17. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Marrakesh Express
  18. Paradise Stars – Boogie Train
  19. West Nkosi – Orlando Train
  20. Thelonious Monk – Locomotive
  21. Ella Fitzgerald – Take The ‘a’ Train
  22. Lordz of Brooklyn & Rammellzee – Tales from the Rails
  23. MC Solaar – Nouveau western

Charles Leonard is a journalist, podcaster, editor, DJ, vinyl record collector and music archivist. He has been a journalist for 36 years and have worked across print, radio, TV, online and podcasts for a wide range of media houses, both as reporter and editor.

Release: 30 March 2023
Title: Ampersand Mixtape 1: “Tickets, please!”
Host: Charles Leonard
Illustrator: Anastasya Eliseeva
Production: Reframe
With the support of: The French Institute of South Africa