By way of the WFMU blog
comes an MP3 of a rare disaster ballad recording called "The Richmond Explosion"
(MP3 file, 6.5mb) by Cecil Pigott. It was the A-side of a 7-inch released by the "Silver Star Recording" label. There is no date on the record.
The WFMU post explains:
On Saturday afternoon April 6, 1968 Richmond, Indiana was hammered by a natural gas explosion caused by faulty transmission lines directly beneath the heart of downtown. The extensive damage was then intensified when the resulting fire reached gunpowder stored beneath a sporting goods store, causing a second explosion.
Twenty buildings were condemned in the aftermath of the devastation, which took 41 lives and injured over 100 people.
On the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, a documentary film called 1:47 (the time of the first explosion) was released to tell the story of what the town and its citizens experienced that day. Additional documentation and photography of the event can be found in Esther Kellner's book Death In A Sunny Street, published shortly after the events took place. The book is long out of print, but the entire volume has been digitized and can be perused at your convenience
I can find nothing else online about Cecil Pigott, except in an earlier post on the WFMU blog
that includes the B-side of this same record, a song about the 1967 Silver Bridge disaster.
I also find little about the "Silver Star Recording" label. I suspect it was a tiny and forgotten regional label, though there's a remote chance it was a later evolution of an early-1900s label called The Silver Star (which I doubt).
Billboard magazine in 1967 did have fleeting mentions of an obscure "Silver Star recording artist" named Mary Madison, who in that year played a concert with Flatt & Scruggs and did a month-long run on a German radio program called "Country Music Time." Ms. Madison also appears to have been forgotten, though I did find one photo of her