Chattanooga Choo Choo – Glen Miller

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on February 10th of 1942 “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glen Miller And His Orchestra becomes the first recording to be awarded a Gold record. It was actually just a master copy of the disc sprayed with gold lacquer by RCA as a publicity stunt. The actual award recognized today as a Gold Record would not be initiated for another sixteen years when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) borrowed the idea and trademarked the Gold Record. The first Gold single was awarded to Perry Como in 1958 for “Catch A Falling Star” and the first Gold album was given to Gordon McRae for the soundtrack to Oklahoma. “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was written for Sun Valley Serenade, a 1941 movie starring Sonja Henie, Milton Burle, and Joan Davis. It became the #1 song across the US in December of that year, and remained there for nine weeks, due in large part to the performance in the movie. The 78 rpm recording sold 1.2 million copies. The Glenn Miller Orchestra stars in Sun Valley Serenade and performs the song in the film.The band recorded the song at Victor studios in Hollywood on May 7, 1941, shortly after completing work on the film. The original Chattanooga Choo Choo train that inspired this song was a wood-burning steam locomotive owned by the Cincinnati Southern Railway that traveled from Cincinnati to Chattanooga – it was a newspaper reporter who dubbed it the “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” The song was written by the composers Mack Gordon (lyrics) and Harry Warren (music) while they were aboard a different train: Southern Railway’s Birmingham Special (“Birmingham Choo Choo” doesn’t make for a great lyric). The actual Cincinnati Southern Railway train that gave this song its name became a museum artifact. .