Today in Music History: February 10, 1942
Glenn Miller received the first ever gold record for the sale of 1.2 million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo". It was presented to him at the CBS Playhouse in New York City. The composition was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941 for Best Song from a movie.
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" coverSong by The Glenn Miller Orchestra
The impact "Chattanooga Choo Choo"would have on the music industry was not fully envisioned when composed in 1941 by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (words). It has since become iconic of an era gone, but not forgotten. The original recording (RCA Bluebird B-11230-B) by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra symbolized a big-band/swing tune and was featured in the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade". What makes it even more iconic is the day it became the No.1 song across the United States: December 7, 1941.
|Southern Railway Steam Locomotive 1940s|
The evolution of the train is much like life, its journey through time collects treasured memories of people and places as it stops and goes from one station to another. Have you ever thought about comparing life to a train ride or a series of train rides?
The song was written by the team of Mack Gordon and Harry Warren while traveling on the Southern Railway's Birmingham Special train. The song tells the story of traveling from New York City to Chattanooga. The inspiration for the song, however, was a small, wood-burning steam locomotive of the 2-6-0 type which belonged to the Cincinnati Southern Railway, which is now part of the Norfolk Southern Railway system. That train is now a museum artifact. From 1880, most trains bound for America's South passed through the southeastern Tennessee city of Chattanooga, often on to the super-hub of Atlanta. The Chattanooga Choo Choo did not refer to any particular train, though some have incorrectly asserted that it referred to Louisville and Nashville's Dixie Flyer or the Southern Railway's Crescent Limited.
Ride the rails, Feel the motion, Sense the power
The Sounds of a Vanishing Era
While this is a 9-minute presentation, it only takes
a couple of minutes for you to feel the passion
of the railroad in a bygone era.
"The time will come when people will travel in stages moved by steam engines from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly, 15 or 20 miles an hour.... A carriage will start from Washington in the morning, the passengers will breakfast at Baltimore, dine at Philadelphia, and sup in New York the same day.... Engines will drive boats 10 or 12 miles an hour, and there will be hundreds of steamers running on the Mississippi, as predicted years ago."
--Oliver Evans, 1800
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...