|"Chattanooga Choo Choo"|
|Song by Glenn Miller Orchestra|
|Published||August 20, 1941|
|Recorded||May 7, 1941|
|Genre||Big band, swing|
A recording by the Glenn Miller AAF Orchestra (with Ray McKinley and The Crew Chiefs on vocals) for the Swing Shift radio broadcast
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" is a 1941 song written by Mack Gordon and composed by Harry Warren. It was originally recorded as a big band/swing tune by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra and featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. It was the first song to receive a gold record, presented by RCA Victor in 1942, for sales of 1.2 million copies.
The song was an extended production number in the 20th Century Fox film Sun Valley Serenade. The Glenn Miller recording, RCA Bluebird B-11230-B, became the #1 song across the United States on December 7, 1941, and remained at #1 for nine weeks on the Billboard Best Sellers chart. The flip side of the single was "I Know Why (And So Do You)", which was the A side.
The song opens up with the band, sounding like a train rolling out of the station, complete with the trumpets and trombones imitating a train whistle, before the instrumental portion comes in playing two parts of the main melody. This is followed by the vocal introduction of four lines before the main part of the song is heard.
The main song opens with a dialog between a passenger and a shoeshine boy:
The singer describes the train's route, originating from Pennsylvania Station in New York and running through Baltimore to North Carolina before reaching Chattanooga. He mentions a woman he knew from an earlier time in his life, who will be waiting for him at the station and with whom he plans to settle down for good. After the entire song is sung, the band plays two parts of the main melody as an instrumental, with the instruments imitating the "WHOO WHOO" of the train as the song ends.
The 78-rpm was recorded on May 7, 1941, for RCA Victor's Bluebird label and became the first to be certified a gold disc on February 10, 1942, for 1,200,000 sales. The transcription of this award ceremony can be heard on the first of three volumes of RCA's "Legendary Performer" compilations released by RCA in the 1970s. In the early 1990s a two-channel recording of a portion of the Sun Valley Serenade soundtrack was discovered, allowing reconstruction of a true-stereo version of the film performance.
The composition was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941 for Best Song from a movie. The song achieved its success that year even though it could not be heard on network radio for much of 1941 due to the ASCAP boycott.
In 1996, the 1941 recording of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
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 locomotive is now a museum artifact. From f1880, most trains bound for America's South passed through the southeastern Tennessee city of Chattanooga, often on to the super-hub of Atlanta.
The personnel on the May 7, 1941, original recording by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra in Hollywood on RCA Bluebird were Paula Kelly, the Modernaires (vocals), Billy May, John Best, Ray Anthony, R.D. McMickle (trumpet), Glenn Miller, Jim Priddy, Paul Tanner, Frank D'Annolfo (trombone), Hal McIntyre, Wilbur Schwartz (clarinet, alto saxophone), Tex Beneke, Al Klink (tenor saxophone), Ernie Caceres (baritone saxophone), Chummy MacGregor (piano), Jack Lathrop (guitar), Trigger Alpert (bass), and Maurice Purtill (drums).
The song has been recorded by numerous artists, including Beegie Adair, the Andrews Sisters, Ray Anthony, Asleep at the Wheel, BBC Big Band, George Benson, John Bunch, Caravelli, Regina Carter, Ray Charles, Harry Connick, Jr., Ray Conniff, John Denver, Ernie Fields, Stéphane Grappelli and Marc Fosset, John Hammond, Jr., the Harmonizing Four, Harmony Grass, Ted Heath, Betty Johnson, Susannah McCorkle, Ray McKinley, Big Miller, the Muppets, Richard Perlmutter, Oscar Peterson, Spike Robinson, Harry Roy, Jan Savitt, Hank Snow, Teddy Stauffer, Dave Taylor, Claude Thornhill, the Tornados, and Guy Van Duser.
Other notable performances include:
Nevertheless, Lindenberg finally succeeded in getting an invitation to the GDR rock festival Rock for Peace on October 25, 1983, on the condition that Lindenberg would not play Sonderzug nach Pankow at the concert. Honecker, a former brass band drummer of Rotfrontkämpferbund, and Lindenberg exchanged presents in form of a leather jacket and a metal shawm in 1987 Lindenberg's success at passing the Inner German border peacefully with a humorous song gave him celebrity status as well as a positive political acknowledgement in both West and East Germany. 
In October 1944, a new recording by Captain Glenn Miller and the Army Air Forces Training Command Orchestra featuring Sgt. Ray McKinley and the Crew Chiefs on vocals was released as a V-Disc by the U.S. War Department, one of a series of recordings sent free by the U.S. War Department to overseas military personnel during World War II.
Today, trains have a pride of place in Chattanooga's former Terminal Station. Once owned and operated by the Southern Railway, the station was saved from demolition after the withdrawal of passenger rail service in the early 1970s, and it is now part of a 30-acre (12-hectare) resort complex, including the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, and numerous historical railway exhibits. Hotel guests can stay in half of a restored passenger railway car. Dining at the complex includes the Gardens restaurant in the Terminal Station itself, The Station House (which is housed in a former baggage storage room and known for its singing waitstaff) and the "Dinner in the Diner" which is housed in a restored 1941 Class A dining car. The music venue "Track29" is also on the grounds of the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel in the building that formerly housed the city's only ice rink at the back of the property. The city's other historic station, Union Station, parts of which predated the Civil War, was demolished in 1973; the site is now an office building formerly housing the corporate offices of the Krystal restaurant chain (the restaurant chain offices have since relocated to Atlanta, Georgia). In addition to the railroad exhibits at "the Choo Choo", there are further exhibits at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, in east Chattanooga.
The reputation given to the city by the song also has lent itself to making Chattanooga the home of the National Model Railroad Association since 1982. In addition, the athletic mascot of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was, for a time, a rather menacing-looking anthropomorphized mockingbird named Scrappy, who was dressed as a railroad engineer and was sometimes depicted at the throttle of a steam locomotive.
Choo Choo VORTAC, a radio aid to navigation, is sited near Chattanooga at .
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" has been performed in numerous TV shows, including several episodes of M*A*S*H, 1967 episodes of The Red Skelton Show and The Lawrence Welk Show, and a 2006 episode of Midsomer Murders.
In addition to TV shows, "Chattanooga Choo Choo"' has been sung in numerous movies, including the 1950 movie The Big Lift, the 1957 movie Peyton Place, the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora!, the 1984 eponymous film Chattanooga Choo Choo, the 1988 films Big and Biloxi Blues, the 1998 film Babe: Pig in the City, and the 2005 film Be Cool.
Pictures of the exchanges of presents. Lindenberg later gave Honecker a guitar with the inscription Gitarren statt Knarren (Guitars not guns) which was not answered.