January 15, 2009

"Chattanooga Choo Choo"

From the Wikipedia entry:

"Chattanooga Choo Choo" was a big-band/swing song featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade, which starred amongst others Sonja Henie, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, the Modernaires, Milton Berle, and Joan Davis. It was performed in the film as an extended production number, featuring vocals by Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly, and the Modernaires.

Captain Glenn Miller

The 78-rpm commercial version of the song was recorded on May 7th, 1941 for RCA Victor's Bluebird label and became the first to be certified a gold disc on February 10, 1942, for sales of 1,200,000.

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 travelling from New York City to Chattanooga. 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.

Here is that performance from the movie Sun Valley Serenade. The singer is Tex Beneke, accompanied by Paula Kelly and the Modernaires, with of course, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra:

This person videoed his Wurlitzer 1015 78rpm jukebox as it played the original Bluebird label recording. It's so cool someone would share this with everybody in Internetland:

"You leave the Pennsylvania Station 'bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner
Nothing could be finer
Than to have your ham an' eggs in Carolina"

All the verses are good, but that one is particularly nice. Great meter. Rappers would call it flow. Know what I'm sayin'?


zincink said...

Cool I am first to leave a comment..my Dad knows how to fix jukeboxes..its just the trouble in finding one.

I like your site..great work :D

Chris said...

That's a lost art, no doubt (repairing vintage jukeboxes). Your avatar is very familiar to me...perhaps you've commented here before. You do great drawings. Unique and stylistic. And thank you for the compliment! I appreciate that a lot!!