Glenn Miller‘s classic “Chattanooga Choo Choo” marked its 75th anniversary with a party and parade in Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 7.
The celebration included a parade featuring a mass of local high school marching bands, a community sing-along, the dedication of the Glenn Miller Rose Garden, the premier of a documentary about the song featuring historian and MusicRow’s Robert K. Oermann, the presentation of artwork by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s Director of Communications Cindy Dupree, an evening big-band concert by Sweet Georgia Sound, and day-long entertainment by bands, dancers and buskers.
The song was introduced to the world 75 years ago, when Miller and his orchestra’s performance was featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. The song was released on RCA Victor’s Bluebird label.
By February 1942, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” sold 1.2 million copies. To commemorate the sales, RCA Victor executives painted a 78 rpm record gold, and presented it to Miller on a live radio show. Thus, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” received the first-ever gold record.
In 1996, the recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In a new video, Oermann details American culture in the 1930s and 1940s that set the stage for the song’s influence.
See the video below:
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