The Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau has released a video highlighting the 75th anniversary of Glenn Miller’s recording of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.”
In the video, music historian Robert K. Oermann discusses the importance of Miller’s recording, which was the first-ever certified gold record.
The video was screened during Saturday’s Choo-Choo Jubilee and dedication at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. Saturday’s event marked the 75th anniversary of the recording made on May 7, 1941.
Oermann deconstructs the song, which served as an anthem for Chattanooga’s thriving passenger train industry at the time, but also as a sentimental song as the U.S. entered WWII.
“Back in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, there was a huge romance about trains and train travel,” he said in the video. “It was the way rural people first began to dream of leaving their towns. It was the out.”
The video describes how Miller’s version of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” grew in popularity following an appearance in the 1941 film “Sun Valley Serenade.”
Oermann also discusses the construction of Terminal Station and the musicality of the word “Chattanooga.”