This magazine missed the boat in Rails & Music issue.

2812 views
91 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 135 posts
This magazine missed the boat in Rails & Music issue.
Posted by cat992c on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 9:36 PM

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

  • Member since
    August, 2009
  • 171 posts
Posted by BLS53 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:23 AM

cat992c

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

 

As a fan of this genre of music I agree with you. Unfortunately, we're dealing with a couple of generations now, that doesn't know this music exist. It seems music history either begins with Elvis or The Beatles, and everything that went before that is irrelevant. I don't think it's by design, it's just that the general population hasn't been exposed to this music, and they have no motivation to seek it out.

It's interesting that with classical music we go back centuries, but with American popular music, anything more than a few decades old is considered obsolete. Especially when many music historians consider the 1930's and 40's the golden age of songwriting in American popular music.

In addition to the AT&SF, Johnny Mercer wrought several songs where trains were present in the lyrics, even if the title or subject matter didn't pertain directly to trains. Two that come to mind are "Laura" and "I Thought About You". 

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,739 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:20 AM

cat992c

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

I would suspect  it was excluded in the interests of political correctness. Can't publish anything that might offend someone in this day and age.

Norm


  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 17,167 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:47 AM

To cover everything everyone thinks should be in such an issue would have required a pretty substantal tome...

Previous discussion: http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/264744.aspx

 

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,083 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 7:14 AM

cat992c

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

 
Probably because you have to draw the line somewhere.  No so-called "political correctness"Question involved, just the personal decision of the writer.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 139 posts
Posted by northeaster on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:15 AM

cat992, Trains Mag. seems to be responsive to readers comments, I wrote to them praising that music story and got a nice answer from the author. Perhaps you could put together a play list of all the railroad/train songs you can come up with and send it to them for possible publication as a follow-up? Maybe even links to where readers can actually listen to them, which would be much appreciated.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,739 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:05 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
cat992c

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

 
Probably because you have to draw the line somewhere.  No so-called "political correctness"Question involved, just the personal decision of the writer.

 
I agree with you and others to a point.  However, in today's lexicon PC is the word. It is not considered nice to offend anyone and even back in the forties calling a black man 'Boy' was considered offensive. They should have been treated with respect then as they should be now. That was then. It was a different time in our history but it should not be forgotten. What was OK then may not be today.

Norm


  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,906 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 1:06 PM

Late last night I posted items to this thread, specifically the RCA recording on Youtube, a page from Billboard magazine showing the song No. 1 on the charts in all regions of the country, an ad for the movie, and several photos of the great Glenn Miller. All deleted. It was a good post, nothing offensive. Except in the song, Tex asks, "Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?" and the Modernaires answer, "Yes, yes. Track twenty-nine!" and Tex says, "Boy, you can give me a shine."

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1,009 posts
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:09 PM

Track 29? What  station on that route would be so huge to have a track 29? Cincy Union maybe?

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • From: Pennsyland.
  • 5,750 posts
Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:44 PM

Norm48327
I agree with you and others to a point. However, in today's lexicon PC is the word. It is not considered nice to offend anyone and even back in the forties calling a black man 'Boy' was considered offensive. They should have been treated with respect then as they should be now. That was then. It was a different time in our history but it should not be forgotten. What was OK then may not be today.

I think the constant crying/whining about "PC" is worse than the actual "PC" anymore.

An article on railroading and music just screams to me they are hitting the bottom of the creative barrel.  Probably end up with top-10 facebook-esqe clickbait lists next. 

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,739 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:57 PM

wanswheel

Late last night I posted items to this thread, specifically the RCA recording on Youtube, a page from Billboard magazine showing the song No. 1 on the charts in all regions of the country, an ad for the movie, and several photos of the great Glen Miller. All deleted. It was a good post, nothing offensive. Except in the song, Tex asks, "Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?" and the Modernaires answer, "Yes, yes. Track twenty-nine!" and Tex says, "Boy, you can give me a shine."

 

Those of us old enough to know that back in the forties and early fifties know the phrases "Pardon me boy"  and "Can you give me a shine" were both common and deragatory to those of a certain ethnicity. While I won't defend their use today they were common back then. It's a part of history we should not forget nor should we be proud of. We shouldn't try to erase or rewrite history.

Norm


  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,949 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:11 PM

I don't know about the "PC" thing, I think some may be reading more into this than it really deserves.

Anyway, here's the definative version of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" from the 1941 film "Sun Valley Serenade."  It's the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the height of it's power, plus a dance number by the incredible Nicholas Brothers.

Major Glenn Miller, USAAF.  Rest in peace sir! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGBwmLRNLJ4

And for another angle, there's this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZLPJuy9oyQ

 One last thing, for some fun you may want to slide over to the "Classic Toy Trains" site and check the blog  "Train Songs, Readers Picks."  Some good ones there, and Bob Keller and Rene Schweitzer did a good job compiling them.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,625 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:00 PM

Great post Firelock76!!!

As a certified bonified Canuklehead I cannot say "boy" is offensive...in the video he is talking to his pals all of whom are white boys. It's only the jerks that use it in a nasty way And likely only in certain areas of the country. Geez, will this stuff ever end? 

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 5,832 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:16 PM

Norm48327
 
cat992c

Some very famous music was missed out.Make that totally ignored.That was songs about trains.2 songs that were totally included the greatest song ever written on trains called Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.When it hit #1 in December 1941 it was the first record to sell over 1 million copies in 15 years.This is from the movie Sun Valley Serenade where Tex Beneke & THe Modernaires do it right in the movie.More importantly it was the #1 song across America on December 7,1941.Another song that totally ignored in this issue is The Atcheson,Topeka & Santa Fe by the great Johnny Mercer.Why were these 2 wonderful songs totally ignored????????????

 

I would suspect  it was excluded in the interests of political correctness. Can't publish anything that might offend someone in this day and age.

 

    I would add a BIG "AMEN" to Norm's (Norm 48327) comment, and to some other's,as well!  Speaking as someone who grew up in the South, and has spent a lot of time over the years in other parts of this nation.

   Any number of Posters here are certainly entitled to, or earned the rights to be called 'seasoned citizens'. The current wave of Political Correctness is not only robbing us of our HISTORY, but of the very things that have shaped our American Society.  WE seem to be caught in the hands of a vocal minority who is attempting to control the majority through the tyrany of the minority. 

 I have long hoped we could grow past the failures of our social structures that existed while we were young, and would grow, and get past the 'sins' of our past. Understand the transgressions of our social past, understand that we can grow beyond them; but as it is often stated,[paraphrased] "....Those that forget. or ignore their past, are doomed to repeat it..."

Just my thoughts.   

P.S. As Firelock76, said Glenn Miller was an American Institution, and a man of his times, who lost his life while in the service of our Nation.  His music inspired and up lifted us in a time of war, and before.

Sam

 

 


 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,949 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:45 PM

Thanks Sam and Miningman!

I'll tell you, I don't know how the country could have won World War Two without swing music, in it's own way just a powerful a weapon as the P-51 Mustang, the F4U Corsair, the 105 howitzer, and the M-1 rifle.

And since I'm sure Major Miller wouldn't want us to leave him in a downbeat mood, here he is performing the greatest swing number ever, Lady Firestorm's favorite...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPXwkWVEIIw

PS:  Yep, that hot blonde is the Olympic gold medal skater Sonia Henie! 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,949 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 7:25 PM

Thanks Wanswheel!  I always wondered what the real "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" was.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,906 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 7:35 PM

It was just a song. The Pelican avoided Carolina, I think.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,949 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 7:49 PM

wanswheel

It was just a song. The Pelican avoided Carolina, I think.

 

Just a little artistic license I suppose.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,387 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 8:00 PM

wanswheel

Very nice, Mike! Let me add a note: Southern's #41 & #42 bore no name until at least 1948 when it was given the name Pelican; before then, it was simply Washington-New Orleans #41 & and #42.

The schedule of the Birmingham Special was the closest to that which is represented in the song--though that train, of course could not provide "ham and eggs in Carolina" as it went through Bristol--and entered Tennessee in downtown Bristol in the early, early, early morning.

I have also enjoyed the song.

Johnny

  • Member since
    August, 2009
  • 171 posts
Posted by BLS53 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:18 PM

The extent that this era of music has been marginalized in popular culture, makes it highly unlikely that the PC police would identify this particular song, much less the lyrics within it.

Their thinking doesn't go beyond easy targets. After all, Turner Classic Movies, airs hours of political incorrectness on a daily basis with it's films of 1930's to 50's vintage, and no one's howling to have the channel removed. The reason being is that the viewing demographic doesn't include a sufficient amount of PC activists that take notice or care.  

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,083 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, September 07, 2017 7:09 AM

I've heard that Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" refers to the "Tennesseean", which was a prewar streamliner, pulled by a DL109/DL110 set, no less.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
Moderator
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 549 posts
Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, September 07, 2017 8:43 AM

This is why posts are deleted:

- Please respect copyright material. If you want to share copyright material with our users, please link to it. Don’t take a story from another Web site and post it in our forum. Don’t take a photo that you don’t own the rights to and use it in our forum.

Specifically, photos from Getty Images and a copy and paste of a news story.

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: South Dakota
  • 1,537 posts
Posted by Dakguy201 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 2:31 PM

CandOforprogress2

Track 29? What  station on that route would be so huge to have a track 29? Cincy nion maybe?

 

 
From another portion of the song, it is Penn Station in New York that is the station.  Penn's current track numbers end in the low 20's, and I doubt they have ever had a track 29.  However, the "29" is needed for the rhyme scheme.
  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,949 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 5:19 PM

AND right across the street from Pennsylvania Station was the Pennsylvania Hotel!

It's phone number?  "Pennsylvania 6-5000,"  of course!

Hey, as long as we're doin' the swing thing, how about a subway ride?

(That UP streamliner in the opening nothwithstanding.)

"Take The 'A' Train,"  with the great Duke Ellington and his orchestra!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,208 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:24 PM

Dakguy201
 
CandOforprogress2

Track 29? What  station on that route would be so huge to have a track 29? Cincy nion maybe? 

From another portion of the song, it is Penn Station in New York that is the station.  Penn's current track numbers end in the low 20's, and I doubt they have ever had a track 29.  However, the "29" is needed for the rhyme scheme.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,387 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:57 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

I've heard that Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" refers to the "Tennesseean", which was a prewar streamliner, pulled by a DL109/DL110 set, no less.

 

Considering that then the Tenneseean did not have sleeper from New York , it is difficult to see how this train could be fitted into the song. Southbound, it left Washington at nine in the morning, so breakfast would have been served in Virginia (if at all), and dinner in the diner was eaten between Bristol and Knoxville--and no breakfast was served into Memphis. The only "choo-choo" part of the trip was between Washington and Bristol, with a streamstyled Pacific working between Washington and Monroe. Number 45 arrived in Bristol at 6:00 p.m., and left at 5:10 p.m.

The September, 1941, TT has a picture of engine 2900, and not a DL-109 on the head end. Other pictures show the then current power of the Southerner, the Crescent, and the Ponce de Leon--all EMD power--on Southern rails.

There are also pictures of the ten hostesses Southern employed at the time; four were from cities on the route of this train.                                                                                                             

Johnny

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 17,167 posts
Posted by tree68 on Friday, September 08, 2017 6:52 AM

In the end, I suspect that "Chatanooga Choo Choo" is not a song about a single train, but a composite, with many "licenses" taken for rhyming, timing, etc.  Any direct references are likely pure coincidence...

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 780 posts
Posted by NKP guy on Friday, September 08, 2017 6:36 PM

   Because my mother (b. 1920) loved Glenn Miller and played his music on Saturday mornings as she was cleaning our house in the 1950's, I grew up knowing his recordings and and the lyrics by heart; this turned out to be a gift from her, as his music and that of the Big Band era has been enriching my life for over 60 years now.  From the moment I heard "Chattanooga Choo Choo" I was hooked!  I could hear and feel the motion of a train as the song played.  I always assumed Track 29 was at Pennsylvania Station; if the station in actuality had fewer than that number of tracks, who cares?  As someone said, it fits the lyric.

   As far as "boy" in the lyrics, singers today don't use that term or need to.  They can substitute "hey" or "say" or something else innocuous.  The word is not vital to the spirit of the song.  This is not being "politically correct," it is simply being aware and sensitive to the feelings of others, knowing that the original word could possibly cause offense; and why would any singer want to do that?

   Somewhere I read that when the Miller band learned they were going to record "Chattanooga Choo Choo" they cringed; most of them thought it was, well, silly.  But the great success of the record convinced them otherwise.  By the way, the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC still has PEnnsylvania-6-5000 as its phone number.  But trust me, this is a hotel you never want to stay at.  Ever.  

   Glenn Miller and his Orchestra appeared at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue about the same time the Dorseys were the house band at the New Yorker Hotel, just on the other side of Pennsylvania Station on 8th Avenue, a hotel that even today is a fine hotel.  

   May I see a show of hands from those who wish they could for a little while revisit those days and those hotels to hear these two great bands once again?

   "Chattanooga Choo Choo" played a small but distinct part in the earliest days of my burgeoning interest in trains.  When the day finally comes that I am on my bed, about to take my "final ride," may the "Chattanooga Choo Choo" once again come to choo-choo me "home."

 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community