Friday, May 12, 1995

50 years ago: Glenn Miller hit #1 for 1st of 16 weeks with self-titled compilation

Glenn Miller (aka “Glenn Miller & His Orchestra”)

Glenn Miller

Charted: March 24, 1945

Recorded: 1939 to 1942

Peak: 116 US

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: big band jazz


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. American Patrol (Frank White Meacham, arranged by Jerry Gray) (7/4/42, 15 US)
  2. Song of the Volga Boatmen (traditional, arranged by Billy Finegan) (2/22/41, 11 US, 10 GA)
  3. Tuxedo Junction (Erskin Hawkins, Bill Johnson, Julian Dash, Buddy Feyne) (2/24/40, 19 US, 7 GA)
  4. In the Mood (arranged by Joe Garland) (10/7/39, 113 US, 9 HP, 5 GA, 13 UK, 120 AU)
  5. Little Brown Jug (arranged by Billy Finegan) (6/17/39, 2 US, 13 UK)
  6. Moonlight Serenade (arranged by Joe Garland) (7/29/39, 3 US, 9 GA, 12 UK)
  7. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael, arranged by Billy Finegan and Glenn Miller) (10/26/40, 20 US, 8 GA)
  8. Pennsylvania 6-5000 (Jerry Gray, Carl Sigman; arranged by Jerry Gray) (7/6/40, 5 US, 14 GA)


4.557 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

As a bandleader, Glenn Miller experienced tremendous success from 1939 to 1944, landing 69 hits in the top 10. Sixteen of those songs went all the way to #1. In 1942, he volunteered for the U.S. military so he could entertain troops during World War II. While flying to Paris on December 15, 1944, his aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

This collection of some of his most beloved recordings was released posthumously in the days when an album truly was an album. The original compilation appeared as a four-disc, 78 rpm album set – two songs were disc. The set landed at #1 on the Billboard, logging a total of sixteen weeks on top during three separate years (8 weeks in 1945, 5 in 1946, 3 in 1947).

Three of Miller’s chart-topping songs appeared on this collection including In the Mood, which was the biggest hit of 1940 and of Miller’s career. It is one of the best known songs from the big band era. The song first emerged in 1930 as “Tar Paper Stomp” and was recorded by others, including Edgar Hayes and Artie Shaw, before Miller tackled it.

The song ranks at #5 in the Dave’s Music Database book of The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era. Also featured in that book at #6 is the recording of Stardust by Artie Shaw. Miller’s version of the song appears on this compilation.

“In the Mood” and another of Miller’s #1 songs on this collection, Tuxedo Junction, rank in the top 1% of songs all time. The song was written by Erskine Hawkins, who titled the song after a club in Birmingham, Alabama, that was part of the circuit played by African American performers. When Miller witnessed the crowd reaction to Erskine’s performance of the song on Christmas Eve in 1939 at the Savoy Ballroom in New York, he decided to record the song.

Three more were top-10 hits, including Moonlight Serenade. It also ranks in the top 1% of all songs and appears in the Dave’s Music Database list of the top 100 big band songs. That list also includes “In the Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction,” and Pennyslvania 6-5000.

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First posted 2/9/2022.

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