They say it doesn't matter whether you're in Chicago, San Francisco or London; when you tell people you're from Chattanooga, they'll immediately begin to sing or think about Glenn Miller's hit song, "Chattanooga Choo Choo. For Justin Strickland, author of the book "Chattanooga's Terminal Station" and self-proclaimed train nerd, that moment came in while riding the Amtrak from New York City to Albany. It's just amazing that on a train on the Hudson River is when I heard someone humming the song. Sadly, Strickland continues, his voice growing somber, he believes that instant recognition of the city's railroad heritage is becoming less common. Though most people still know about the famed "Chattanooga Choo Choo" song and can even recite the lyrics backwards and forwards, Strickland believes fewer people truly know why the song was so popular and understand just how important it was — and still is — for the city. While public-private partnerships, superior outdoor amenities and gigabit internet service have been largely credited for Chattanooga's transformation and continued advancement from a declining industrial town to the thriving city it is today, Strickland believes Miller's hit song was also a large contributor to the area's metamorphosis. Without the name recognition afforded by the song, he argues, the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel would not have achieved the renown it obtained when owners adopted the moniker and turned the historic Terminal Station into a tourist attraction in
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The first train arrived at Terminal Station on December 1, The depot grew to serve nearly 50 passenger trains a day. World War II had ended and the use of automobiles became more prevalent.
Few places in the country can claim such a rich concentration of historical events. How a weekend exploring Chattanooga and Knoxville turned a couple Austinites into lifelong fans of Tennessee. Learn more about Chattanooga Choo Choo. Rich in history and hospitality, there is something for everyone without ever leaving the complex! Sleep aboard an authentic railcar room or choose from our spacious standard rooms or luxurious suites.
The song opens up with the band, sounding like a train rolling out of the station, complete with the trumpets and trombones imitating a train whistle, before the instrumental portion comes in playing two parts of the main melody. This is followed by the vocal introduction of four lines before the main part of the song is heard. The main song opens with a dialog between a passenger and a shoeshine boy :. The singer describes the train's route, originating from Pennsylvania Station in New York and running through Baltimore to North Carolina before reaching Chattanooga. He mentions a woman he knew from an earlier time in his life, who will be waiting for him at the station and with whom he plans to settle down for good. After the entire song is sung, the band plays two parts of the main melody as an instrumental, with the instruments imitating the "WHOO WHOO" of the train as the song ends. The rpm was recorded on May 7, , for RCA Victor 's Bluebird label and became the first to be certified a gold disc on February 10, , for 1,, sales.