In the Mood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the big band-era song popularized by Glenn Miller. For other uses, see In the Mood (disambiguation).
"In the Mood"
Single by Glenn Miller
B-side "I Want to Be Happy"
Released 1939
Format 10" 78rpm
Genre Big band
Label RCA Bluebird
Writer(s) Wingy Manone (c), Andy Razaf (w), Joe Garland (a)
"In the Mood"
Single by Ernie Fields
B-side "Christopher Columbus"
Released 1959
Format 7" 45rpm
Genre Jazz
Length 2:29
Label Rendezvous
Writer(s) Wingy Manone (c), Andy Razaf (w), Joe Garland (a)
Ernie Fields singles chronology
"In the Mood"
"Begin the Beguine"

"In the Mood" is a big band-era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. It topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S. and one year later was featured in the movie Sun Valley Serenade.

In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included the 1939 Glenn Miller recording on RCA Bluebird on the NPR 100, the list of "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century".[1]


"In the Mood" opens with a now-famous sax section theme based on repeated arpeggios that are rhythmically displaced; trumpets and trombones add accent riffs. The arrangement has two solo sections; a "tenor fight" solo—in the most famous recording, between Tex Beneke and Al Klink—and a 16-bar trumpet solo by Clyde Hurley.[2] The arrangement is also famous for its ending: a coda that climbs triumphantly, then sounds a simple sustained unison tonic pitch with a rim shot.[3]


"In the Mood" was arranged by Joe Garland and Andy Razaf based on a pre-existing melody. The main theme, featuring repeated arpeggios rhythmically displaced, previously appeared under the title of "Tar Paper Stomp" credited to jazz trumpeter/bandleader Wingy Manone. Manone recorded "Tar Paper Stomp" which did not become popular until the middle of 1930, just months before Horace Henderson used the same tune in "Hot and Anxious", recorded by his brother's band, The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, on March 19, 1931.

Under copyright rules of the day, a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear. A story says that after "In the Mood" became a hit, Manone was paid by Miller and his record company not to contest the copyright.[citation needed]

The original recording of Joe Garland's version was made by Edgar Hayes and his Orchestra in 1938, with Garland participating. In this recording there was a baritone sax duet rather than a tenor sax battle. Popular thought is that the melody had already become popular with Harlem bands (e.g. at the Savoy Ballroom) before being written down by Joe Garland. Before offering it to Glenn Miller, Garland sold the tune to Artie Shaw, who chose not to record it because the original arrangement was too long. However, he did perform the song in concert.[4] The Hayes recording also bears signs of being a shortened arrangement.[citation needed] The tune was finally sold to Glenn Miller, who played around with its arrangement for a while. Although the arrangers of most of the Miller tunes are known, things are a bit uncertain for "In the Mood". It is often thought[by whom?] that Eddie Durham (who contributed other arrangements on the recording date of "In the Mood", Aug. 1, 1939 as well), John Chalmers McGregor (Miller's pianist) and Miller himself contributed most to the final version.


Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" became the best selling swing instrumental.[3] While indisputably a hit, it represents an anomaly for chart purists. "In the Mood" was released in the period immediately prior to the inception of retail sales charts in Billboard magazine. While it led the Record Buying Guide (jukebox list) for 13 weeks and stayed on the Billboard charts for 30 weeks, it never made the top 15 on the sheet music charts, which were considered by many to be the true measure of popular song success. The popular Your Hit Parade program ranked the song no higher than ninth place, for one week only (1940).

The Glenn Miller 1939 recording on RCA Bluebird, B-10416-A, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983. It is one of the most recognized and popular instrumentals of the 20th century. A sample of the recording is heard in The Beatles' #1 1967 single "All You Need is Love", and in the Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers' worldwide 1989 hit, "Swing the Mood".

Wartime releases[edit]

In February 1944, the Glenn Miller RCA Bluebird recording of "In the Mood" was released as a V-Disc, one of a series of recordings sent free by the U.S. War Department to overseas military personnel during World War II. Its designation was V-Disk 123B. A second version, recorded by Glenn Miller and the Overseas Band, was released as V-Disc 842B in May 1948.


1939 sheet music cover, "Introduced by Glenn Miller", Shapiro, Bernstein, and Co., New York.

Notable artists who have recorded big-band versions of "In The Mood" include the Joe Loss Orchestra, Xavier Cugat, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, The Casa Loma Orchestra, Lubo D'Orio, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Shadows and John Williams with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Non-big band renditions were recorded by the Andrews Sisters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Bill Haley & His Comets, Bad Manners, and the Puppini Sisters. In addition, in 1959 Ernie Fields and his Orchestra peaked at number 4 on the pop chart and number 7 on the R&B charts.[5] The song charted at number 16 in 1953 in a version by Johnny Maddox. Bette Midler recorded the song in 1973 (on the album Bette Midler). Jonathan King scored a UK Top 50 hit with his version of the song in 1976. The avant-garde synthpop act Art of Noise occasionally performed a rendition of the song on their live shows, in their trademark sampled style. The rock band Chicago added their version in 1995. An unusual version of the song was released on Maynard Ferguson's 'Lost Tapes Volume 2' album. The first 30 seconds are the traditional version, but the band then restarts with the trumpets taking the lead. German thrash metal band Destruction covered the first few bars at the end of their track "Survive to Die" at the end of their 1988 album Release From Agony.

In the fifties, former Bando da Lua musician, producer Aloisio de Oliveira, wrote a humorous Portuguese lyric to this song, retitling it as "Edmundo". This version was recorded by artists like Elza Soares and Brazilian surf rock/new wave group João Penca e Seus Miquinhos Amestrados.

A novelty version of the song was recorded by country/novelty artist Ray Stevens in 1977. Stevens' version consisted of him performing the song in chicken clucks, bar-for-bar. The performance was credited to the "Henhouse Five Plus Too". The single was a Top-40 hit in both America and the UK.

In 1951 a Ferranti Mark 1 computer at the University of Manchester played "In the Mood", one of the first songs to be played by a computer, and the oldest known recording of digitally generated music.[6]

Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers recorded a version of the song as part of a medley entitled "Swing the Mood" which went no. 1 in the UK for 5 weeks. The record reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States where it also went gold. It was the 2nd best-selling single of 1989 in the UK.

Bluesman John Lee Hooker has said that "In the Mood" was the inspiration for "I'm In the Mood" which became a #1 hit on the R&B Singles chart.[7]

A 1953/54 version of Eddie Cochran was released in 1997 on the album Rockin' It Country Style.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NPR 100.
  2. ^ Dave Oliphant (June 15, 2010). "Hurley, Clyde Lanham, Jr.". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved February 15, 2015. With Miller Hurley was recorded playing perhaps the orchestra's most famous solo, the one for trumpet on Miller's "In the Mood." 
  3. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.  Tape 2, side A.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 201. 
  6. ^ BBC World 17 June 2008, Oldest computer music unveiled
  7. ^ The Very Best of John Lee Hooker Rhino Records R2 71915 Liner Notes Pg.6

External links[edit]