The Trolley Song
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|"The Trolley Song"|
|Song by Judy Garland & The MGM Studio Chorus|
|Writer||Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane|
"The Trolley Song" is a song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and made famous by Judy Garland in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis. In a 1989 NPR interview, Blane said the song was inspired by a picture of a trolleycar in a turn-of-the-century newspaper. In 1974 he had said that the picture was in a book he found at the Beverly Hills Public Library and was captioned "Clang, Clang, Clang, Went the Trolley."
Blane and Martin were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 1945 Academy Awards, for "The Trolley Song" but lost to "Swinging on a Star" from Going My Way. "The Trolley Song" was ranked #26 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Years... 100 Songs list. The song as conducted by Georgie Stoll for Meet Me in St. Louis has a very complex, evocative arrangement by Conrad Salinger featuring harmonized choruses, wordless vocals, and short highlights or flourishes from a wide range of orchestral instruments. When the song was recorded on the set of Meet Me in St Louis, it was done in a single shot which was unusual then and is still rare today.
- Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan each later recorded the song.
- Tony Bennett recorded the song in 1965 for The Movie Song Album (released 1966).
- Herb Alpert featured the song on Herb Alpert's Ninth of 1967.
- Rufus Wainright sang the song in his 2007 re-creation of Garland's 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. The performance is featured on the DVD Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live From the London Palladium.
- A Portuguese version of the song appears on João Gilberto's album João Gilberto en Mexico (1970).
- Five versions of the song charted in 1944-45. Garland's single and a version by Vaughn Monroe both peaked at number four, but the biggest hit version was by The Pied Pipers, which hit number two on Billboard magazine's "Best Sellers in Stores" chart the week of December 16, 1944.
- Dave Brubeck - Fantasy 535 Dave Brubeck - Trolley Song (1953) 
- Stevie Holland - Almost Like Being In Love (2003)
- Stacey Kent - The Boy Next Door (2003)
- Deana Martin recorded “The Trolley Song” in 2005. The song was released on the album “Memories Are Made Of This” in 2006 on Big Fish Records.
- The London Gay Men's Chorus performed an arrangement of the song, with choralography, during its 21st anniversary concert, A Band of Brothers, at the Royal Festival Hall in May 2012 (video on YouTube).
- Vocal Selections from That's Entertainment, Big 3 Music Corporation, 1974
- "Fantasy Records Discography: 1953-1954"