I'm Headin' for California
"I'm Headin' For California" is a 1944 song composed by Glenn Miller and Arthur Malvin and performed for radio broadcast. The song was released in 1946 as a 78 single by the Glenn Miller Orchestra led by Tex Beneke. The song was Glenn last composition.
The song was recorded on Thursday, February 21, 1946, at a session at the RCA Victor Studios in New York. The recording was released as a 78 single, RCA Victor 20-1834, b/w "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" arranged by Bill Finegan, by the Glenn Miller Orchestra led by Tex Beneke in 1946 and as an HMV 78, BD 5956, in the UK in 1947, b/w "Texas Tex". This was the first single released by the Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Tex Beneke. The recording appeared on the 1998 album Glenn Miller Orchestra: A Tribute to Tex Beneke and the 2001 release The Legendary Big Bands: Tex Beneke by Castle/Pulse.
The Billboard issue of March 30, 1946, lists Glenn Miller and Arthur Malvin as the composers: "Mated is a pleasant plattering of 'I'm Headin' for California,' a rhythmic ditty with Arthur Malvin, the band's romantic voice, and the late maestro authored after the fashion of 'Chattanooga Choo Choo.'" The recording was reviewed in the Billboard Data and Reviews section: "An infectious rhythm ditty fashioned along the same lines as 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' and cut in crisp manner by the ex-G.I. gang now led by Tex Beneke, who is joined by the harmonies of the Crew Chiefs, a mixed crew, for this lively chant.... It's spry syncopating with the throaty singing of Tex Beneke assisted by the finely blended voices of the Crew Chiefs."
The song was first performed by the dance band of the AAF orchestra and sung by Ray McKinley when Glenn Miller was in England in 1944. An aircheck of this performance was released on the 2010 Sounds of Yesteryear album Glenn's Travels.
The song is autobiographical. Miller lived in California during the filming of Sun Valley Serenade in 1941. He and his wife Helen bought a 55-acre ranch east of Los Angeles in Monrovia, Rancho Duarte, which had citrus groves. This was the location where Miller planned to live and raise his family.
- ASCAP database.
- Catalog of copyright entries.
- "Here they Are! The Glenn Miller Orchestra", Billboard, March 23, 1946, p. 30.
- "Music Popularity Chart", Billboard magazine, March 30, 1946.
- Way, Chris. The Big Bands Go To War. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK: Mainstream Publishing, 1991: "Also on this show, Glenn introduced his very last composition, 'I'm Heading For California'."
- "I'm Headin' for California" was released on the 2010 CD Glenn's Travels: Glenn Miller and His Orchestra on Sounds Of Yesteryear in a radio broadcast from 1944 and on the 1998 CD Glenn Miller Orchestra: A Tribute to Tex Beneke as the 1946 RCA Victor 78 single on Halcyon Records in the UK.
- Billboard, March 30, 1946, p. 33.
- Glenn Miller Archives, University of Colorado, Boulder, Co.
- "A Portrait of Glenn Miller." Glenn Miller Archives, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
- Way, Chris. The Big Bands Go To War. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK: Mainstream Publishing, 1991
- Billboard Magazine, March 30, 1946.
- Flower, John. Moonlight Serenade: A Bio-discography of the Glenn Miller Civilian Band. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1972.
- Simon, George Thomas. Simon Says. New York: Galahad, 1971. ISBN 0-88365-001-0.
- Simon, George Thomas. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. NY: Crowell, 1974.