On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" is a popular song which refers to the actual fallen flag railroad of the same name. It was featured in the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, where it was sung by Judy Garland, with support from Ben Carter, Marjorie Main, Virginia O'Brien, Ray Bolger, and the MGM Chorus. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.
Despite mentions in the lyrics of the song, the actual AT&SF never reached Laramie, Wyoming, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without using partner services of through sleepers with other railroads like the Baltimore & Ohio (CSX) and Pennsylvania Railroad (Norfolk Southern).
- The Johnny Mercer recording was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 195. The recording, with backing vocals by The Pied Pipers, first reached the Billboard charts on July 5, 1945, and lasted 16 weeks on the chart, peaking at number one.
- The Bing Crosby recording (backing vocals by Six Hits and a Miss) was made on February 17, 1944 and released by Decca Records as catalog number 18690. The record first reached the Billboard charts on July 19, 1945, and lasted ten weeks on the chart, peaking at number four.
- The Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra recording, vocal by The Sentimentalists, was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1682. The record first reached the Billboard charts on August 2, 1945, and lasted six weeks on the chart, peaking at number six.
- The Judy Garland/Merry Macs recording was released by Decca Records as catalog number 23436. The record reached the Billboard charts on September 20, 1945, at number ten, its only week on the chart.
- It has been covered by other artists including Petula Clark, Louis Jordan, Harry Connick, Jr., Mandy Patinkin, The Four Freshmen, Henry Mancini, John Denver, and Rosemary Clooney with Harry James and His Orchestra.
- AT&SF used a version of this song for television advertisements in the 1970s.
- This song's instrumental can be heard in two Tom and Jerry shorts, "The Cat Concerto" and "Jerry and Jumbo".