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"In the Mood" is a song popularized by the American bandleader Glenn Miller in 1939, and one of the best-known arrangements of the big band era. Miller's rendition topped the charts one year later and was featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. The song is an anomaly to 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, 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).

It opens with a now-famous sax section theme, and is joined by trumpets and trombones after 13 counts. It has two main solo sections; a "tenor fight" solo—in the most famous recording, between Tex Beneke and Al Klink—and a 16-bar trumpet solo. It is also famous for its ending.



The song was composed by Joe Garland and Andy Razaf, and arranged by Glenn Miller.[1] The main theme previously appeared under the title of "Tar Paper Stomp", credited to jazz trumpeter/bandleader Wingy Manone, who recorded it in 1930 just months before Horace Henderson who some state that had originally written it. Doing those times, if you did not write it down and protect it anyone with a good ear could take it. 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.

The main theme occurs in the Horace Henderson arrangement of "Hot and Anxious"; recorded by his brother's band on March 19, 1931- The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra.

The original recording of this song was by Edgar Hayes and his Orchestra in 1938, with Joe Garland (composer) participating. In this recording there was a baritone sax duet rather than a tenor sax battle. Popular thought is that "In The Mood" was a theme popular with Harlem bands (f.i. 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 could not record it, because the original arrangement was too long.[citation needed] The Hayes recording also bearing signs of being a shortened arrangement.[citation needed] The tune was finally sold to Glenn Miller, who played around with the arrangement of it for a while. Although the arranger of most of the Miller tunes are known, things are a bit uncertain for "In The Mood". It is often thought that Eddie Durham (who contributed other arrangements on the recording date of In The Mood, August 1, 1939 as well), John Chalmers McGregor (Miller's pianist) and Miller himself contributed most to the final well known arrangement.


Other notable big-band artists who recorded the song include the Joe Loss Orchestra, Xavier Cugat, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lubo D'Orio and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Non-big-band renditions were recorded by the Andrews Sisters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Bill Haley & His Comets, Bad Manners, the Puppini Sisters and Ernie Fields, whose version charted at number 4 in the U.S. in 1959. The song was charted at number 16 in 1953 with Johnny Maddox. Jonathan King scored a UK Top 50 hit with his version of the song in 1976. Bette Midler also recorded this song in 1973 (on the album Bette Midler). 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 re-starts with the trumpets taking the lead.

A 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, and 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 ever to be played by a computer.[2] The recording of it is the first ever recording of a computer playing music. It has since been said that In The Mood's sound quality is best when played on a computer and that until the late 1990s most computers had the song preloaded on to their system, as a default track on their music player.


  1. ^ Glenn Miller Orchestra website
  2. ^ BBC World 17 June 2008, Oldest computer music unveiled

See also



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