In The Mood

Album: In The Mood (1939)
Charted: 13 1


  • This is one of the most recognizable and popular big band songs. Miller recorded it in 1939 and the song became wildly popular in early 1940, shortly before Billboard began publishing its "Music Popularity Chart." This makes it hard to gauge the song's appeal at the time, but it helped Miller become the top bandleader in the world - in that first Billboard chart he held down three of the Top 10 places.
  • "In The Mood" is an expression that indicates a desire to have sex. It's pretty innocent now, but was a little racy at the time.
  • This song was written by the Tin Pan Alley composers Joe Garland (music) and Andy Razaf (lyrics). Garland was the tenor sax player and arranger with Edgar Hayes and his Orchestra. The Hayes band recorded "In The Mood" for Decca Records in February 1938, 18 months before Miller recorded the tune. Later in 1938, Artie Shaw played the tune on the air in a 6-minute-plus, rather plodding arrangement. Glenn Miller reworked the arrangement, first played it in late July 1939 (a version is extant on CD), and recorded it for Bluebird on August 1, 1939 (Bluebird B-10416-A). The rest is history; he played it quite often on the air, featured it in his first film Sun Valley Serenade (1941), and continued to play it when he disbanded and joined the Army Air Corps (the 418th AAF Training Command Orchestra).
  • This was based on a song called "Tar Paper Stomp" which was recorded in 1930 by Joseph "Wingy" Manone, who was a bandleader from New Orleans. Manone later had his own remake called "Jumpy Nerves" on Bluebird (the label on which Miller's "In The Mood" was first issued).
  • In 1977, The Henhouse Five Plus Two (an alias of novelty singer Ray Stevens) had a top 40 hit in both the UK and US with his version of this song, which was basically Stevens imitating chickens clucking the tune.
  • Beatles producer George Martin had the orchestra play a little bit of this song at the end of "All You Need Is Love." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chet - Greenfield Center, NY

Comments: 16

  • George from Vancouver, CanadaNo reason why Glenn miller & his band had to accept opprobation for "in the mood" referring, racily, to sex.

    Ten minutes, or less, & a little imagination could create lyrics that referred to being in the mood for other things.
    In the mood
    for a little sailing
    In the mood
    for playing a little ball
    I'm in the mood for anything at all
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 2nd 1977, "In The Mood" by Henhouse Five Plus Too (not Two) entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on January 30th it peaked at #40 (for 1 week) and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100...
    The Henhouse Five Plus Too was a studio creation of Ray Stevens...
    The original version by Glenn Miller reached #1 in 1940 and was featured in the 1941 movie 'Sun Valley Serenade'...
    In 1959 Ernie Fields peaked at #4 with it on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    Bette Midler charted with a vocal version in 1974, her version peaked at #51...
    And on January 7th, 1990 it reached #11 on the Top 100 by Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers, who included in a medley titled "Swing The Mood".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyErnie Fields version of "In The Mood" was released in 1959 and it peaked at #4 and stayed in the the Top 100 for 19 weeks...
  • Erika from Wermland, SwedenNO, Glenn Miller has not written many songs. He only co-wrote 15 songs, and 2 of those were in his Army days. If you think 2 songs is many, it's up to you.
    Also, much of 'The Glenn Miller Story' is fiction, made up by Hollywood. Many elements were also true of course, since both Chummy McGregor and Helen Miller were advisors in the making of the picture.
    The first golden record was Miller's Chattanooga Choo-Choo in 1942.
    I did my final essay in Music History on Glenn Miller and his influence on Big Band music, so I know what I'm talking about!
  • Briana from Vashon Island, WaFurther backup for my previous statement can be found here:
  • Briana from Vashon Island, WaRegarding "fact" #4, most sources say that Joe Garland & Andy Razaf wrote the version of "In the Mood" that Glenn Miller recorded.
  • Phil from Tucson, AzThis songs always reminds me of the movie Cannery Row with Nick Nolte and Debra Winger. It is one of my favorite movies. I can still see the two of them trying to learn to dance to this song and how he keeps dropping her.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumYou can call this an everlasting song; it sounds so good!
  • Ken Tidwell from Seattle, WaIt was the first ever Gold Record. It was presented to Glenn Miller in 1941 for his recording of Chattanooga Choo Choo which sold about 1.4 million after it debuted in the 20th Century Fox film "Sun Valley Serenade." I have a gut feeling that by now "In the Mood" has sold quite a lot more.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyI don't know if the scene in the movie where the band keeps playing during the Nazi air attack is true. It's great theater and great propaganda, but most of the movie is highly fictional. However, this song is the first to have a "false" ending -- several in fact. It sounds like the song is over, there is a pause -- and then, back to the last four bars! I understand that it drove DJs crazy back in the 40s when they first started playing this on the air.
  • Zabavnik from Ljubljana, EuropeThe best song ever! I also watched the movie of Glenn's life - Glenn Miller's story (from 50's) - where he and his orchestra play this song to English soldiers, while they are attacked by Nazi aeroplanes, and Englishmen don't give a damn, they just listen on the music.
    If Glenn would survive the war, I'm sure we would have much more of his good music!
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhI heard the Ernie Fields version a lot, and I have B.Bumble and The Stingers version too.
  • Jay from Geneva, CheezlandThis song was played at actor Peter Sellers' (the Pink Panther, just for one) funeral; The reason ?
    Peter insisted that Glen Miller's In The Mood was played, not only because he detested it, but also because he considered its ricky-ticky-ticky-ticky-ticky-tick-tick "wonderfully inappropriate - hence, wonderfully appropriate - for solemn occasions."
  • Tamalee from Cornelius, OrJive Bunny and the Master Mixers came out with a song by the same name, with the same tune but also with samples of different songs - Wake Up, Little Susie by Ricky Nelson was one of them. I thought it was really good and it's why I'm interested in Glenn Miller and his music today. That, and I just enjoy good music - period. :)
  • Tim from Grebin, GermanyWasn't this the first ever "golden record"?
  • Manuel from Austria, United StatesGlenn Miller wrote the song during the war to entertain the soldiers a little bit, to make them think of something different. He wrote many songs during war.
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