Glenn Miller – In The Mood / Moonlight Serenade (Vinyl) - Discogs

2021 Song Draft- Round 6 Pick 8: ‘In The Mood’- Glenn Miller

In the Mood – Glenn Miller

Album: Released as a single

Written by: Wingy Manone, Andy Razaf, Joe Garland

Time: 3:40

What happens when two members from the latter part of the greatest generation decide to wait to have a child past the baby boom? You get a gen xer that has a weird sense of musical taste. I grew up listening to a lot of the big band era music. There were times growing up that I knew more about Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey than I did about what was contemporary.

The big band era simply could not happen today. There would be so many lawsuits and arguments on who stole or sampled what tune from whom that it would be easier to not record a darned thing.

This is best summed up in the following that I borrowed from Wikipedia – “In the Mood” was an arrangement by Joe Garland based on an existing melody. Lyrics were added by Andy Razaf. The main theme with repeated arpeggios rhythmically displaced appeared under the title “Tar Paper Stomp” and was credited to trumpeter Wingy Manone. Manone recorded “Tar Paper Stomp” on August 28, 1930, in Richmond, Indiana, and released it as a 78 single for Champion Records under the name Barbecue Joe and his Hot Dogs. It was re-released in 1935 by Wingy Manone’s Orchestra.

Horace Henderson used the same riff in “Hot and Anxious”, which was recorded by his brother Fletcher Henderson on March 19, 1931, for Columbia under the name the Baltimore Bell Hops. Don Redman recorded “Hot and Anxious” for Brunswick in 1932.

Under copyright laws, a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear. Manone raised the similarity between “Tar Paper Stomp” and “In the Mood” to Joe Garland and to the publisher Shapiro, Bernstein, and Company of New York. Manone also discussed the issue in DownBeat magazine.

“Tar Paper Stomp” was copyrighted on November 6, 1941, as a pianoforte version by Peer International.

Got all that? This song is a staple of just about any show that is set in the World War II time frame. It reminds me of a time that I try to understand, but it also reminds me of listening to my parents other vinyl records on our stereo system, something that I just cannot explain to anyone who was not there.

Hope you enjoy listening to In the Mood.


  1. I’m 51. I was introduced to big band music early in life. I loved Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, the Dorseys, and so many others. There was nothing like it. I loved listening to Fibber McGee and Molly and Jack Benny and loved hearing the orchestra tunes in between acts. It was great stuff.

    In The Mood is probably THE staple big band song. Everyone knows it. When I was DJing weddings, I would slip in in from time to time and people still danced to it. It has certainly stood the test of time and will continue to do so.

    They way his life ended is still one big mystery. I think it was a couple years ago that someone said they found the wreckage of the plane he was on when he died. Don’t recall if they ever confirmed that.

    The Glenn Miller Orchestra still tours today. I guess it was probably 10 years ago, probably longer, that a couple members of the band were sitting around chatting. They were wondering what Glenn would be doing if he were still alive. “I don’t know. Maybe a Christmas album?” was the response. Glenn had recorded a version of Jingle Bells and that was probably it. No Christmas album.

    So a couple guys wrote some charts in Glenn’s style and released them. In The Christmas Mood Volume 1&2 are probably still available and remain among my favorite holiday albums.

  2. I don’t think it says here who picked it, but a good choice. A catchy, upbeat tune that I think we almost all know, even those of us born decades after it came out.

  3. I wouldn’t have known this song by the name but it is instantly recognizable. I’m sure it’s been used on more than a couple of cartoons 🙂 Good choice which widens the eclectic scope of the draft.

  4. Wow Quinn, from Fear Factory to Glenn Miller! You have eclectic music tastes like I do. Nice to see someone pick a great song from the Big Band era. I was born smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boom, so my parents also had a few records from the Big Band era. I later went out and bought – on my own – the Andrews Sisters greatest hits! (Yes, I was a major dork.)

    • honestly i think i was dropped on my head or something. apologies for not commenting much in this – all of you are fantastic and your choices have made me think about my own choices very much. keep up the great work!

    • Dude. You just threw me back into my young life with my paternal grandparents. My mom is an early Boomer but, my dad was born during the war. They were very young parents so, much of my early music came from grandparents. I LOVE THIS. I also love the fact that the picture with the video is Jimmy Stewart from the movie. AWESOME!

  5. I love having this song in the draft. Great choice, and great story about how personal this is to you and your parents. This song and Miller are both melded into WWII history. Wow, Round 6 is producing some iconic songs.

  6. When I was in high school in late 70s early 80s our jazz ensemble played this tune so hearing it bring a back air of memories. I played tenor sax so that opening was great and the trumpets especially that run at the end was great. Great choice!

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