First gold records
RCA certifies US jazz-master Glenn Miller for the first gold record — for over 1 million records sold — for a Dec. 7, 1941 US#1 hit, the swing single Chattanooga Choo Choo.
It’s heard in 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade. Nominated for an Oscar, covered dozens of times, it joins the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996.
In 1957 Harlem native Harry Belafonte is awarded RCA’s first gold LP (for albums that meant $1 million (wholesale) in sales). It’s awarded for his 1956 album Calypso(11 weeks at US#1) — the one with Day-O on it.
In 1958 the RIAA makes gold records “official” and trademarks the term. Nowadays a ‘platinum’ record means 1M sales; ‘gold’ means 500,000 sales. Elvis remains king of the hill with 167 total gold records.
( RIAA site ) Freberg Day-o parody
See also: List of train songs
With accompaniment by two members of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, it’s one of two Murphey hit singles (the other is Carolina in the Pines US#21) from 1975 album Blue Sky – Night Thunder.
It’s also one of the last gold (45rpm, 7″) singles.
( Website ) ▷The 45 adapter ▹