Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)


Sheet music for "Chicago" featuring Blossom Seeley (1922)
Chicago - Frank Sinatra.jpg
Single by Frank Sinatra
A-side"All the Way"
ReleasedOctober 1957
GenreVocal jazz, swing, traditional pop
LabelCapitol Records
Songwriter(s)Fred Fisher
Producer(s)Nelson Riddle
Frank Sinatra singles chronology
"You're Cheatin' Yourself (If You're Cheatin' on Me)"
Single by Sergio Franchi
Released1964 (1964)
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Fred Fisher
RCA Victor release number 47-8315

"Chicago" is a popular song written by Fred Fisher and published in 1922. The original sheet music variously spelled the title "Todd'ling" or "Toddling." The song has been recorded by many artists, but the best-known version is by Frank Sinatra.

The song alludes to the city's colorful past, feigning "... the surprise of my life / I saw a man dancing with his own wife", mentioning evangelist Billy Sunday as having not been able to "shut down" the city, and State Street where "they do things they don't do on Broadway".

The song made a minor appearance on the U.S. pop charts, reaching #84 in the fall of 1957.[1] It was the first of two charting songs about Chicago recorded by Sinatra. The other was "My Kind of Town" from 1964, which reached U.S. #110.


As with many similar songs, the lyrics have undergone a number of reworkings. The original third verse included the lines, "More Colored people up in State Street you can see,/ Than you'll see in Louisiana or Tennessee" and makes reference to the Chicago Stockyards. Later recordings have a number of replacements: of all versions, Judy Garland's contains more references than most: Marshall Field's department store, the Drake Hotel, the Chicago Loop, The Pump Room at the Ambassador East hotel and even Mrs O'Leary's Cow.

Chart history

Chart (1957) Peak
UK Singles Chart (OCC) 21
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[2] 84
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 [3] 45

Film appearances

Recorded versions

Live covers

  • Green Day during a concert at Chicago's United Center on July 13, 2009
  • Sergio Franchi recorded this song in Italian during his concert in 1965 for RCA Victor, Live at The Coconut Grove
  • CM Punk at the end of the 27 June 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw


  1. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  3. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, October 19, 1957". Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "Internet Movie Database". Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  5. ^ The Capitol Years box set liner notes, 1990, p. 39.
  6. ^ "Internet Movie Database". Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Georgians". Retrieved April 21, 2012.

External links

  • Sheet music in the Lilly Library collection at Indiana University
  • Frank Sinatra - Chicago on YouTube