The mystery of Glenn Miller's disappearance may have been resolved in recent years by the discovery of an RAF pilot's flight log. He was part of a flight returning from an aborted bombing raid that was ordered to drop their unused bombs over the Channel. A small plane was observed straying into their path and was destroyed. That plane is now believed to be Miller's.
Glenn Miller's trombone is on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH, along with other Miller memorabilia. According to the display notes, the Miller estate allowed James Stewart to "play" this trombone in this film.
Due to a cessation of the professional relationship since about 1950, singer and saxophonist Tex Beneke does not appear in this film. His vocal lead on "Chattanooga Choo Choo" as well as his distinctive tenor sax sound on many classic Glenn Miller recordings are missing from the soundtrack.
A non-goof. After Glenn Miller's disappearance there is a scene where Gen. Arnold discusses being the one to tell Helen the bad news, and he is congratulated on his recent promotion to five-star general. The promotion of Henry H. Arnold's the highest rank (alongside several other such promotions, such as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adm. Chester W. Nimitz) really did take place during the week immediately after Miller's plane went down on 15 December 1944.
An RCA Victor ten-inch album of eight Glenn Miller originals, recorded between 1939-43, called "Glenn Miller Plays Selections From 'The Glenn Miller Story'" reached #1 on the "Billboard" album chart in May 1954. With four cuts added, a 12-inch LP, retitled Glenn Miller Plays Selections From 'The Glenn Miller Story' And Other Hits," was released in 1956. The expanded disc went on to become a Certified Gold Album in 1961.
After Glenn Miller went missing on December 15, 1944, the Miller estate authorized an official Glenn Miller "ghost band" in 1946 to carry on the "sound" and the name. This band was led by saxophonist Tex Beneke.
The orange "street car" that is shown behind James Stewart when he is outside the pawn shop at the beginning of the film is the now defunct "Angels Flight". Angels Flight was a landmark 2'6" (762 mm) narrow-gauge funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of downtown Los Angeles, California. The Angels Flight tracks connected Hill Street and Olive Street. It operated from 1901 until it was closed in 1969, when its site was cleared for redevelopment.
Decca's ten-inch, eight-track soundtrack LP, ascending to #1 on the "Billboard" album chart in March 1954, omitted the teaming of Frances Langford (in her last film) with The Modernaires (in their last picture) on the classic train song, "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon). The audio has been restored on an import CD of the soundtrack, courtesy of the Pid label. In connection with the film's release, Coral Records, a Decca subsidiary, had The Modernaires record two medleys of Glenn Miller hits, released on both sides of a 45-rpm single, which charted up to #29 in "Billboard" during 1954. The quintet's Miller tribute can be enjoyed on a 1998 Modernaires CD from Varese Sarabande called "Singin' and Swingin'." In 1956 the Decca soundtrack album was expanded into a 12-inch LP, adding two studio cuts by Louis Armstrong and The All Stars, "Basin Street Blues" (music and lyrics by Spencer Williams) and "Otchi-Tchor-Ni-Ya" (music by Florian Herrmanns, improvised lyrics by Louis Armstrong). The second Armstrong ditty had not been performed by him in the movie. Towards the end of 1958 Decca reissued the soundtrack LP in true stereo.