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Glen Gray
Birth name Glen Gray Knoblauch
Also known as "Spike"
Born June 7, 1900(1900-06-07)
Flag of the United States.svg Metamora, Illinois, U.S.
Died August 23, 1963 (aged 63)
Genres Jazz, Big band
Occupations Bandleader
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1915–1963
Labels Brunswick, Decca, and Capitol
Associated acts Casa Loma Orchestra

Glen Gray Knoblauch, better known as Glen Gray, (June 7, 1900 – August 23, 1963, Plymouth, Massachusetts) was a jazz saxophonist and leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra.[1]

Gray was born to Lurdie P. and Agnes (Gray) Knoblauch in Metamora, Illinois. His father was a lifelong railroad worker who died when Glen was two years of age.[1] His widowed mother married George H. DeWilde, who was a few years younger than she was.

Gray graduated from Roanoke High School. He is said to have joined the army at seventeen and two years later he was living at home with his family. He was employed as a bill clerk for the railroad. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University but left to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.

In 1927, his Orange Blossoms Band was renamed the Casa Loma Orchestra, after Casa Loma in Toronto, where the band played for eight months. Gray collaborated with the jazz musician Jean Goldkette and with trumpeter/arranger Salvador Camarata. Ill health forced Gray to retire from touring in 1950. In 1956, he went back into the studio to record the first of what became a series of LPs for Capitol Records, which recreated the sounds of the big band era in stereo.

References

  1. ^ a b The Mississippi Rag, "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra," George A. Borgman, October 2006, page 1

External links

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