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Glenn Miller

Background information
Birth name Alton Glenn Miller
Born March 1, 1904(1904-03-01)
Clarinda, Iowa, U.S.
Origin Glenn Miller Orchestra
Died Missing December 15, 1944 (aged 40)
English Channel (presumably)
Genres Swing music
Big band
Occupations Bandleader, Musician, Arranger, Composer
Instruments Trombone
Years active 1923–1944

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big bands". Miller's signature recordings include In the Mood, American Patrol, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tuxedo Junction, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and Pennsylvania 6-5000.[1] While traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. His body has never been found.


Early life and career

Miller was born on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa, to Mattie Lou (née Cavender) and Lewis Elmer Miller.[2][3] He went to grade school in North Platte in western Nebraska. In 1915, Miller's family moved to Grant City, Missouri. Around this time, Miller had finally made enough money from milking cows to buy his first trombone and played in the town orchestra. In 1918, the Miller family moved again, this time to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Miller went to high school. During his senior year, Miller became very interested in a new style of music called "dance band music." He was so taken with it that he formed his own band with some classmates. By the time Miller graduated from high school in 1921, he had decided he wanted to become a professional musician.[3]

In 1923, Miller entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined Sigma Nu Fraternity,[4] but spent most of his time away from school, attending auditions and playing any gigs he could get, most notably with Boyd Senter's band in Denver. He dropped out of school after failing three out of five classes one semester, and decided to concentrate on making a career as a professional musician. He later studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger, under whose tutelage he composed what became his signature theme, Moonlight Serenade.[5]

In 1926, Miller toured with several groups, eventually landing a good spot in Ben Pollack's group in Los Angeles. During his stint with Pollack, Miller wrote several musical arrangements of his own. In 1928, when the band arrived in New York City, he sent for and married his college sweetheart, Helen Burger. He was a member of Red Nichols's orchestra in 1930, and because of Nichols, Miller played in the pit bands of two Broadway shows, Strike Up the Band and Girl Crazy (where his bandmates included Big Band giants Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa). During the late 1920s and early 1930s, Miller managed to earn a living working as a freelance trombonist in several bands. On November 14, 1929[6] , an original vocalist named Red McKenzie hired Glenn to play on two records that are now considered to be jazz classics[7][8]: "Hello, Lola" and "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight." Beside Glenn were clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone.[9]

In the early-to-mid-1930s, Miller also worked as a trombonist and arranger in The Dorsey Brothers, first when they were a Brunswick studio group and finally when they formed an ill-fated co-led touring and recording orchestra.[10] Miller composed the song "Annie's Cousin Fanny"[11][12] and "Dese Dem Dose"[10][13] for the Dorsey Brothers Band in 1934 and 1935. In 1935, he assembled an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble,[10] developing the arrangement of lead clarinet over four saxophones that eventually became the sonic keynote of his own big band. Members of the Noble band included future bandleaders Claude Thornhill, Bud Freeman and Charlie Spivak.

Glenn Miller made his first movie appearance in the 1935 Paramount Pictures release The Big Broadcast of 1936 as a member of the Ray Noble Orchestra.[14] The Big Broadcast of 1936 starred Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, Jack Oakie, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and also featured other performances by Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers, who would appear with Miller again in two movies for Twentieth Century Fox in 1941 and 1942.

Glenn Miller compiled several musical arrangements and formed his first band in 1937. The band failed to distinguish itself from the many others of the era, and eventually broke up. Benny Goodman said in 1976, "In late 1937, before his band became popular, we were both playing in Dallas. Glenn was pretty dejected and came to see me. He asked, 'What do you do? How do you make it?' I said, 'I don't know, Glenn. You just stay with it.'"[15]

Success from 1938 to 1942

Discouraged, Miller returned to New York. He realized that he needed to develop a unique sound, and decided to make the clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonized within a single octave. George Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller. Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play the lead clarinet. According to Simon, "Willie's tone and way of playing provided a fullness and richness so distinctive that none of the later Miller imitators could ever accurately reproduce the Miller sound." [16] With this new sound combination, Glenn Miller found a way to differentiate his band's style from the many bands that existed in the late thirties. Miller talked about his style in the May, 1939 issue of Metronome magazine. "You'll notice today some bands use the same trick on every introduction; others repeat the same musical phrase as a modulation into a vocal ... We're fortunate in that our style doesn't limit us to stereotyped intros, modulations, first choruses, endings or even trick rhythms. The fifth sax, playing clarinet most of the time, lets you know whose band you're listening to. And that's about all there is to it."[17]

In September 1938, the Miller band began making recordings for the RCA Victor, Bluebird Records subsidiary.[18] Charlie "Cy" Shribman, a prominent East Coast businessman, began financing the band, providing a much needed infusion of cash.[19] In the spring of 1939, the band's fortunes improved with a date at the Meadowbrook Ballroom in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, and more dramatically at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York. The Glen Island date according to author Gunther Schuller attracted "a record breaking opening night crowd of 1800..."[20] With the Glen Island date, the band began a huge rise in popularity.[21] In 1939, Time magazine noted: "Of the twelve to 24 discs in each of today's 300,000 U.S. jukeboxes, from two to six are usually Glenn Miller's."[22] There were record-breaking recordings such as "Tuxedo Junction" which sold 115,000 copies in the first week.[23] Miller's huge success in 1939 culminated with his band appearing at Carnegie Hall on October 6, with Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, and Fred Waring also the main attractions.[24]

From 1939 to 1942, Miller's band was featured three times a week during a broadcast for Chesterfield cigarettes, first with the Andrews Sisters and then on its own.[25] On February 10, 1942, RCA Victor presented Miller with the first gold record for "Chattanooga Choo-Choo."[26] "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was performed by the Miller orchestra with his singers Gordon "Tex" Beneke, Paula Kelly and the vocal group, the Modernaires.[27] Other singers with this orchestra included Marion Hutton[28], Skip Nelson,[29] Ray Eberle[30] and to a smaller extent, Kay Starr,[31] Ernie Caceres,[32] Dorothy Claire[33] and Jack Lathrop. Pat Friday ghost sang with the Miller band in their two films, Sun Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives with Lynn Bari lip synching.[34]


Motion Pictures

Miller and his band appear in two Twentieth Century Fox films. In 1941's Sun Valley Serenade they are major members of the cast, which also features comedian Milton Berle.[35] The Miller band returned to Hollywood to film 1942's Orchestra Wives,[36] featuring Jackie Gleason playing a part as the group's bassist, Ben Beck. Miller had an ailment that made laughter extremely painful. Since Jackie Gleason was a comedian, Miller had a difficult time watching Gleason more than once, because Miller would start laughing.[37] Harry Morgan appears as the unrequited love interest of Ann Rutherford's character. [38] Harry Morgan was cast in 1953's The Glenn Miller Story as Miller's pianist, Chummy MacGregor.[39] Miller was contracted to do a third movie for Fox, Blind Date, but as he entered the U.S. Army, this never panned out.[40]

Public acclaim and critics' reaction

In 2004, Miller orchestra bassist Herman "Trigger" Alpert explained the band's success: "Miller had America's music pulse ... He knew what would please the listeners."[41] Although Miller had massive popularity, many jazz critics of the time had misgivings. They believed that the band's endless rehearsals and according to critic Amy Lee in Metronome magazine, "letter-perfect playing", diminished any feeling from performances.[42] They also felt that Miller's brand of swing shifted popular music away from the "hot jazz" bands of Benny Goodman and Count Basie toward commercial novelty instrumentals and vocal numbers.[43] For years, even after Miller died, the Miller estate maintained an unfriendly stance toward critics that derided the band during Miller's lifetime.[44] Miller was often criticized for being too commercial. His answer to the criticism was, "I don't want a jazz band".[45] Many modern jazz critics still harbor similar antipathy toward Miller.[46] Jazz critics Gunther Schuller[47] (1991) and Gary Giddins[48] (2004) have separately defended the Miller orchestra for whatever deficiencies earlier critics have found. In an article written for The New Yorker in 2004, Gary Giddins says he feels that these early critics erred in denigrating Glenn Miller's music, and that the popular opinion of the time should hold greater sway. The article states: "Miller exuded little warmth on or off the bandstand, but once the band struck up its theme, audiences were done for: throats clutched, eyes softened. Can any other record match 'Moonlight Serenade' for its ability to induce a Pavlovian slaver in so many for so long?"[48] Schuller, notes, "[The Miller sound] was nevertheless very special and able to penetrate our collective awareness that few other sounds have..."[49] He compares it partially to "Japanese Gagaku [and] Hindu music" in its purity.[49] Schuller and Giddins do not take completely uncritical approaches to Miller. Schuller says that Ray Eberle's "lumpy, sexless vocalizing dragged down many an otherwise passable performance."[49] However finally Schuller notes: "How much further [Miller's] musical and financial ambitions might have carried him must forever remain conjectural. That it would have been significant, whatever form(s) it might have taken, is not unlikely."[49]

Reaction from musical peers

Louis Armstrong thought enough of Miller to carry around his recordings transferred to seven-inch tape reels when he went on tour. "[Armstrong] liked musicians who prized melody, and his selections ranged from Glenn Miller to Jelly Roll Morton to Tchaikovsky." [50] Jazz pianist George Shearing's quintet of the nineteen fifties and sixties was influenced by Miller: "with Shearing's 'locked hand' piano (influenced by the voicing of Miller's saxophone section) in the middle [of the quintet's harmonies]."[51] Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme held the orchestra in high regard. Torme credited Miller with giving him helpful advice when he first started his singing and song writing career in the 1940s. Mel Torme met Glenn Miller in 1942, the meeting facilitated by Torme's father and Ben Pollack. Torme and Miller discussed "That Old Black Magic" which was just emerging as a new song by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen. Miller told Torme to pick up every song by Mercer and study it and to become a voracious reader of anything he could find, because "all good lyric writers are great readers." [52] In an interview with George T. Simon in 1948, Sinatra lamented the inferior quality of music he was recording in the late forties and in comparison with "those great Glenn Miller things"[53] from eight years earlier. With the opposite opinion, fellow bandleader Artie Shaw frequently disparaged the band after Miller's death: "All I can say is that Glenn should have lived, and 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' should have died."[54] [55]

Clarinetist Buddy DeFranco surprised many people when he led the Glenn Miller orchestra in the late sixties and early seventies. De Franco was already the veteran of bands like Gene Krupa and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940s. He was also a major exponent of modern jazz in the nineteen fifties.[56] But DeFranco is extremely fond of certain aspects of the Glenn Miller sound and according to him, never sees Miller as leading a swinging jazz band. "I found that when I opened with the sound of 'Moonlight Serenade,' I could look around and see men and women weeping as the music carried them back to years gone by."[57] DeFranco's favorite Miller recordings are "Skylark" and "Indian Summer". Simply put, De Franco says, "the beauty of Glenn Miller's ballads [...] caused people to dance together."[58]

The Army Air Force Band 1942–1944

Bust outside the Corn Exchange in Bedford, where Miller played in World War II.

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort. At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted, and first volunteered for the Navy but was told that they did not need his services.[59] Miller then wrote to Army Brigadier General Charles Young. He persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, "be placed in charge of a modernized Army band."[3] After being accepted into the Army, Glenn’s civilian band played their last concert in Passaic, New Jersey on September 27, 1942.[3]

At first placed in the United States Army, Glenn Miller was transferred to the Army Air Force.[60] Captain Glenn Miller served initially as assistant special services officer for the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1942. He played trombone with the Rhythmaires, a 15-piece dance band, in both Montgomery and in service clubs and recreation halls on Maxwell. Miller also appeared on both WAPI (Birmingham, Alabama) and WSFA radio (Montgomery), promoting the activities of civil service women aircraft mechanics employed at Maxwell.[61]

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras. Miller's attempts at modernizing military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers. For example, Miller's arrangement of "St. Louis Blues March," which combined blues and jazz with the traditional military march.[62] Miller's weekly radio broadcast "I Sustain the Wings" moved from New Haven to New York City and was very popular. This led to permission for Miller to form his 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to England in the summer of 1944, where he gave 800 performances.[61] While in England, now Major Miller recorded a series of records at HMV (now EMI) owned Abbey Road Studios. HMV at this time was the British and sometime European distributor for the American record company that handled and originated Glenn Miller's recordings, RCA Victor.[63] The recordings the AAF band made in 1944 at Abbey Road were propaganda broadcasts for the Office of War Information. Many songs are sung in German by Johnny Desmond and Glenn Miller speaks in German about the war effort.[64][65] Also, the Miller-led AAF Orchestra recorded songs with the American singer Dinah Shore. These were done at the Abbey Road studios and were the last recorded songs made by the band while being led by Miller. They were stored with HMV/EMI for fifty years, never being released until their copyright expired in Europe in 1994.[66] [67] In summarizing Miller's military career, General Jimmy Doolittle said, “next to a letter from home, that organization was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.”[68]


U.S. Army Air Force UC-64

On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to play for the soldiers who had recently liberated Paris. His plane (a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285) departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.[69] No trace of the aircrew, passengers or plane has ever been found. Miller's status is missing in action.

There are three main theories about what happened to Miller's plane, including the suggestion that he might have been hit by Royal Air Force bombs after an abortive raid on Siegen, Germany. One hundred and thirty-eight Lancaster bombers, short on fuel, jettisoned approximately 100,000 incendiaries in a designated area before landing. The logbooks of Royal Air Force navigator Fred Shaw[70] recorded that he saw a small, single-engined monoplane spiraling out of control and crashing into the water. However, a second source, while acknowledging the possibility, cites other RAF crew members flying the same mission who stated that the drop area was in the North Sea[71][72].

In a book published in 2006, Clarence B. Wolfe, a gunner with Battery D, 134th AAA Battalion, in Folkestone, England, claims that his battery shot down Miller's plane.[73] However, Wolfe's account has been disputed.[74]

Another book by Lt. Col. Huton Downs[75], a former member of Dwight D. Eisenhower's personal staff, argues that the U.S. government covered up Miller's death. Downs suggested that Miller, who spoke German, had been enlisted by Eisenhower to covertly attempt to convince some German officers to end the war early. The book goes on to suggest that Miller was captured and killed in a Paris brothel, and his death covered up to save the government embarrassment. However the Publishers' Weekly review talks of "breathlessly written suppositions[76]".

When Glenn Miller went missing, he left behind his wife, the former Helen Burger, originally from Boulder, Colorado, and the two children they adopted in 1943 and 1944, Steven and Jonnie.[77] Helen Miller accepted the Bronze Star medal for Glenn Miller in February 1945.[78]

Civilian band legacy

The Miller estate authorized an official Glenn Miller "ghost band" in 1946. This band was led by Tex Beneke, former lead saxophonist and a singer for the civilian band. It had a make up similar to the Army Air Force Band: it had a large string section.[79] The orchestra's official public début was at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway where it opened for a three week engagement on January 24, 1946.[80] Future television and film composer Henry Mancini was the band's pianist and one of the arrangers.[81] This ghost band played to very large audiences all across the United States, including a few dates at the Hollywood Palladium in 1947, where the original Miller band played in 1941.[82] In a website concerning the history of the Hollywood Palladium, it is noted "[e]ven as the big band era faded, the Tex Beneke and Glenn Miller Orchestra concert at the Palladium resulted in a record-breaking crowd of 6,750 dancers."[83] By 1949, economics dictated that the string section be dropped.[84]

This band recorded for RCA Victor, just as the original Miller band did.[84] Beneke was struggling with how to expand the Miller sound and also how to achieve success under his own name. What began as the "Glenn Miller Orchestra Under the Direction of Tex Beneke" finally became "The Tex Beneke Orchestra". By 1950, Beneke and the Miller estate parted ways.[85] The break was acrimonious[86] and Beneke is not currently listed by the Miller estate as a former leader of the Glenn Miller orchestra.[87]

When Glenn Miller was alive, various bandleaders like Bob Chester imitated his style.[88] By the early 1950s, various bands were again copying the Miller style of clarinet-led reeds and muted trumpets, notably Ralph Flanagan,[89] Jerry Gray,[90] and Ray Anthony.[91] This, coupled with the success of The Glenn Miller Story (1953),[39] led the Miller estate to ask Ray McKinley to lead a new ghost band.[84] This 1956 band is the original version of the current ghost band that still tours the United States today.[92] The official Glenn Miller orchestra for the United States is currently under the direction of Larry O'Brien.[93] The officially sanctioned Glenn Miller Orchestra for the United Kingdom has toured and recorded with great success under the leadership of Ray McVay.[94] The official Glenn Miller Orchestra for Europe has been led by Wil Salden since 1990.[95]

Army Air Force band legacy

In the mid-1940s, after Miller's disappearance, the Miller led Army Air Force band was decommissioned and sent back to the United States. "[T]he chief of the European theater asked [Warrant Officer Harold Lindsay] Lin [Arinson] to put together another band to take its place, and that's when the 314 was formed." According to singer Tony Bennett who sang with it while in the service, the 314 was the immediate successor to the Glenn Miller led AAF orchestra.[96] The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band's long term legacy has carried on with the Airmen of Note, a band within the United States Air Force Band. This band was created in 1950 from smaller groups within the Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C. and continues to play jazz music for the Air Force community and the general public.[68]

Posthumous events

Glenn Miller's widow, Helen, died in 1966.[97] Herb Miller, Glenn Miller's brother, led his own band in the United States and England until the late 1980s.[98] Herb's son, John continues the tradition leading a band playing mainly Glenn Miller style music.[99] In 1989, Glenn Miller's daughter Jonnie purchased her father's house where he was born. The Glenn Miller Foundation was created to oversee the subsequent restoration.[100]

In the United States and England, there are a few archives that are devoted to Glenn Miller.[101] The Glenn Miller archive, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, includes the original manuscript to Miller's theme song, "Moonlight Serenade", among other items of interest.[102] In 2002, the Glenn Miller Museum opened to the public at the former RAF Twinwood Farm, in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England.[103] Miller's surname resides on the 'Wall of Missing' at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. A monument stone was also placed in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut next to the campus of Yale University.[104]

In 1996, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Glenn Miller postage stamp.[105] The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys), honored Glenn Miller by including three of his recordings in their Hall of Fame: In 1983, "In The Mood", Bluebird B-10416-A, was inducted. The recording of "Moonlight Serenade", Bluebird B-10214-B, was also honored by the Grammys in similar fashion in 1991. "Chattanooga Choo Choo", Bluebird B-11230-B, was inducted in 1996.[106]. In 2003, Miller received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[107]

The entire output of Chesterfield-sponsored radio programs Glenn Miller did between 1939 and 1942 were recorded by the Glenn Miller organization on acetate discs.[108] In the 1950s and afterwards, RCA-Victor distributed many of these on long playing albums and compact discs. A sizeable representation of the recording output by the various Glenn Miller led bands are almost always in circulation by Sony Music Entertainment and the Universal Music Group, the successor conglomerates to RCA-Victor, Brunswick, Bluebird, Columbia and Decca. Glenn Miller remains one of the most famous and recognizable names of the big band era of 1935 to 1945.

Glenn Miller arranging staff and compositions

Miller had a staff of arrangers who wrote originals like "String of Pearls" (written and arranged by Jerry Gray)[109] or took originals like "In The Mood" (writing credit given to Joe Garland and arranged by Eddie Durham[110]) and "Tuxedo Junction" (written by bandleader Erskine Hawkins and arranged by Jerry Gray) and arranged them for the Miller band to either record or broadcast. Glenn Miller's staff of arrangers in his civilian band, that handled the bulk of the work were Jerry Gray (a former arranger for Artie Shaw), Bill Finegan (a former arranger for Tommy Dorsey),[111] Billy May[112] and to a much smaller extent, George Williams,[113] who worked very briefly with the band as well as Andrews Sisters arranger Vic Schoen (who married Marion Hutton). According to Norman Leyden, "[s]everal others [besides Leyden] arranged for Miller in the service, including Jerry Gray, Ralph Wilkinson, Mel Powell, and Steve Steck."[114]

In 1943, Glenn Miller wrote Glenn Miller's Method for Orchestral Arranging, published by the Mutual Music Society in New York, a one hundred sixteen page book with illustrations and scores that explains how he wrote his musical arrangements.


Glenn Miller composed individually or in collaboration with others at least fourteen songs that are available on recordings. He added lyrics to an additional tune. These and many other songs were recorded by Miller with his pre-war civilian bands and his Army Air Force band.

Band alumni

Many of the Miller musicians went on to studio and touring careers in Hollywood and New York after World War II. For example, Trigger Alpert, a bassist from the civilian band, Zeke Zarchy for the Army Air Force Band and Willie Schwartz, the lead clarinetist from the civilian band back up Frank Sinatra on many recordings[115] Ernie Caceres, the Miller band's baritone saxist also appears on several Frank Sinatra recordings. Other musicians who went from the Miller bands to success afterwards include:

  • Kay Starr, b. 1922[3] became a popular singer in the post-war period. In 1939, Marion Hutton, the regular "girl singer", became sick and Starr was flown in to replace her.[131] Kay Starr's two recordings with Glenn Miller were two 1939 sides, "Baby Me" and "Love With a Capital You".[132]
  • Artie Malvin, 1922–2006[4] Glenn Miller's AAF Band had a vocal group called "The Crew Chiefs". Artie Malvin was the baritone of the four men. After World War Two and Miller's death, Malvin became heavily immersed in the popular music of the forties and fifties, being involved in everything from children's music to the nascent beginnings of rock to jingles for commercials. [5] By the nineteen seventies Artie Malvin was involved with "The Carol Burnett Show" [6]doing special musical material.[133]

Some of the Army Air Force members went on to notable careers in classical music and modern jazz. Three such are:

  • Norman Leyden b. 1917 [8]an arranger from the Army Air Force Band[135] later became a noted arranger in New York, composing arrangements for Sarah Vaughan[136],[137] among other artists. His long career culminated with his highly regarded work for the Oregon Symphony, now as Laureate Associate Conductor.[138][139]
  • Mel Powell, 1923–1998[9], was the pianist and one of the arrangers in the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Gary Giddins comments on "[Miller's] splendid forty-two-piece Army Air Force Band’s startling performance of 'Mission to Moscow.'”[140] "Mission to Moscow" was arranged by Mel Powell, the former pianist for the Benny Goodman orchestra before he was drafted into the service and subsequently joined the Miller orchestra. "Pearls on Velvet" with the Air Force Band is also one of his compositions.[141]"In 1949, he decided on a radical change of direction, setting aside jazz and enrolling as a pupil of the composer and teacher Paul Hindemith at Yale University."[142] Powell started teaching at the California Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles in 1969.[143]

Drummer and biographer:

  • George T. Simon 1912–2001. George Simon knew and worked with Glenn Miller from his early sideman days to the days of leading his civilian band and finally, worked with him when he was stateside with the Army Air Force band. Simon was a drummer for some of the Miller bands. He helped his friend Glenn Miller with personnel using the connections that Simon had as editor with the now defunct Metronome magazine.[145] George Simon wrote the liner notes for eleven Miller reissues, among them: Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, 1955, Glenn Miller On The Air, 1963 and Glenn Miller: A Legendary Performer, 1974.[146] During a long career, he also wrote articles with topics ranging from Miller and Frank Sinatra to Thelonious Monk. In 1974, Simon won a Grammy award for his liner notes for the RCA record: Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer.[147]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Free Information Society: Glenn Miller Biography
  3. ^ a b c d Glenn Miller History
  4. ^ Famous Sigma Nu's
  5. ^ Who Is Joseph Schillinger?
  6. ^ "Red McKenzie and his Mound City Blowers". Wayne Brandtner contributor. unknown date published. 
  7. ^ < Simon, George T., Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, De Capo Press, 1980. ISBN 0-306-80129-9. p.42
  8. ^ Simon says in Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, on page 42, when he asked Miller years later what recordings he made were his favorites, he specifically singled out the Mound City Blue Blowers sessions.
  9. ^ Twomey, John. "Who Was Glenn Miller?". pp. pg. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  10. ^ a b c Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, pp.65–66.
  11. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, p. 9.
  12. ^ "Annie's Cousin Fanny" was recorded for Decca and Brunswick, a total of three times. The Brunswick release is catalogued Brunswick 6938 and one of the Decca recordings is catalogued Decca 117-A. These recordings are from the summer of 1934. See the website for more information about dates
  13. ^ "Dese Dem Dose" was recorded February 6, 1935 and released on the Decca label. For more information and where the preceding sentence was taken from, see
  14. ^ Internet Movie Database. The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935). Full cast and crew list.
  15. ^ Spink, George. "Music in the Miller Mood". 
  16. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra p.122.
  17. ^ Simon, George (1971). Simon Says: The Sights and Sounds of the Swing Era. New York: Galahad Books. p. 41. ISBN 0-88365-001-0. 
  18. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 143
  19. ^ Twomey
  20. ^ Schuller, Gunther (1991). The swing era: the development of jazz, 1930–1945. New York: Oxford University. p. 667. ISBN 0195071409. 
  21. ^ Simon, page 170
  22. ^ "New King". Time Magazine. 1939-11-27.,9171,762896,00.html. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 91
  25. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 197, 314
  26. ^ Miller, Glenn, A Legendary Performer, RCA, 1939/1991.
  27. ^ Band Bio – The Modernaires. Bio
  28. ^ "Marion Hutton, 67, Vocalist With Glenn Miller Orchestra". The New York Times. pp. 1. 
  29. ^ Glenn Miller » Biography | Legacy Recordings
  30. ^ Ray Eberle.
  31. ^ Kay Starr Biography
  32. ^ Ernie Caceres
  33. ^ Solid! – Dorothy Claire
  34. ^ King ?, Pete. "Lynn Bari's Ghost Singer Pat Friday". Big Band Buddies. pp. 1. 
  35. ^ Internet Movie Database. Sun Valley Serenade (1941).
  36. ^ Internet Movie Database. Orchestra Wives (1942).
  37. ^ Henry, William A. (1993). The Great One: The Life and Times of Jackie Gleason. New York: Pharos. p. 4. ISBN 0816156034. 
  38. ^ ""DVD Savant Review: Orchestra Wives"". DvD Talk. October 27, 2005. 
  39. ^ a b The Glenn Miller Story (1953) at the Internet Movie Database
  40. ^ Variety, September 16, 1942
  41. ^ Big Band Library: Glenn Miller: "A Memorial, 1944–2004"
  42. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 241
  43. ^ For an example, see a mention in Time magazine from November 23, 1942. "U.S. jive epicures consider the jazz played by such famous name bands as Tommy Dorsey's or Glenn Miller's a low, commercial product.", Time, web: [1].
  44. ^ Zammarchi, Fabrice (2005). A Life In The Golden Age of Jazz: A Biography of Buddy De Franco. Seattle: Parkside. p. 232–234. ISBN 0961726660. 
  45. ^ Albertson, Chris, Major Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band, 1943–1944, Bluebird/RCA, 1987. Liner notes.
  46. ^ "Stride and Swing: The Enduring Appeal of Fats Waller and Glenn Miller". The New Yorker. 2004. 
  47. ^ Among Gunther Schuller's credentials are Professor of Composition at Yale University, Artist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin Madison and former president of the New England Conservatory of Music. He is also the past recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. See URL: Wisc-schuller.
  48. ^ a b Gary Giddins is a New York based jazz and film critic who has written for the Village Voice and the New York Sun. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Visions of Jazz: The First Century. See
  49. ^ a b c d Schuller, p.662/670/677.
  50. ^ Armstrong, Louis. "Reel to Reel." The Paris Review. Spring 2008: 63.
  51. ^ International Herald Tribune. Mike Zwerin, George Shearing at 76:Still Holding His Own. August 17, 1995.
  52. ^ Torme, Mel (1988). It Wasn't All Velvet. New York: Penguin. pp. 42–44. ISBN 0860515710. 
  53. ^ Simon Says 359
  54. ^ "Goodbye: Jazz titan Artie Shaw dies. The clarinet master and top swing-era bandleader was 94". Entertainment Weekly. 2005.,,1013447,00.html. 
  55. ^ For another source which intercuts critiques by Gary Giddins and Artie Shaw about Glenn Miller, see Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns. Episode Five. Dir. Ken Burns. 2000. DVD. Florentine Films, 2000.
  56. ^ "Buddy DeFranco Biography". CYber SItes Inc. Date published unknown. 
  57. ^ Zammarchi 238
  58. ^ Zammarchi 237
  59. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 309–310
  60. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 324
  61. ^ a b Benton, Jeffrey C. (1999). They Served Here: Thirty-Three Maxwell Men, "Glenn Miller", pp.37–38. Air University Press.
  62. ^ War Two: The Stars Wore Stripes
  63. ^ Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music. EMI, expert-level blog by Donald Clarke (writer)
  64. ^ Yahoo! Music. Glenn Miller. Reviews. Album Review. The Missing Chapters Vol. 5: The Complete Abbey Road Recordings Review. 7/13/2005
  65. ^ Hugh Palmer. Glenn Miller: The Lost Recordings
  66. ^ Visit Abbey Road. 1940's
  67. ^ James H. "Jimmie" Doolittle – Outstanding Man of Aviation
  68. ^ a b Introduction, Airmen of Note. Background & Origins
  69. ^ Butcher, pages 203–205
  70. ^ ""The Mysterious Disappearance of Glenn Miller"". BBC. July 20, 2004. 
  71. ^ The Glenn Miller Story
  72. ^ Roth, Howard. "The Glenn Miller Mystery". 
  73. ^ ""I Kept My Word"". E releases. 2008. 
  74. ^ ""Miller book 'garbage,' expert says"". Rocky Mountain News. February 21, 2007.,1299,DRMN_15_5366834,00.html. 
  75. ^ The Glenn Miller Conspiracy The Secret Story of His Life – and Death.. Creative Book Pub Intl. 2008. ISBN 0977913163. 
  76. ^ "The Glenn Miller Conspiracy The Secret Story of His Life – and Death in the Editorial Reviews section". Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.. "While Downs' research has some merit, his breathlessly written suppositions sometimes read like the worst JFK assassination books." 
  77. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 354 434
  78. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 433
  79. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 437–39
  80. ^ Butcher, page 262
  81. ^ Henry Mancini at All About Jazz
  82. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 258
  83. ^
  84. ^ a b c Butcher, page 263
  85. ^ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra 439
  86. ^ George Simon in Glenn Miller and His Orchestra says it happened in December of 1950. see page 439.
  87. ^, Former leaders
  88. ^ Solid!, Bob Chester biography/filmography
  89. ^, Ralph Flanagan
  90. ^, Jerry Gray
  91. ^ Solid!, Ray Anthony biography/filmography
  92. ^, Itinerary
  93. ^ Glenn Miller Productions – Larry O'Brien Biography
  94. ^ BBC – Devon Theatre – Review – Glenn Miller Orchestra at Plymouth Pavilions
  95. ^ Glenn Miller Orchestra :: Portrait Wil Salden
  96. ^ Bennett, Tony (1998). The Good Life. New York: Pocket Books. p. 72. ISBN 0671024698. 
  97. ^ Simon, page 434
  98. ^ Big Bands Database Plus
  99. ^
  100. ^ retrieved January 4, 2009
  101. ^ In June of 2009, it was announced that the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society in Clarinda, Iowa, was building a 5,600 foot museum to house "memorabilia from [Glenn Miller's] musical career." The museum in Glenn Miller's birthplace has been in the works since 1990, according to the USA Today article. See
  102. ^ CU-Boulder's Glenn Miller Archive Receives Major Gift Including Seldom-Heard Music | News Center | University of Colorado at Boulder
  103. ^ Glenn Miller
  104. ^ The New York Times. Rita Papazian, Glenn Miller's New Haven Connection. January 31, 1999.
  105. ^ Internet Movie Database. Glenn Miller Biography.
  106. ^ ""Grammy Hall of Fame"". The Recording Academy. 2009. 
  107. ^, Lifetime Achievement Award list
  108. ^ Simon, pages 200–1
  109. ^ Big Band Library. Jerry Gray.
  110. ^ Sony BMG. Eddie Durham.
  111. ^ All About Jazz. Bill Finegan Arranger for Dorsey, Miller Bands Dies.
  112. ^ "DIED. BILLY MAY, 87". Time magazine. February 2, 2004..,9171,993262,00.html. 
  113. ^ New York Times. Obituaries. George Williams, Musical Arranger, 71. April 21, 1988.
  114. ^ Big Band Library. Glenn Miller, part two
  115. ^ Friedwald, Will (1995). Sinatra! The Song Is you. New York: Scribner. p. 264. ISBN 0306807424. 
  116. ^ "Space Age Musicmaker George Siravo" George Siravo biography/ retrieved September 3, 2009
  117. ^ As the enclosed book to the 2007 Sony Frank Sinatra boxset A Voice In Time says, "it was Siravo – more than any other arranger of the pre-Capitol [records] period – who proved the world that Sinatra could really swing." Frank Sinatra A Voice In Time 1939–1952 Sony music enclosed book, no ISBN, copyright 2007, pp.102–105
  118. ^ Internet Movie Database. Billy May biography. retrieved November 17, 2008
  119. ^ Billy May Biography.
  120. ^ Billy May was hired from Charlie Barnet's band by Glenn Miller and joined in 1940. Miller and May had a wary relationship with each other. According to Will Friedwald, by 1942, May was ready to resign from the Miller band. A few reasons were, Miller refused to record half of May's arrangements and May objected to the regimented style of Miller's band. But since Miller was joining the military, he convinced May to stay on until the band broke up. May finally said around 1995, after a life of heavy drinking and going to rehabilitation for alcoholism, that working with Glenn Miller "helped me immensely. I learned a lot from Glenn. He was a good musician and an excellent arranger." see Sinatra! The Song Is You. Will Friedwald, p.280.
  121. ^ Billy May
  122. ^ a b Bing Crosby Discography: 1956–77
  123. ^ Anita O'Day. ColePorter
  124. ^ ""Bobby Hackett"". IMDB. date published unknown. 
  125. ^ Bobby Hackett
  126. ^ Simon 267
  127. ^ Other Miller recordings Hackett appears on include an aircheck of "Vilia", an aircheck of "April in Paris" and the studio recording of "Serenade in Blue". Richard M. Sudhalter in his book Lost Chords feels that Hackett's best work with Miller is in an aircheck version of "Little Brown Jug" from 1942 where he plays off the "muscularity" of Tex Beneke's saxophone solo. Sudhalter sees this version as done in a "slower, more rocking tempo than on the 1939 Bluebird recording". At the time Miller hired Hackett, Hackett had a reputation in the jazz community. George Simon says in the same book, that whenever Hackett soloed with the band,"fellow sidemen 'obviously as excited as the dancers, stopped to listen to Bobby solo'." All aircheck information from Sudhalter, Richard (1999). Lost Chords. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 635. ISBN 0195055853. 
  128. ^ Space Age Music Maker, Bobby Hackett
  129. ^ Johnny Desmond at the Internet Movie Database
  130. ^ Wahls, Robert (1965-11-19). "Johnny Arrives at the Garden". Sunday New York News. 
  131. ^ The songs Starr sang were in Hutton's key and Starr said she sounded like a "a jazzed up Alfalfa" since they weren't in her range.
  132. ^ Who is Kay Starr?: A short biography
  133. ^ He won an Emmy for the Burnett show parody of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies: "Hi-Hat".[2] The Burnett show does a tribute to The Glenn Miller Story which opens with Burnett singing "Moonlight Serenade". [no date available]
  134. ^ "The Paul Tanner Electrothermin Page". David S. Miller. 1997–2007. 
  135. ^ Norman Leyden at the Internet Movie Database
  136. ^ Specifically, in the liner notes for The Divine Sarah Vaughan The Columbia Years 1949–1953 (1988 Columbia C2K 44165) written by Gene Lees the discography refers to "Thinking of You", "Perdido" and "I'll Know" as three Leyden arrangements for Vaughan from 1950. See page 10 of the enclosed booklet.
  137. ^ Inspired from Leslie Gourse's biography of Sarah Vaughan
  138. ^ Oregon Symphony News Release, February 27, 2004
  139. ^ Glenn Miller: "A Dream Band"
  140. ^ Stride and Swing: The New Yorker
  141. ^ Allmusic at
  142. ^ Mel Powell: 1923–1998
  143. ^ Mel Powell
  144. ^ "The Jazz Horn". Harlan Feinstein. 2006. 
  145. ^ "Critics, Journalists and Other Writers: George T. Simon". Chris Popa. 2004. 
  146. ^ see Chris Popa
  147. ^ see Chris Popa for list of liner notes authored by George Simon.


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