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OF THE 1940'S & 50'S






Glenn Miller, the King of the Trombone   Glenn Miller

Born on March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa.  After graduating from high school, Miller attended the University of Colorado for two years. While in college his interest in music flourished.  Having played the trombone in high school, his love for music lead him to leave schooled and he went to the west coast to try his luck as a musician.

Miller played for several small bands until he joined Ben Pollack's orchestra in 1927. When Pollack's orchestra moved to New York.  While in New York, Miller left the band to pursue the many opportunities that the city offered including freelancing for other artists such as Red Nichols and the Dorsey Brothers.

In 1934, Miller helped Ray Noble start an orchestra, which soon became popular through its radio broadcasts. After briefly forming a band in 1937, Miller put together a second band in 1938. Through Miller's imagination, strong will, and determination, he kept the bank together but in March 1939, the band had its first important engagement to play the famous Glen Island Casino in New York. A second engagement at Meadowbrook in New Jersey soon followed and by mid-summer, the orchestra had achieved great popularity and demand through their radio broadcasts from both engagements. Some of the orchestra's classics include "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "String of Pearls," and "Moonlight Serenade." The band was featured in two films, Sun Valley Serenade (1941) and Orchestra Wives (1942).

The Glenn Miller Story, starring a dashing Jimmy Stewart

In October 1942, Miller disbanded his orchestra and joined the US Army Air Force with the rank of captain and assembled a quality dance band to perform for the troops. When the troops moved to England, Miller's band followed. On December 15, Miller got on a routine flight to Paris for a scheduled appearance for his band in that city. The plane never arrived. Miller's death was mourned by music lovers all over the world, and he was heralded as a hero worldwide. The movie The Glenn Miller Story, starring Jimmy Stewart, was filmed in 1953 as a tribute to Miller.

Miller's band was one of the most popular and best-known dance bands of the Swing Era. His music, a careful mixture of swing, jazz, and improvisation, gained the admiration and praise of audiences and critics alike. Glenn Miller and his orchestra's magnificent music will be always remembered by those who enjoy the beautiful sounds they produced.


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Glenn Miller Orchestra Home Page


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