Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec. 15: Big band leader Glenn Miller died on this date in 1944...

... he was only 40 years old when he died.
Miller was born on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa. From this humble origin, he became a world-renowned jazz musician, arranger, composer, trombonist and band leader in the swing era, and  was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1942.

His best-known recordings include, "In the Mood," "Tuxedo Junction," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Moonlight Serenade," "Little Brown Jug," and "Pennsylvania 6-5000."
In 1926, he toured and played with Ben Pollack's group in Los Angeles, during which he wrote several musical arrangements of his own. He supported himself as a freelance trombonist in several bands.
In November of 1929, an original vocalist named Red McKenzie hired Glenn to play on two records that are now considered to be jazz classics: "Hello, Lola" and "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight." Not only were these songs major musical milestones, but they also represented one of the major breakthroughs in blacks and whites playing together in a band.

(Continued below video and Amazon portal ...)


HIGHLY Recommended (Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

Essential Glenn MillerGolden Years: 1938-42The Unforgettable Glenn Miller & His Orchestra

In 1930, Miller was a member of Red Nichols’s orchestra. His band mates included Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. In the mid-1930s, Miller also worked as a trombonist and arranger in The Dorsey Brothers ill-fated co-led orchestra, where he composed the song "Annie's Cousin Fanny" and "Dese Dem Dose" for the Dorsey Brothers Band.
In 1935, he assembled an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble, developing the arrangement of lead clarinet over four saxophones that eventually became the sonic keynote of his own big ban.
While travelling to entertain U.S. troops in France during WW II, his plane disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. His body was never recovered.


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