Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great American Artists - Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller was an American Jazz musician, arranger, composer and bandleader in the swing era. He was a best-selling artist and leader of one of the most popular "big bands" in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1942, at the height of his popularity as a musician he decided to join the war effort. At 38, he was too old to be drafted so he volunteered. He first tried to join the Navy but was told that his services were not needed. He used his gift of persuasion to convince the Army to take him on so he could lead an Army band. He was later transferred to the Army Air Force where he was permitted to form a 50 piece Army Air Force Band. He took this band to England in the summer of 1944 and gave over 800 performances. General Jimmy Doolittle praised Miller's military contributions by saying “next to a letter from home, that organization was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations." On December 15, 1944, Glenn Miller and his Band were flying from England to France to play for Allied forces there. The plane disappeared over the English Channel and no traces of the plane, crew or passengers have ever been discovered. Miller's status is still missing in action. His wife, Helen, accepted the Bronze Star medal for him in February 1945.

He is best known for his Jazz recordings including Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood and Tuxedo Junction. Listen to Moonlight Serenade below.

1 comment:

  1. Hi-

    MOONLIGHT SERENADE is not a Jazz composition or performance.

    Also - the performance on the video is not the original GM band.