Category 1923

The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Five

The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Five

Arranging staff and compositions

Miller had a staff of arrangers who wrote originals like “String of Pearls” (written and arranged by Jerry Gray) or took originals like “In The Mood” (writing credit given to Joe Garland and arranged by Eddie Durham) 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...

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The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Four

The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Four

Disappearance

U.S. Army Air Force UC-64

Miller’s monument in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut
Miller spent the last night before his disappearance at Milton Ernest Hall, near Bedford. On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future. His plane, a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285, departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, on the outskirts of Bedford and disappeared while flying over the English Channel. There were two others on board the plane: Lt. Col. Norman Baessell and pilot John Morgan.
A 2014 article in the Chicago Tribune reported that, despite many theories that had been proposed, Miller’s plane crash...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Three

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Three

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.” Jazz pianist George Shearing’s quintet of the 1950s and 1960s was influenced by Miller: “with Shearing’s locked hands style piano (influenced by the voicing of Miller’s saxophone section) in the middle [of the quintet’s harmonies]”. Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé held the orchestra in high regard. Tormé credited Miller with giving him helpful advice when he first started his singing and song-writing career in the 1940s...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Two

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Two

Success from 1938 to 1942

1939 Baltimore Hippodrome Ballroom concert poster.
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 T. Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller. Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play 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...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part One

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part One

Glenn Miller

Miller c. 1942
Background information
Birth name
Alton Glenn Miller
Born
March 1, 1904
Clarinda, Iowa, United States
Died
December 15, 1944 (aged 40)
Plane missing over the English Channel
Genres
Swing music, big band
Occupations
Bandleader, Musician, Arranger, Composer
Instruments
Trombone
Years active
1923–1944
Associated acts
Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Modernaires, Marion Hutton
Military career
Allegiance

United States of America
Service/branch

United States Army
*

* Army Air Forces
Years of service
1942-1944
Rank

Major
Awards

Bronze Star
(Posthumously; 1945)
Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era...

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The Year Of 1923 In Music

The Year Of 1923 In Music

Events

* February – Joseph Samuels’ Tampa Blue Jazz Band records the George Washington Thomas number “The Fives” for Okeh Records, considered the first example of jazz band boogie-woogie.
* November 11 – Première of John Foulds’s World Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It is repeated on that date each year until 1926.
* November 19 – At a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the union of Buda and Pest (thus creating Budapest), Béla Bartók’s Dance Suite and Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus both receive their world premieres
* Explosion of recordings of African American musicians; Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Joe “King” Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, many others make their first recordings.
* George Enescu makes h...

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Hank Williams Born: September 17,1923-Died: January 1,1953 Part Three

Hank Williams Born: September 17,1923-Died: January 1,1953 Part Three

1950s

In 1950, Williams began recording as “Luke the Drifter” for his religious-themed recordings, many of which are recitations rather than singing. Fearful that disc jockeys and jukebox operators would hesitate to accept these unusual recordings, Williams used this alias to avoid hurting the marketability of his name. Although the real identity of Luke the Drifter was supposed to be anonymous, Williams often performed part of the material of the recordings on stage. Most of the material was written by Williams, in cases with the help of Fred Rose and his son Wesley. The songs depicted Luke the Drifter traveling around from place to place, narrating stories from different characters and philosophizing about life...

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