Saturday, June 08, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Glenn Miller

Artist:Glenn Miller
Song:In The Mood
Album:Greatest Hits

Glenn Miller was one of the most popular artists of the Big Band Era of the early 40s and In The Mood was his signature song. After Miller went missing in action in 1944, he became even more popular after his death. He was born Mar. 1, 1904 in Clarinda, IA and grew up in North Platte, NE. He was interested in music at an early age and played trombone in local bands as a teen. By 1926, Miller moved to Los Angeles and played in bands led by Ben Pollock and Victor Young. Young's band got him into the Los Angeles studio scene and for the next few years, Miller was a session musician playing with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Joe Venuti. He was an arranger and composer with The Dorsey Brothers in the mid-30s and then he worked for Ray Noble. This led to Miller forming his own band in 1937. He wasn't successful at first but his hiring of Wilbur Schwartz to play lead clarinet gave Miller a distinctive sound that led to a 1938 contract with RCA's Bluebird label. Miller's first really big hit was Tuxedo Junction which topped the charts for eight weeks in 1939. In The Mood topped the charts for 13 weeks. In The Mood was based on the 1930 Wingy Manone song Tar Paper Stomp. But he never copyrighted the song. Sax player Joe Garland wrote In The Mood and it was recorded by Edgar Hayes in 1938. After Artie Shaw turned down the song, Garland sold it to Miller and Miller arranged it with his pianist John Chalmers McGregor and Eddie Durham. Miller's other really big hit was Chatanoooga Choo Choo. During this time, Miller had a regular radio show on CBS. And he appeared in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade and the 1942 film Orchestra Wives. At the height of his fame in 1942, Miller became a Captain in the Army Air Force so he could lead the Army Air Force Band. He was praised for his patriotism. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller was flying to Paris to perform for soldiers when the plane went down over the English Channel. Nothing was ever found and Miller was dead at age 40. For several years, Tex Benecke led the Glenn Miller band. This budget comp is a good intro to Miller's music. The film The Glenn Miller Story starring James Stewart was released in 1953. Like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller started as a jazz musician but realized that most people didn't want to listen to real jazz. And understanding that is what made Miller a success though jazz purists don't think much of him. There have always been mixed feelings about Miller. Here's Glenn Miller performing In The Mood in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade. The film's stars Sonia Henie and John Payne appear in the clip.

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