“A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality.” – Glenn Miller
Maybe you do not know him, especially if you are not a Jazz or Swing fan. In addition, it was way back that he died. But Glenn Miller is a musical treasure that you definitely have to know. He was an American big band musician and bandleader, musical arranger and composer in the era of Swing and Jazz.
Glenn Miller is important in the history of jazz. He searched for this very special sound of jazz music and managed to make his orchestra famous and popular, especially within the 1940s audiences.
During his way to the top, travelling from city to city, he participated in various bands and orchestras, as trombonist and musical arranger. For example, Miller worked for the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra or organized one for Ray Noble. Furthermore, he studied music theory and composition with Joseph Schillinger.
His first and own record was published in 1934. Three years later, he started his own band. But only a reorganization of his orchestra enabled him to be successful in 1938, when being engaged for the Glen Island Casino.
Miller and his Army Air Force Band performed in Europe during the World War II to entertain the U.S. troops and to give them the feeling of being at home.
In 1944, after Paris was liberated, Miller and his band should perform there. But Glenn Miller never arrived. The plane disappeared and was not found.
Thanks to the harmonic composition and melody of clarinet and tenor saxophone, Miller succeeded in giving his band a special and distinctive sound. Everyone could recognize his music.
One of his most important songs are In the Mood, A String of Pearls, Little Brown Jug, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and Moonlight Serenade.
Some of the numerous awards he earned are The Bronze Star Medal, The World War II Victory Medal or the American Campaign Medal.