Glenn Miller

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Miller, Glenn

(Alton Glenn Miller), 1904–44, American jazz trombonist, bandleader, and composer, b. Clarinda, Iowa. Playing in Ben Pollack's band by 1927, he was a freelance musician in New York City during the 1930s. He formed his own big band in 1938, and it soon became one of swing's most popular groups, known for its sweet sound, smooth arrangements, and harmonious vocals. Among his many hits were "Moonlight Serenade" (his theme), "In the Mood," and "Tuxedo Junction." At the height of his fame Miller appeared in two Hollywood movies. During World War II he joined (1942) the military, and entertained the troops as leader of the U.S. Air Force band. While flying from England to Paris his plane disappeared, and Miller, who was never found, was hailed as a hero.

Bibliography

See G. T. Simon, Glen Miller and His Orchestra (1974, repr. 1980); J. Green, Glenn Miller and the Age of Swing (1976); P. Tanner and B. Cox, "Every Night Was New Year's Eve": On the Road with Glenn Miller (1992); discography by C. Garrod (1995).

Miller, (Alton) Glenn

(1904–44) musician; born in Clarinda, Iowa. A trombonist, he attended the University of Colorado before joining Ben Pollack's orchestra in Chicago in 1924. He moved to New York in 1928, where he free-lanced for the next nine years as a studio musician and worked as a sideman with a succession of bandleaders, including Red Nichols, the Dorsey Brothers, and Ray Noble. After his first band failed in 1937, he put together a second orchestra in 1938. For the next four years, with hits such as "Moonlight Serenade" and "In the Mood," it was the most successful dance band of the period. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Air Force, for which he organized the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band to entertain the troops. While stationed in Europe, he died on a flight from England to France in a plane that disappeared over the English Channel.
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