Some Gave All: Glenn Miller

This Memorial Day, we remember a musician who gave everything for his country. #glennmiller #bigband #andrewsisters #veterans #memorialday #stopnazis

Memorial Day, as we know it today, started in 1868 as a way to remember fallen Union soldiers of the American Civil War as Decoration Day. By the early 20th century, it became a federally recognized holiday to remember those who had died in service to the United States. It is with that in mind that we present our very first Memorial Day tribute show to honor U.S. Army Air Force Major Glenn Miller, who went missing in action on 15 December 1944 en route to Paris.

Before he was Major Glenn Miller, he was Captain Glenn Miller, as evidenced by this photograph. Circa 1943, location and photographer unknown, courtesy of the National Archives.

Glenn Miller, born in tiny Clarinda, Iowa, was a big band musician who worked hard to become America’s number one bandleader during the Great Depression and World War 2 era. Already 35 years old by the time of his best known song, the swing-era bellwether “In the Mood”, he decided to give up the limelight and volunteered for the Armed Services after the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

“I thought I had swell ideas and wonderful musicians, but the hell of it, no one else did.”

Glenn Miller, responding to criticism of his orchestra.

Our program is broken into four parts: The first will present some of his best known tracks, the second part will focus on his radio broadcasts with Andrew Sisters, the third on wartime propaganda and of course, a finale with a twist you may have never heard before.

(l-r) Laverne, Patty and Maxine: The Andrew Sisters, in a publicity photo for U.S. War Bonds. Photographer and location unknown. Courtesy of the National Archives.

First Part: Some Big Hits

  • In the Mood, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1941 (vocals by Tex Beneke, The Modernaires and Paula Kelly)
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1940
  • (I’ve Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939 (vocals by Tex Beneke, The Modernaires and Marion Hutton)
  • Little Brown Jug, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939
  • Beat Me Daddy Eight to The Bar, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1940 (vocal by Ray Eberle)

Second Part: The Chesterfield Broadcasts (Featuring the Andrews Sisters on vocals)

  • Intro by Ed Herlihy and Glenn Miller
  • I’ve Got No Strings
  • South American Way
  • Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out the Barrel)
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Means That You’re Grand)
  • Say “Si Si” {In Spain They Say “Si Si” (Para Vigo Me Voy)}

Third Part: Wartime Propaganda (recorded at Abbey Road)

  • Intro by Major Glenn Miller and Ilse Weinberger
  • Jeep Jockey Jump
  • Here We Go Again
  • Long Ago And Far Away (sung in German by Sgt. Johnny Desmond)
  • Outro by Major Glenn Miller & Ilse Weinberger (in German)

Finale: Farewell to Our Hero

  • Moonlight Serenade, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939
  • Sunrise Serenade, Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939

NOTE: Selections in part two recorded in a thirteen week period from December 1939 to March 1940. Selections in part three recorded by Glenn Miller with the American Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force in December 1944.

Love to you all.

Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. 
Host, Producer, Webmaster, Audio Engineer, Researcher and Writer

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