Tim’s Glenn Miller Favourites

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Welcome to ‘Tim’s Glenn Miller Favourites’ page on ‘Bradley’s Basement’.

This is based on my music presentation ‘Tim’s Glenn Miller Favourites’ that I did in April 2016. This page includes YouTube videos of my favourite numbers performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

I like to share with you some of the music that I like performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. My parents introduced me to Glenn Miller’s music when I was small and I’ve grown to love it over the years. If you like Glenn Miller’s music like I do, I’m sure you know these numbers and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

The first number is: ‘Tuxedo Junction’. This was a great hit for Glenn Miller in Feb 1940. It got to No 1 in the charts and sold 115.000 copies in its first week of sale. The following version of ‘Tuxedo Junction’ is from 1943.

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I’d now like to share some songs/numbers from the film ‘Sun Valley Serenade’ (SVS) which was made in March 1941. This is my favourite out of the two movies starring Glenn Miller. It also stared Sonja Henie; John Payne and Milton Berle and was filmed in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The first song is: ‘It Happened In Sun Valley’. The composer was Harry Warren and the lyrics were written by Mack Gordon. Because of its snowy landscapes, this film is often associated with Christmas. The film also featured world famous Norwegian skater Sonja Henie who starred in the film. Sonja was a 3 time Olympian champion; 10 time world champion; 6 time European champion and ‘apparently’ was the highest paid actress at the time.

The next song from the film is: I Know Why’ (SVS). This is a lovely beautiful melody played throughout the film and is my favourite. Lynn Bari who was supposed to sing the song, had her singing voice dubbed by Pat Friday, which to me is ‘shocking’.

Also in the film ‘Sun Valley Serenade’ was the Glenn Miller hit: In The Mood’ (SVS). In 1938, Joe Garland sold this song to Artie Shaw. Then in 1939 Artie Shaw sold it to Glenn Miller who then turned it into a number 1 hit in 1940. It remained as a number 1 best seller for 13 weeks. You can hear this fabulous tune played in the background in various movies over the years. And, speaking for me personally as a ‘Doctor Who’ fan, it was performed in the background at the close of the two-part story ‘The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’.

This next song is the famous: ‘Chatanooga Choo Choo’ (SVS) and is one of my favourites. This song provided Glenn Miller with the honour of being the first musical piece to sell over 1 million copies – 1.2 million to be exact – for which Glenn Miller was given an award. This is an extended version of the song from the movie ‘Sun Valley Serenade’. It includes the dance sequence as performed by the Nicholas brothers with Dorothy Dandridge in the movie.

We’re going to move away from the Hollywood films in this post. Here is another Glenn Miller hit called: ‘String of Pearls’. This was another major hit for Glenn Miller when it was first introduced to the public in 1941. It topped the charts for 13 weeks and was like many numbers was performed in ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ film starring James Stewart and June Allyson in 1954.

Another popular hit for Glenn Miller was: Pennsylvania 6-500′. This was a famous telephone number used in New York City from 1930 to the 1960s. The owner of the Hotel Pennyslvannia claimed the number to be oldest continuing telephone number in New York City. It also was made into hit musical number for Glenn Miller in 1940.

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It’s back to the Hollywood movies again. This time, it’s the film ‘Orchestra Wives’ which was made in 1942. It starred Glenn Miller with Ann Rutherford and George Montgomery.

Here’s something else that shocked me. George Montgomery’s trumpet-playing for the song ‘At Last’ was ‘dubbed’ by trumpeter Johnny Best and Lynn Bari’s voice for the song ‘Serenade in Blue’ was dubbed by Pat Friday. 😀

This film included a great Glenn Miller hit called ‘American Patrol’ (OW). This was a popular marching song written by Frank White in 1885. Jerry Gray arranged a swing version of the march which Glenn Miller then used as a recording in 1942.

Now! It’s time for something to wake you up! This was a very noisy number in the film ‘Orchestra Wives’. It was first recorded in 1922 by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings before it became popularised by many of the Big Bands since then. It’s a drum number and Maurice Purtill is on drums in the film ‘Orchestra Wives’. It’s called… Bugle Call Rag’ (OW).

The major musical number in ‘Orchestra Wives’ was the song: I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo’ (OW). This was a number one hit for Glenn Miller that lasted for 19 weeks. Tex Beneke; Marion Hutton and the Modernaires feature in this extended version of the song. It also includes the dance routine of the song performed by the Nicholas brothers.

Sadly, after making the two Hollywood films ‘Sun Valley Serenade’ and ‘Orchestra Wives’, Glenn Miller joined the Army Air Forces. But thankfully he set up his own band to help boost morale during the war. As I said before in ‘Part 3’; James Stewart starred in ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ film in 1954 and in that there was the Army Air Forces version of the St Louis Blues March’. The St Louis Blues March was written by W C Handy in 1914. It was recorded by the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Orchestra in October 1943 in New York City at RCA Victor Studios. Here it is.

Before we come to the final number, I‘d like to thank you for reading my blog posts and seeing the YouTube videos as part of my ‘Tim’s Glenn Miller Favourites’ presentation this week. I hope you enjoyed my posts and listening to Glenn Miller’s music. Thank you!

The last number in my presentation is: ‘Moonlight Serenade’. Glenn Miller composed what became the theme song of him and his orchestra. It was issued in the US in 1939 and was a top hit seller for 15 weeks. It was issued in the UK in the August of that same year – just one month before the start of the Second World War.

Thank you for reading; watching and listening!

TIM BRADLEY, 2016


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