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Glenn Miller Orchestra

A child prodigy on the violin, Jerry Gray (family name Graziano) took up the study of composing and arranging while still a boy in East Boston. His first important job in music was as an arranger for Artie Shaw in the mid-'30s, while he was still in his teens -- Gray was responsible for the hits "Any Old Time," "What Is This Thing Called Love," and, most notably, "Begin the Beguine." He joined Glenn Miller as an arranger in 1939, coinciding with the Miller band's sudden rise to national fame, and remained with Miller right up until the bandleader's death in late 1944.

Gray's successes with Miller included his arrangements of "String of Pearls" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000." When Miller joined the Air Force and recruited his legendary military band, Gray went along, earning the rank of sergeant in the process, and worked with the new ensemble. When Miller was reported missing on December 25, 1944 while flying across the English Channel on an official mission to France, Gray took over conducting the Army Air Forces Overseas Orchestra for its final year of performances. This was the beginning of the "ghost band" phenomenon that would keep Miller's music alive in concert for 50 years and counting after his death. Gray knew the sound of the band better than anybody available at the time, and the final performances of the AAF Overseas Orchestra are as musically worthwhile as anything they ever did with Miller.

A more charismatic leader was needed for the Miller band as the commercial possibilities surrounding the continued popularity of their music became apparent after the war. Gray relinquished the leader's spot and later made his career as a musician in Hollywood. He made recordings that effectively utilized the "Miller sound" (which, in fairness, was just as much Gray's sound) and worked for several of the Hollywood studios during the late '40s and throughout the '50s; one of his most important projects was as an arranger and consultant on Universal's production of The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart. His radio band recorded a hit, "Sound Off," and in the '60s, Gray was the arranger of Vic Damone's hit "I Have But One Heart." ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Comments

At 51 y/o and a Cuban American have loved this type of music since before I was a teenager. This music was way before my time but greatness is endless.
Growing up in mexico city thanks to my dad I was introduced to this wonderful music. Love it
Love eating rdddfccccccc rd

I'm sixteen and I love this music. Thanks grandpa.
erbischofftx
Why ? Why ? Lord you don't make them like anymore ?
At almost 85 and still a fan of the era in which I grew up. No other music comes close and never will. This style will last forever. Arent we lucky?
linywanab
linywanab
All of the big bands are great but the Miller band will always hold a special place in my heart especially the rendition of Moonlight Serenade.
When ever my late husband and I were out dancing and they played G.M's. Moonlight Serenade He would sing it softly in my ear and to this day whenever I hear it I can live those moments over again. It truly was an era of wonderful, danceable and memorable music. When I think back to dancing to Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing it amazes.
\\The Miller sound flows as smoothly as does the Beethoven PERFECT music In both each note fits like a puzzle with the next....i1tu 2 . w i l l s
paulda9
Glenn Miller, Harry James, Les Brown and Tommy Dorsey. They were all wonderful. I had the greatest opportunity to listen and dance to their music, live. I lived in the Monterey Peninsula at the time and when they came into the area they performed at the NCO Club and Stilwell Hall, Fort Ord, CA. There was and still is nothing like the big band sound. Kept me trim, too.
I was 18, a runaway from W. Va. to New York - and saw Glenn Miller's Farewell Performance - 2 hours and 45 minutes - and we all cried like babies when it was. Tex Beneke once told me that if Glenn had lived there would never have been Rock'n Roll. I believe it.
I was born 13 years after Glenn Miller was tragically taken way too soon and thanks to my mother I am a big fan of this great music.
Definately the greatest era of music ever
What a poignant melody. Brings tears to ones' eyes.
Mr. Gray I mean. One can't fix typos after it's posted, darn.

Jerry Gray should definitely get some credit here! The music of the famed band leader he took over for was incredibly popular, but Mr. Green made it have real staying power.
davis51450
Growing up in the 30's, Glenn Miller was a great dance band. I loved to jitterbug to his music.
Glen Miller left behind a legacy for not only the people that still buy it today but also to all who continued to play it after his untimely death. This music will live on through eternity and have fans like me who love it and pass it on. Thank you all :)
Always brings back fun and beautiful memories!!
no matter what is the music of the moment this will always fit in
116ronxo
Great, - used to dance to this band.
Love the sound of this band! Timeless!
The best music of all time.@pittma n h
lou2391
The greatest music of the greatest generation and still going.
What a sound...Wow!
philmont23
Terrific

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