Glenn Miller (1904–1944)

Monument to Glenn Miller


1st March 1904 in Clarinda, Iowa, USA.


Reported missing on the 15th December 1944.

Some famous pieces:
  • Moonlight Serenade (See below for a video.)
  • In the Mood. (See below for a video.)
  • American Patrol.
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo.
  • Tuxedo Junction.
  • Little Brown Jug.
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000.
Some great recordings:
  • The Complete Glenn Miller And His Orchestra (1939–1942).
  • Glenn Miller in Hollywood (1941–1942).
Some interesting facts:
  • He was one of the great jazz artists of the swing era (1930s–early 1940s)! [Swing jazz uses big bands and has a strong beat. It is often very fast as well.]
  • He became very popular with the public and made a lot of money. However, he was not always popular with experts in jazz.
  • He played the trombone, but even he didn’t think he was that good!
  • What he was very good at was leading bands. His bands are what made him famous.
  • He didn’t write very much of his own music. However, he did write the famous ‘Moonlight Serenade’.
  • He failed music at University and left early!
  • He played with Benny Goodman a few times.
  • He volunteered to join the army in 1942 where he led army bands.
  • He came over to England in 1944 to play for soldiers. He gave over 800 performances in just a few months!
  • Glenn Miller’s orchestra made some recordings in 1944 sung in German. The idea was that German people would hear these and become unhappy at how cheerful their English and American enemies were!
  • For many people, Glenn Miller’s music is the sound of World War Two. When many old people hear his music they are taken back to the time of the War.
  • On 15th December he left England in a small plane heading for Paris. He plan was to play for the people of Paris who had just been freed from the Germans. However his plane disappeared. No-one knows what happened to the plane, and nothing has ever been found.
  • After his disappearance, many bands appeared playing the style of Glenn Miller. There is an official one going today called the Glenn Miller Orchestra. It was formed in 1956.

Here is a video of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing Moonlight Serenade.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra playing ‘Moonlight Seranade’

And here is a video of them playing In the Mood. Glenn Miller is the person out in front playing the trombone.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra playing ‘In the Mood’

Picture credits:
  1. Glenn Miller. This photograph shows Major Glen Miller during his service in the US Army Air Corps. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Monument to Glenn Miller. This is a photograph of the monument to Glenn Miller in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Moonlight Serenade By The Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Glenn Miller Orchestra perform Moonlight Serenade.
  2. Glenn Miller – In The Mood. The person who posted this on YouTube simply writes: A big classic!