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Glenn Miller

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.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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