At the President’s Birthday Ball

Mickey McMickle, Johnny Best, Zeke Zarchy, Billy May (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Jimmy Priddy, Frank D’Annolfo (tb); Skip Martin, Wilbur Schwartz, Ernie Caceres, Tex Beneke, Al Klink (reeds); Chummy MacGregor (p); Bobby Hackett (g & cornet); Doc Goldberg (b); Maurice Purtill (d); Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke, The Modernaires (vcl); Bill Finegan, Jerry Gray, Billy May (arr).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – January 5, 1942, 12:00-5:30 PM

068833-1      At the President’s Ball (MH & M vcl, BM arr)        Bluebird 11429-A

068834-1      Angels of Mercy (RE, M & Band vcl)          Bluebird 11429-B

068836-1      On the Old Assembly Line (TB, MH & M vcl, JG arr)  Bluebird 11480-A

068837-1      Let’s Have Another Cup O’ Coffee (MH, EC & M vcl, JG arr)         Bluebird 11450-A

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As 1942 dawned, America was a month into World War II.   The news from the Pacific Theater of Operations was, to put it mildly, terrible for the Allies. There was little to cheer about in Europe, either.

Ironically, 1942 was perhaps the greatest year for the big bands, with many units at the top of their game. Glenn, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Claude Thornhill, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Jimmie Lunceford and Kay Kyser were at or near their creative peak, producing hit after hit.  Yet by the end of the year it all began to slowly unravel.

The wartime draft quickly began picking off  healthy young musicians.  Glenn and Artie Shaw disbanded to enter the service.  Shockingly, death claimed several great innovators – Bunny Berigan, Charlie Christian and Jimmie Blanton.  The ill-timed record ban would lock the bands out of the recording studios for more than a year. In retrospect, the handwriting was on the wall for the Swing Era.

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For the moment, Glenn Miller’s biggest goal to boost public morale.  He had begun a series of Saturday afternoon Sunset Serenade broadcasts the previous August. Designed to appeal to peacetime servicemen, each show paid tribute to a Army camp with a song popularity contest to award records and phonographs to the chosen camp. These sustaining shows were paid for by Glenn, who also picked up the tab for all the contest giveaways. The show continued into 1942 and the contest segment would eventually be folded into Glenn’s Chesterfield program.

Six of the eight selections he would record in January had wartime connotations, either sentimental or martial.   Songwriters and performers would quickly find that listeners and dancers much preferred the sentimental numbers rather than the jingoistic ones. Fortunately, the Miller band avoided the worst of the cheesy and racist songs that poured out of Tin Pan Alley in the early months of the war.

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

Glenn had recorded just a handful of Irving Berlin songs before.  Suddenly, we are treated to three of them on the January 5th session, all products of the composer’s patriotic desires. The first had the shortest topical shelf-life.  Berlin wrote AT THE PRESIDENT’S BALL to publicize the President’s 60th Birthday Ball, held every year since 1934 as a fundraiser for the Infantile Paralysis Fund, a cause close to FDR’s heart. In 1942, Glenn was the National Chairman of the Dance Band Leaders’ Division of the event and the band was scheduled to play at the Ball in Washington on January 30th, but a previously scheduled engagement at the Paramount Theater in NY prevented the band from appearing. Instead, Johnny Long played at the Ball itself and Glenn appeared with the band at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for one of the ancillary balls held nationwide.   Eddie Cantor also performed.  Preserved broadcasts of the event suggest that a swell time was had by all.

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The song is a groovy, up-to-date number given a Lunceford-style two-beat treatment by Billy May.  Marion and the Modernaires have fun with it.  For some reason, RCA Victor had difficulty settling on the correct title, as there are copies of the disc out there with THREE different printed titles – AT THE PRESIDENT’S BALL, AT THE PRESIDENT’S BIRTHDAY BALL and THE PRESIDENT’S BIRTHDAY BALL.

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ANGELS OF MERCY was “written for and dedicated to the American Red Cross” and all of Berlin’s royalties were donated to the organization.  It’s a brief, anthemic number, running just a fraction over two minutes.  Ray and the band stolidly chant the somber lyrics, intended more for patriotic fervor than dancing.

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The third Berlin number, LET’S HAVE ANOTHER CUP O’ COFFEE, dates back to 1932 and was the hit from the Broadway musical revue, Face The Music.

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In its original staging, it was sung by newly-broke customers in a Depression-era Automat, resolving to stay cheerful in the face of adversity.  Irving revised the lyrics slightly in 1942, dropping the 30s-era references to John D. Rockefeller and President Hoover. Now the “rainbow in the sky” being hoped for was the end of the war, though only suggested obliquely.

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Glenn smartly added a topical special-material chorus for Ernie Caceres (“our Good-Will Ambassador”) and the gang in Spanish, reminding listeners that much of our coffee came from South America, land of the Good Neighbor Policy.

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The performance could have used a bit more punch, as everybody sounds a bit too laid-back.  The next disc, ON THE OLD ASSEMBLY LINE, has punch and excitement, alright, but it’s wasted on a piece of blatant propaganda that would be more suited to a movie production number than a popular record.

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Ray Henderson’s tune is OK, but Bud Green’s lyrics are pretty cringe-worthy – “When the overalls combine with the mighty dollar sign, there’ll be miles and miles of American smiles from the factory to the mine, on the old assembly line.”  Who would want to play that on their home radio-phonograph combination?  The most enjoyable moments are Jerry Gray’s bouncy intro and coda.

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Everything would continue to hum-hum-hum on the old RCA Victor assembly line when Glenn returned to the studio on January 8th!

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Let's Have Another Cup O' Coffee!

Let’s Have Another Cup O’ Coffee!

A String of Pearls

Mickey McMickle, Johnny Best, Alec Fila, Billy May (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Jimmy Priddy, Frank D’Annolfo (tb); Wilbur Schwartz, Ernie Caceres, Tex Beneke, Al Klink, Babe Russin (reeds); Chummy MacGregor (p); Bobby Hackett (g & cornet); Doc Goldberg (b); Maurice Purtill (d); Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke, The Modernaires (vcl); Bill Finegan, Jerry Gray, Billy May (arr).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – November 3, 1941, 12:00-5:30 PM

068066-1      Humpty Dumpty Heart (RE vcl, JG arr)      Bluebird 11369-A

068066-2      Humpty Dumpty Heart (RE vcl, JG arr)      first issued on LP

068067-1      Ev’rything I Love (RE & Choir vcl, JG arr)  Bluebird 11365-A

068068-1      A String of Pearls (JG arr)     Bluebird 11382-B

068069-1      Baby Mine (RE & Choir vcl, BF arr)             Bluebird 11365-B

068070-1      Long Tall Mama (BM arr)     Victor 27943-B

068071-1      Day Dreaming (RE & M vcl, BF arr)            Bluebird 11382-A

Glenn with newlyweds David Rose & Judy Garland - Hollywood Palladium, 1941

Glenn with newlyweds David Rose & Judy Garland – Hollywood Palladium, 1941

The stars aligned on November 3, 1941 as the Glenn Miller Band participated in one of their finest recording sessions – quality pop songs and memorable instrumentals, including one of their best-remembered hits.

Since the previous RCA session on October 20th, several events impinging on the Miller crew had occurred. First, the ASCAP radio ban ended on October 30th. Now Glenn could promote many of his recent recordings on the radio.  ELMER’S TUNE, CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO and the other Sun Valley Serenade songs started racking up airplays and began climbing the popularity charts.

The other interesting event took place within the band.  Glenn decided to restructure the reed section, moving Tex Beneke to lead alto and adding Babe Russin to split the hot tenor solos with Al Klink.  Glenn had known Russin since they both worked with Red Nichols in 1930.  Since then, Babe had become one of the most respected jazz tenor men, featured with Larry Clinton, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.  It was a coup for Glenn to snag him and Russin gets several prominent solos on this date.

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The first number was the featured ballad in Playmates, the latest film featuring Kay Kyser and his Band. As mentioned in a previous entry, Kyser and his troupe were the top moneymakers in the dance band field. This latest movie co-starred a tottering John Barrymore (in his last screen appearance) and “Mexican Spitfire” Lupe Velez, along with popular Kyser vocalists Ginny Simms and Harry Babbitt.

Kay Kyser's singers - Ginny Simms, Sully Mason, Harry Babbitt and Merwyn "Ish Kabibble" Bogue.

Kay Kyser’s singers – Ginny Simms, Sully Mason, Harry Babbitt and Merwyn “Ish Kabibble” Bogue.

These two vocal lovebirds introduced HUMPTY DUMPTY HEART, written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen. All the Kyser films featured good songs and this was one of the best.

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Despite the “novelty” title, HUMPTY DUMPTY HEART is a charming ballad. Jerry Gray’s exquisite arrangement slows the song into romance mode from the bouncy Kyser tempo. Ray Eberle delivers a tender vocal, one of his very best.  gm humpty

There is little difference between the 78 take and the alternate take 2, issued (likely by mistake) on a 1963 Camden LP.

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Eberle continues in the same hushed manner on EV’RYTHING I LOVE, the best-remembered song from Cole Porter’s hit Broadway musical, Let’s Face It.  Danny Kaye made his starring stage debut (after a featured role in Lady in the Dark) as a nervous draftee who gets involved with several hot-to-trot Army wives, played by Eve Arden and Vivian Vance.  This was the first of many wartime farces featuring namby-pamby soldiers being brutalized by drill sergeants and hungry women.  Abbott & Costello led the way on screen through a similar series of service comedies.

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Kaye jittered and twitched all over the stage, singing several of his patented tongue-twisting patter numbers and parlaying himself to top stardom. At one point, he slowed down long enough to duet EV’RYTHING I LOVE with Mary Jane Walsh, one of Cole Porter’s rare, totally sincere ballads.

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The full band (termed “Choir” on the label) backs Eberle, humming along on another finely crafted Jerry Gray arrangement.  Between vocal choruses, the unusual sound of Beneke leading the saxes is followed by his alto sax solo and Ray comfortably rising to the closing high note.

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The band strikes up a perfect dance tempo for Jerry Gray’s A STRING OF PEARLS, a Number One hit for Glenn and the band.  The simple riff leads to a series of exciting sax exchanges, first between Caceres and Beneke on altos and then Russin and Klink on tenors.  A brief lull ushers in Bobby Hackett’s exquisite gem of a cornet solo, which started as a rehearsal warm-up that Glenn persuaded Bobby to incorporate into the arrangement without alteration.

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Once more, a sympathetic microphone pickup allows the guitar (likely Bill Conway) to be heard within the rhythm section. Purtill is also in especially good form, catching every inflection with his rim shots.

Other bands picked up A STRING OF PEARLS, including Benny Goodman, who recorded an uptempo version, smoothly arranged by Mel Powell.  Jerry Gray said that he liked the Goodman rendition better than his own and would drop in to hear it at the Hotel New Yorker that winter of 1941, only a few blocks from the Miller band’s Hotel Pennsylvania.

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After three Jerry Gray charts, Bill Finegan turns his hand to BABY MINE, a gorgeous Ned Washington-Frank Churchill lullaby from Walt Disney’s DUMBO, which was about to open in theaters nationwide. This wonderfully endearing film was somewhat overlooked at the time, as the dark days of December 1941 were not the time to premiere a charming family picture.

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Fortunately, time has shown Walt’s flying elephant story to be one of his greatest achievements and it hasn’t dated one bit. Even today, the most stone-faced viewer will find himself tearing up when Dumbo’s mother, chained up as a punishment, cradles the crying tyke in her trunk while the song plays on the soundtrack.

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The disc opens with an impressionistic Finegan intro, with Chummy MacGregor’s piano tinkling in the background throughout. Ray Eberle continues his winning streak, sweetly interpreting the tune with the band choir once again offering an effective vocal cushion.

Changing modes once again, the band next tackles Billy May’s LONG TALL MAMA, a neglected swinger in the band’s library that apparently was only performed this one time, never on broadcasts. Additionally, the disc languished in the RCA vaults until the summer of 1942, when it was released on the full-priced Victor label, which the Miller band had been promoted to in April.

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Despite its obscurity, LONG TALL MAMA is a winner, fully showing off the band’s swing credentials.  Nearly all the hot soloists get a look-in – first Beneke’s cutting alto, then Ernie Caceres on clarinet (twice), a great Billy May solo, strictly in his Cootie Williams mode and lastly, Al Klink with his booting tenor.  There’s that patented Miller fade-out before a stentorian windup.  Too bad Billy May didn’t write a dozen more swinging originals for Glenn like this!

Lyricist Gus Kahn had been writing hit songs since 1914, with dozens in his portfolio. One thing Kahn hadn’t done was collaborate with Jerome Kern, the greatest composer of the era. He finally got his chance with DAY DREAMING, published as an independent song.  Ironically, it turned out to be Kahn’s last, as he died on October 8, less than a month before this recording.  DAY DREAMING is neither man’s best work, but it is a pleasant number, with the Modernaires showing up to accompany Ray, their only appearance on the session. Bill Finegan supplies a sympathetic framework.

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What a fine session! Fortunately, Glenn would be back in the studios just two weeks later, in what would be the band’s last peacetime record date.

A Nightingale Sang

Mickey McMickle, Charles Frankhauser, Zeke Zarchy, Johnny Best (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Jimmy Priddy, Frank D’Annolfo (tb); Hal McIntyre, Wilbur Schwartz, Ernie Caceres, Tex Beneke, Al Klink (reeds); Chummy MacGregor (p); Jack Lathrop (g,vcl); Trigger Alpert (b); Maurice Purtill (d); Ray Eberle, Marion Hutton, The Four Modernaires {Hal Dickinson, Chuck Goldstein, Bill Conway, Ralph Brewster} (vcl); Bill Finegan; Jerry Gray (arr).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – October 11, 1940, 1:45 PM-4:55 PM

056479-1      Make Believe Ballroom Time (Mods vcl, JG arr)   Bluebird 10913

056479-2     Make Believe Ballroom Time (Mods vcl, JG arr)       RCA Victor EPA-5035

056480-1     You’ve Got Me This Way (MH vcl, JG arr)       Bluebird 10906

056481-1      A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (RE vcl, BF arr)    Bluebird 10931

056481-2      A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (RE vcl, BF arr)   RCA Victor PR-125

056482-1      I’d Know You Anywhere (RE vcl, BF arr)       HMV 45 EP 7EG-8224

056482-2      I’d Know You Anywhere (RE vcl, BF arr)       Bluebird 10906

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Happiness is a season at the Café Rouge! That thought likely went through the minds of the Glenn Miller musicians when they settled in for a three-month residency at The Hotel Pennsylvania, as they had done the preceding winter. Traveling on the road may be exciting, with the accolades of fans ringing in their ears every night, but having a chance to relax, get the laundry done and eat regularly had its charms, too.

The band’s only record session in October 1940 also had its charms. The story behind the first number waxed, MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM TIME, is an interesting one. WNEW Radio in New York City initiated one of the first regular “disc jockey” programs with Martin Block’s Make-Believe Ballroom in 1935. Since so much live music was available on the air, few though that listeners would take to a program of recorded music. Also, the record companies weren’t too keen on having their discs played on the air for free. They preferred customers to buy the record or pay for jukebox plays.

Glenn & Martin Block at the WNEW microphone. In the background are Clyde Hurley, Moe Purtill, Rollie Bundock & Willie Schwartz.

Glenn & Martin Block at the WNEW microphone. In the background are Clyde Hurley, Moe Purtill, Rollie Bundock & Willie Schwartz.

Block’s show was a huge and instant success and his relaxed, laid-back speaking style was a novelty in an age of stentorian announcers. In 1936, Charlie Barnet’s new band recorded MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM, by the popular black songwriting duo of Paul Denniker and Andy Razaf. The vocal was handled by the “Barnet Modern-Aires,” and was designed to be used as an on-air theme. With vocals at the beginning and end, the lengthy instrumental mid-section provided space for Block’s announcements.

Strangely, this recording was not specially made for Martin Block’s personal use, but was issued by RCA-Bluebird as a regular commercial release, so home collectors had the ability to recreate the popular program at home, if they so desired.

By 1940, apparently it was felt that a more up-to-date theme recording was needed, so Glenn (at his own expense!) agreed to produce a replacement. This time, Martin wisely cut himself in for a share of the song royalties, by collaborating on the lyrics with Harold Green and Mickey Stoner (who had written FAITHFUL TO YOU, which Glenn had waxed).   The Four Modernaires, by this time, veterans of the Paul Whiteman band, returned to add a bit of continuity to the new recording. This momentary collaboration with Miller would eventually reap big rewards for the Mods.

The Modernaires' autographs, from January 1940, when they were still with Paul Whiteman.

The Modernaires’ autographs, from January 1940, when they were still with Paul Whiteman.

The new song was as catchy as the first one, and Jerry Gray crafted a bouncy arrangement featuring the singing foursome and solos by Johnny Best and Tex Beneke.  Newly arrived, bassist Trigger Alpert brings an extrovert personality to his instrument, boosting the rhythm section immeasurably. The alternate take, first issued on an EP in the late 50s, likely by mistake, has noticeable differences in the solos and some rare clinkers by the band.

No clinkers are to be heard on A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE, an all-time Miller classic and his first recording to allude, though glancingly, to World War II, then entering its second year in Europe. Offering a nostalgic look back to peacetime London, it was written by British songwriters Eric Maschwitz (aka Holt Marvell) and Manning Sherwin. Featured in the West End revue, New Faces, the song became a hit in England before repeating its success in the States.

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Bill Finegan outdid himself with this exquisite arrangement. Willie Schwartz trills the introduction like a songbird and Ray Eberle enters, offering one of his most assured vocals. Tex Beneke is as smooth as butter and Ray and Willie’s clarinet return for a dynamic finish. Perfection from beginning to end! It’s also one of Glenn’s longest 78s, clocking in at three minutes and thirty-five seconds. The alternate take, first released on a compilation LP set in 1961, is almost indistinguishable from the master take.

The other two selections, though not reaching the heights of NIGHTINGALE, were goodies.   YOU’VE GOT ME THIS WAY and I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE originated in the Kay Kyser film, You’ll Find Out, which is best known today for the one-time teaming of horror stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. In 1940, however, the hugely popular Kay Kyser band brought in the movie admission shekels.

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Kyser, reportedly the only band whose financial success made Glenn jealous, was then shifting from a corny style to a smoother, more swing-oriented sound. Kay made nine films with his orchestra, more than any other Swing Era group. He always got the best songwriters to work on his pictures – You’ll Find Out boasted a fine score by Johnny Mercer and Jimmy McHugh.

YOU’VE GOT ME THIS WAY is full of typically Mercerian wordplay. Harry Babbitt sings it smoothly with Kyser, the Pied Pipers try to be overly hip on the Tommy Dorsey rendition and our Marion Hutton chirps it charmingly with Miller. Ernie Caceres can be heard again anchoring the sax section on baritone, a welcome addition to an increasing number of arrangements. At only two minutes and twenty seconds, Jerry Gray’s score could have benefited from an extra chorus with some solos.

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The film’s love ballad, I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, gets the distinctive Miller mid-tempo ballad treatment. Arranger Bill Finegan wrote a nice brass modulation to Eberle’s vocal, which finds the singer in a cheerfully eager mood. Tommy Dorsey’s record is taken at an even faster tempo, with Frank Sinatra in typically efficient mode. Ray’s more callow approach seems to suit the song a little better, though Ginny Simms also did a great rendition with Kyser.

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Though Glenn and the band were now stationed in the New York area, an entire month would go by before the band’s next record date. They would cut more show and movie songs, plus another swipe at the wide open range!

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“And we’re off with the LITTLE BROWN JUG!”

RCA Victor Studios, New York – April 10, 1939, 1:30-5:00 PM

Bob Price, Legh Knowles, Mickey McMickle (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Al Mastren (tb); Hal McIntyre, Wilbur Schwartz (cl,as); Stan Aronson (ts,cl); Tex Beneke, Al Klink (ts); Chummy MacGregor (p); Allen Reuss (g); Rollie Bundock (b); Moe Purtill (d). Ray Eberle, Marion Hutton (vcl); Bill Finegan (arr).

035729-1      Wishing (Will Make It So) (RE vcl)             Bluebird 10219-B

035730-1      Three Little Fishes (Itty Bitty Poo) (MH, TB & Band vcl) Bluebird 10219-A

035731-1      Sunrise Serenade      Bluebird 10214-A

035732-1      Little Brown Jug (BF arr)     Bluebird 10286-A

Two of Glenn’s greatest hits would emerge from this next recording date, which also marked the debut of another Miller stalwart, drummer Maurice “Moe” Purtill. Purtill was known as a fine, subtly swinging musician from his two-year stay with Red Norvo’s innovative band and a year with Tommy Dorsey, replacing the brilliant, though unreliable, Davey Tough. During the year with Tommy, Moe drummed on several of his most popular records, including BOOGIE-WOOGIE and HAWAIIAN WAR CHANT. He also shone on some small group sides by Dorsey’s Clambake Seven.

Glenn had wanted to hire Moe since 1937, but Dorsey held onto him until Tough returned from a stint with Benny Goodman at the very end of 1938. Purtill excelled at delivering a relaxed beat and was not the kind of flashy, driving drummer that Glenn seemed to want. Glenn pushed Moe to be more extroverted and that approach kept the band from becoming as loosely swinging as it might have been. Still, Purtill was a revelation and brought a buoyant feel to the band’s output, especially on live broadcasts.

This session came less that a week after the MOONLIGHT SERENADE date, and, as mentioned before, SUNRISE SERENADE provided the theme song’s flip side. Written by pianist Frankie Carle, the melody became one of the big hits of the year, recorded by Casa Loma, Hal Kemp and Bobby Hackett and featured by nearly every other band.   At the ASCAP 25th Anniversary big band concert in October, three of the four orchestras featured that evening – Miller, Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman – included it in their program!

It’s a simple, hummable theme and was likely arranged here by Glenn, showcasing the reeds, trombone “boo-wahs” and a mellow Beneke solo. It remained in the band’s book until the end, as did the next tune waxed, LITTLE BROWN JUG, one of Miller’s biggest hits. This happy ode to drinking dated way back to 1869. Bill Finegan’s swinging 1939 arrangement and catchy coda proved to be irresistible to dancers and record buyers alike.. Beneke, McMickle and Miller get solo spots, with Glenn playing an especially imaginative chorus, which he repeated on all subsequent versions! Newcomer Purtill gets his first workout on record, finally kicking the rhythm section to life.

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LITTLE BROWN JUG featured heavily in the plot of THE GLENN MILLER STORY, framed as the last arrangement Glenn wrote as a surprise Christmas gift for wife Helen before he embarked on his fatal flight in 1944. In the film, Helen hated the song since college days and always pooh-poohed Glenn’s threat to swing it with his band. Since the movie was riddled with inaccuracies, this was just one more sappy plot contrivance which likely displeased Bill Finegan, who also lost the arranger credit to Glenn on the original 78!

These two hits were preceded by two current pop tunes. WISHING (WILL MAKE IT SO) is a standard Miller ballad performance, with Ray Eberle working hard to sound relaxed at the fast tempo. The song was featured in the extremely popular film LOVE AFFAIR, which starred Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. It was successfully remade 20 years later as AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, which itself was then referenced in the 1993 blockbuster, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Image

The song was written by veteran songwriter Buddy DeSylva, who had been one-third of the legendary composing team of DeSylva, (Lew) Brown and (Ray) Henderson earlier in the decade. By 1939, DeSylva had become a film producer and would soon be one of the founders of Capitol Records. WISHING was one of his few solo efforts and would be nominated for an Academy Best Song Award. It lost to OVER THE RAINBOW.

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Marion and Tex work even harder than Ray to deliver the wordy lyrics to THREE LITTLE FISHES, the inexplicably huge hit for the Hal Kemp and Kay Kyser bands. Another in the seemingly endless parade of nursery rhyme pop tune adaptations, this one was likely the biggest. Written by Kemp’s saxophonist/vocalist Saxie Dowell, the song was a Number #1 hit for weeks. Glenn’s record did little to add to its popularity, as it minimized the corny aspects by dispensing with the dopey lyrics as fast as possible and throwing the melody to the wind for the final nicely swinging choruses.

The next record date would follow in only eight days. Events were moving for Glenn and the band, but no one had any inkling how far and how fast they would be going.