Tuesday 7 April 2015

The Glenn Miller Story.

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A few days ago it was filthy outside, so I watched the above film; I must have seen it at least 10 times previously.

It always reminds me of an event at school that still makes me smile to this day.

A poster went up advertising a very tedious-sounding upcoming concert by some USA military big band. My school was situated not too far from an East Anglian US air force base, so this was no surprise.

No-one really wanted to go, this was the era of The Beatles, The Stones, etc, and air force band music was not our bag. The school's lack of enthusiasm soon reached those in authority who'd organised the show, so they made it 'compulsory' to attend.

The concert was held in a huge military gymnasium not far from the school, and when we entered the band's chairs, music stands, and instruments, were all set-up in situ. We waited for about 15 minutes (all wishing we were elsewhere), then in they came; about 50 crisply uniformed Yanks. The applause was less than encouraging.

The band opened with Chattanooga Choo Choo, and we were all instantly spellbound. The sound was amazing, the music wonderful, and the whole atmosphere superb. The musicians stood-up, sat-down, and partook in synchronised instrument swinging; the applause after their first number was an altogether different matter to a few minutes earlier, and the whole audience became increasingly appreciative.

It was later explained by the 'spokesman/conductor' that the band was the continuation of The Glenn Miller outfit (which I believe still exists today), and I must say that their concert was without question one of the most exciting I'd ever been to. How grateful I was that it had been made obligatory to attend; I would have missed a really great show.


  1. It is the surprises in life that we never expect which stay with us forever. I remember seeing that movie with my folks when I was young and really enjoying it.

  2. We watched the film on a wet weekend this year and really enjoyed the story, even though we knew what was going to happen.

  3. I remember the original Glenn Miller - and the film - isn't it funny how some memories stay with us forever and others fade with the passage of time.

  4. I think that memories of sounds and smells are forever. I also remember hearing the Glenn Miller on the radio as a child.

  5. What a wonderful experience. I think I would have felt the same as you did about it initially. I would certainly enjoy it now.

  6. I was brought up on The Glenn Miller Story Cro ….. I know it off by heart ! My Dad played saxophone and clarinet in a band and my Mum sang. Big band music was always played in our house and, even though I was into The Beatles etc. I still appreciated that big band sound.
    That must have been an amazing experience, to hear an American big band live.I think that it was 'Moonlight Serenade " that he plays in the film when he perfects ' the Gelnn Miller Sound ' !!! XXXX

    1. They played all the really well known numbers, but the one I really remember was Chattanooga. It was an amazing number to open with.

  7. Granny music to die by....... never liked it.

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  9. I remember the movie and seeing one soon after, The Benny Goodman Story. Watching him wail on that clarinet left me spellbound, and a few weeks later, I saw Benny Goodman on a talk show. He was an elderly man by then, but could still wail on the clarinet.

    I liked all different kinds of music growing up; seeing that Glenn Miller band must have been wonderful.

  10. I have a copy of every Stewart film made and love "Big Band" music.

  11. Jimmy Stewart was such a handsome fella. I've always had a crush on him!


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