“Jingle Bells” – The Glenn Miller Band.

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, we thought it would be appropriate to pick a song from the World Was II era.

We could not think of anything more perfect than the Glenn Miller Band playing “Jingle Bells” for today.

As to the song and this version of the song:

This is the 1941 78 single release of “Jingle Bells” by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra backed with “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by Alvino Rey and his Orchestra on RCA Bluebird, B-11353-A. “Jingle Bells” reached no. 5 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December, 1941. “Jingle Bells” was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 as “The One Horse Open Sleigh”. The music of the 1941 version was arranged by Glenn Miller and William Finegan. Additional lyrics were written by Harold Dickinson and Bill Conway. The vocals are by Tex Beneke, Ernie Caceres, and The Modernaires. The song was also performed on the Chesterfield radio program Christmas show in 1941.

It is the only Christmas song ever recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Miller himself.

As for Miller:

In 1942, at the height of Miller’s popularity he decided to quit life as a civilian and volunteered his services to the war effort. Although he was too old (age 38) to be drafted and was told they didn’t need his services, he finally found his niche as the leader of an Army band. He soon rose up through the ranks as Captain and entertained the Allied Forces. Glenn Miller’s time in the military had a huge impact for years to come. He formed a Fifty Piece Army Air Force Band which he took to England in the Summer of 1944 and gave upwards of 800 performances. He was promoted to Major and started recording records for the war effort. He recorded at Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles would go on to record most of their recordings. On December 15th of 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom and was on route to France to help organize his band to make a more permanent home in Paris. Unfortunately, his single engine plane did not make the flight and his plane was lost at sea while flying over the English Channel. He left behind his wife Helen and his two very young children. In 1953, Major Glenn Miller’s life story was made into a film “The Glenn Miller Story” starring Jimmy Stewart. Today, Glenn Miller’s legacy continues through his recordings and the huge impact he had with his orchestra and the distinctive sound he created. The big band era of the late 30’s and early 40’s would not be complete without Miller’s recordings of “Moonlight Serenade” and “In the Mood.” They defined the era.

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