The Letson Foundation is bringing one of the most sought-after bands in the world to you right here in Decatur. Get prepared for a night full of personality and unique jazz music by the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Princess Theatre on Saturday, September 17th!
About The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Glenn Miller began recording his own music in 1935 for Columbia. There, his instrumental, Solo Hop, reached the top 10. A few years later, in 1937, Glenn organized his own touring band and signed a deal with Brunswick Records. Sadly, this band made it less than a year and eventually disbanded.
Pushing forward Miller launched his second band in March of 1938, which still lives on today. The Glenn Miller Orchestra started breaking attendance records all over the East Coast. It even attracted the largest dancing crowd in the city’s history at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. With countless hit records, constant radio attention, and taking over theatres and dance pavilions, the band grew immensely in popularity. The band was a hit, and the legendary Glenn Miller became one of the most successful dance bandleaders in the 1930s and ‘40s.
But the war was starting to take a toll as young men everywhere began receiving draft notices. Glenn Miller once again disbanded his orchestra and reported for duty with the Army in 1942. There he organized the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, which shipped out to England in 1943 to entertain troops. After performing more than 800 performances both live and broadcast, Miller and his band were set to be sent on a six-week tour where they would be stationed in Paris. And so, on December 15, 1944, Glenn Miller took off in a single-engine plane, preceding his band, only to never be seen again. A year later, the Army officially declared him dead.
The Glenn Miller Story, a major motion movie, starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson was released in 1954 and garnered more interest in the band. This newfound popular demand led the Miller Estate to form what we know today as the current Glenn Miller Orchestra. The band was founded under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley, who had taken over as the unofficial leader of the Army Air Force Band after Miller’s disappearance.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been on the road ever since reforming and has been under the direction of many other leaders now, including clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Peanuts Hucko; trombonists Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson, Larry O’Brien, and Gary Tole; and tenor saxophonist Dick Gerhart. Since January of 2012, vocalist Nick Hilscher has led the band. The 18-member ensemble continues to play Miller’s original arrangements as well as more modern selections. Today, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is still one of the most sought-after dance bands in the world.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra in Decatur
Don’t miss your chance to see the incredible Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Princess Theatre live on Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Princess Theatre is located at 112 Second Ave. Northeast in Decatur.
Glenn Miller once said, “A band ought to have a sound all of its own, it ought to have a personality,” and that is exactly what his orchestra has. Get out and see the charismatic personality of the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Princess Theatre live next month.
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