Fort Morgan Boy Makes it Big!
Glenn Miller was born in 1901 in Iowa. The Miller family moved to Fort Morgan when Glenn was 17 years of age and where he completed high school. Glenn was an outstanding football player and was named to the Colorado All-State team. He formed his first dance band while still in high school.
He would next attend the University of Colorado for a time. But the call of big band music was too strong for him. He often missed classes and would soon drop out to play with Boyd Senter’s band from Denver, Colorado. He would work his way to California in the 1920’s and would hook up with Ben Pollack and then Victor Young where he was the featured trombone player. He continued to work his way across the United States playing along with the Dorsey Brothers, Red Nichols, Bing Crosby, Gene Krupa, Coleman Hawkins and so many more.
Glenn nailed the Glenn Miller “Sound” in the late 1930’s by combining four saxophones with a strong clarinet (played by saxophonist Wilbur Schwartz originally). From there it was a signing with RCA Victor’s Bluebird records and the rest is history. Miller would enter the pop charts on a torrid pace up until entering the armed forces in 1942. Glenn Miller was on a flight to Paris from England to entertain troops on December 15th, 1944. His plane went down somewhere over the English Channel and was never located.
Miller’s recordings entered the U.S. Charts 116 times – with 72 Top 10 Hits and 22 Number One recordings making him one of the premier recording acts of all time. Ironically, another big band with its roots in Denver was Paul Whiteman, who a few decades earlier than Miller, topped the charts with 29 number 1 songs, and placed more than 200 hits on the pop charts. Whiteman was an East High School graduate. More to come one day soon on Paul and company.
Visit the Glenn Miller Discography page which is well under way – but will soon feature much, much more! Undoubtedly Miller will one day soon land in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame!