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Glenn Miller: A Jazzed, Short but Prolific Life

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This American legend of jazz and swing music is probably the best bandleader, musician and best-selling jazz performer from the late thirties and early forties. Glenn Miller’s career started after he dropped out school. He was born in Iowa on March 1, 1904. When he was still a young boy, his family moved to Nebraska where he initiated developing his abilities with the mandolin.

Glenn Miller attended the University of Colorado; likewise he spent most of his time going to auditions and concentrating on his calling as a musician, leaving university courses in a level of less priority and consequently, dropping out of it.

Then, he started to attend and study the Schillinger Technique, where he learned everything he needed to develop his original, so-called “Miller Sound”. By this moment, his dream and passion came true, since he went on tour, joining numerous groups, supplying those bands with arrangements and playing the trombone.

He got married to Helen Burger in 1928. During the 30’s, Miller worked as a freelancer; he usually made arrangements for different bands and played the trombone. His most successful and original singles are, among others: “In the Mood”, “Tuxedo Junction”, "Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Moonlight Serenade” and “Sun Valley Jump.”

After a discouraging break up of his first band in 1936, he felt he needed to develop a unique, innovative sound, and he devoted himself to find it; he actually understood that he needed to harmonize three saxophones with a clarinet in a line of melody with a tenor saxophone. Likewise, in 1937, the Miller band started to play this new style; they became a big sensation and their songs sold lots of albums.

While some people affirm that Glenn Miller died of lung cancer because he lost weight and was well known for being a heavy smoker; however, rumor has it that Miller disappeared on December 16, 1944 while he was part of the United States Army Air Forces where he was asked to fly to Europe to play for the soldiers in Paris.

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