The Glenn Miller Orchestra at Fort Hall Casino – Idaho

The Glenn Miller Orchestra at Fort Hall Casino - Idaho
The Glenn Miller Orchestra at Fort Hall Casino – Idaho

We’ve heard about names that live on in memories even after the person has left us, but very rarely do we come across a legacy so unique and heartwarming that even after 72 years of living in a world devoid of that one person, you can see him on the stage, bobbing to his own distinctive arrangement, directing an orchestra of superlatively talented musicians. Very rarely do we come across concerts that do so much more than make you tap your feet or sway to the beats; that sweep you off your feet to surf on a gigantic wave of nostalgia and leave you thoroughly overwhelmed. Very rarely do we get a chance to witness something legendary, which is why we shouldn’t miss this opportunity to Get Ourselves Tickets to the Glenn Miller Orchestra – a one of its kind concert at the Best Casino in Idaho, Fort Hall, on September 28, starting at 6 PM.
Alton Glenn Miller was born in Clarinda, Iowa in 1904. He only developed a proclivity for music when his father got him a mandolin, which he promptly traded for an old, battered horn. He was often found practicing and this also worried his parents, who wondered “if he’d ever amount to anything.” He dropped out of the University of Colorado after flunking three out of five courses in one semester, and decided to pursue a serious career as a musician. In 1928, he married Helen Burger, and earned his living as a freelance trombonist and arranger for the next three years.
Miller played and recorded with many notable artists and conductors, and became the musical director of the Dorsey Band in 1934. He later organized The Ray Noble Orchestra, which featured the likes of Charlie Spivak, Peewee Erwin, Bud Freeman, Johnny Mince, George Can Eps, and Delmar Kaplan. Three years later, he went on to form his own band, but it did not gain as much popularity as Miller intended it to, which is why he gave his men their final notice on New Year’s eve and returned to New York City, disheartened and broke.
Though he didn’t distinctly remember the exact moment when he discovered the signature sound that distinguishes the Glenn Miller Orchestra from the rest – the one produced by the clarinet holding the melodic line while the tenor sax plays the same note, and supported harmonically by three other saxophones – it is believed to be in the phase when he’d probably lost all hope. Just the next year, he formed a second Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the name has always had a place in the world of swing dance music ever since. The group is said to have attracted the largest dancing crowd during their performance at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, followed by topping Guy Lombardo’s all-time record at the Hershey Park Ballroom in Pennsylvania the next night. They performed at Carnegie Hall with Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring, and Benny Goodman, managing to leave an impact greater than the rest of the three great bands.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra received boundless fame for their work, with Tuxedo Junction selling 115,000 copies in the first week, In the Mood and Pennsylvania 6-5000 appearing on the RCA Victor Bluebird label, and the Moonlight Serenade radio series airing three times a week over CBS. Around the time when the band was at its zenith, the war started to take a toll on many of the big bands as musicians, along with the country’s young men, started receiving draft notices.
After being inducted into the Army in 1942, Miller incessantly tried to convince the military officials to allow him to modernize the army band and lift the soldiers’ morale. He was transferred to Army Air Corps, where he finally put together the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, and he was shipped to England along with his band in late 1943. They delivered more than 800 performances and received a huge audience there, but Glenn couldn’t be a part of the final six months of these activities.
The band was to be sent on a six-week tour of Europe in 1944 and stationed in Paris for the same. Miller decided to go ahead to make all the arrangements for the group, and boarded a transport plane to Paris on December 15, which is believed to have disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel, and Miller never returned.
Miller believed, “A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality.” Directed by Wil Salden, the Glenn Miller Orchestra continues to keep that personality intact by touring and performing at various venues till date. Click Here to book your tickets online to a performance rich with history and best in class swing dance music, or book them personally at the Box Office at Fort Hall Casino.