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Filing Cabinet - Pearl Harbor

Glenn Miller:
Songwriter, Band Leader, WWII Soldier

Glenn MillerGlenn Miller developed an interest in dance band music while in high school, and after graduating from high school, formed a band of his own.  His dream of becoming a professional musician was his primary focus.

Composing what became his signature song, Moonlight Sernade, Glenn Miller became known for his unusual style of a lead clarinet for the melody line with a four saxophone section harmonizing with the melody.  This Glen Miller signature-sound become wildly popular.

Glenn Miller’s best known recordings include Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Little Brown Jug, Pennsylvania 6-5000, and Tuxedo Junction. Time magazine stated: "Of the twelve to 24 discs in each of today's 300,000 U.S. jukeboxes, from two to six are usually Glenn Miller's.”1

Once the war began, Glenn Miller became convinced that he could offer his services to the military to help build up the morale of the men.  He became the leader of the United States Army Air Force military band, and his creative and energetic arrangements of military marches caused quite a stir.  General Jimmy Doolittle, best known for his daring raid on Japan in response to the Pearl Harbor attack, said “next to a letter from home, that organization was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.”2

Sadly, the nation lost this creative force, when on December 15, 1944, Major Miller’s military flight to Paris, where he was to play for the soldiers who had liberated that city, disappeared over the English Channel. 

1 The King,  Time Magazine, November 11, 1939

2 Simon, George T., Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, De Capo Press, 1980, page 66.

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