Remembering Ray Eberle


Ray Eberle

It was Glenn Miller who spotted Ray Eberle one night, an almost lookalike to his brother Bob Eberle then singer with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Glenn signed Ray up to join his band as his first boy vocalist. According to Ray's account singing in Glenn's band was at times a problem, as Glenn had Ray's keys pitched so high that he could'nt help sounding a bit strained and thin .

Ray Marion Glenn

Reading from George Simon's book on Glenn Miller he says " Ray's voice would sound richer and less tense when Glenn let him relax into a lower register. But those times were too infrequent for me. Therefore, I seldom praised any of his vocals, and naturally he resented my constant criticisms.

Eventually a strain developed between us, so I never got to know him as well as I did others in the band". (Glenn Miller and his Orchestra by Geoge T. Simon.) Published by W.H Allen. Again reprinted and available throughA&R Books
For me, Big Band Buddies, Glenn Miller's Orchestra was richer with Ray's voice, his vocal tallent seemed to blend beautifully with the music. My favourite songs by Ray are Elmers Tune, At Last, Stairway to the Stars, Everything I Love. Mind you, Ray recorded about one hundred and fifteen songs with the band during the period 1939 to1942.
When Ray turned up for work late one day in 1942, Glenn said as Ray walked in the door, "YOUR FIRED" no explaination, no more conversation. Thats how tough Glenn could be at times. Ray was left standing there with mouth open, no doubt wondering what the hell hat hit him.
Ray always insisted that he had resigned from Glenn s band. Glenn's account was that Ray's persistant drinking and late arrivals were the reason for the firing. Years later Ray seemed not to hold a grudge and would talk about his time with the band as a very happy time. George Simon, in his book, interviewing Ray while researching for his publication says, " Ray Eberle still insisted he quit the band and his main beef with Glenn was over money, the guys in the band were getting $50 per week against his $35". In George Simon's book there are other reasons given by members of the orchestra why Ray was fired.
Ray appeared at several re-union concerts over the years and in fact had a band of his own and recorded tribute records to "My Friend Glenn". Well I do hope Ray wasn't too bitter towards Glenn in his heart because his singing was so much part of the wonderfull orchestra of Glenn Miller.

Ray died on the 25th August 1979

Ray in 1973

Ray was born on January 19th 1919 and died 25th August 1979

Ray's daughter Jan Eberle writes about her Dad........

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Peter Roxburgh

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