Ever since Helen Miller asked Tex Beneke to front a Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1946,
there has hardly been a time when we haven't had an official Glenn Miller band, following in the steps of the original
For me the 1938-42 civilian band was the band that has been part of my life since I was a young teenager. I first
heard Glenn's music during the war and began to collect his records in the early fifties. The Tex Beneke Glenn
Miller band, which was modelled on the AAF orchestra, but has a smaller string section, had a good sound but not
as sweet as the original civilian band of Glenn's. I like the band better when Tex eventually dropped the strings.
The Glenn Miller civilian band sound died when Glenn joined the forces, and although his huge military band contained
the top musicians around in those days the sweet Miller sax sound had gone. This orchestra was regarded by many
as the best orchestra ever assembled .Whilst this may be true, and I admit I have a lot of the recordings but it
is not the band I can listen to continually, as I have done for the last forty years to the civilian band, as this
is the sound I have loved all these years.
The follow on bands after Tex, led by Ray McKinley and Buddy Defranco, Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson, Larry O'brien
and others have all re-created a Miller type sound and I suppose the best of these is the current American 'Glenn
Miller Orchestra' directed by Larry O'Brien. But I have to say I always go back to listening to the original, may
be it's something to do with the recording techniques of the forties compared to today's, but I had to rule that
out when the Syd Lawrence Band came along and started to play original Miller arrangement exactly as Miller had
intended them to be played, the sound was truly wonderful.
In the UK the big band scene had dramatically changed since Syd Lawrence took his band on the road in 1969 and
over the next decade we began to see an awakening of the big band enthusiast who dragged themselves out of their
reclining chairs in front of the television set and once again an audience was available to the big band musician.
So increasingly more big bands began to appear and in 1989 one of the best post war Miller bands was born right
here in the UK. A new departure from the Official Glenn Miller estate who granted a licence for an official band
to be formed in the UK in addition to the American one. This band now has been touring both in the UK and abroad
for the past twelve years , currently being led by a very well known band leader in his own right, Ray McVay. You
will recall I'm sure Ray's band being featured in many of the come dancing series on Television, when you were
stuck in that chair in front of the TV , and before you found you had legs again to take you off to these great
concerts once again. Now go and see this British Glenn Miller band, believe me
you will not be disappointed. To find the Orchestra