In The Christmas Mood
At last…and so long overdue…the “sound” and the “swing” of the Glenn Miller sound of the Forties…the songs and holiday joys of Christmas…a celebration by dedicated alumni of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
It’s over a half century since the immortal Glenn Miller disappeared just before Christmas on December 15, 1944. His Orchestra, in the too-short run under his personal leadership, had recorded only one Christmas song (“Jingle Bells”, October 20, 1941). Dedicated fans around the world are certain that, had he lived through World War II, he would have recorded a complete album of the best-loved music of the holiday season.
The seed for this tribute was planted on a band bus – the Glenn Miller Orchestra bus – circa the late 60’s. It was no brainstorm dreamed up by marketing experts, no conclusion, reached after a survey of potential sales, no great anticipation of financial rewards. Dale Thompson and Richy Barz, then members of the road band (Buddy De Franco was the leader), were sitting next to each other. As often happened, the conversation got around to the “What-do-you-think-Glenn-would-be-recording-now-if-he-was-still-around?” stage. One or the other sputtered: “How about an album of Christmas songs?”
It never happened back then, or since…’til now.
Two decades later, Richard Wilhoyte, one of the horde of Glenn Miller buffs around the world, heard about it all from Dale. His instant reaction: “Let’s do it…now!”
A list of desirable players was drawn up. There were a few requisites – musicians had to be working currently, only alumni of the Glenn Miller Orchestra would be recruited, each individual had to have recognized and outstanding talent, each veteran had to be able to take a leave-of-absence from his current “gig” and, of course, be available to come to New York to record.
The reaction from each and every alumnus called was immediate, “Of course! Count me in. When? Where?” So they came from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Pittsburgh, Florida, Rochester, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Sydney, Australia to join the players already in New York City.
The average age of this band at the time of this recording is about 40. The length of time each player performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra ranges from 6 months to 7 years. Larry O’Brien (originally with the Miller unit led by Ray McKinley) was himself the “leader” just a few seasons back. More than 102 years of cumulative experience together again to recreate the authentic Miller “sound”. Familiarity! Feeling! Lasting enthusiasm! Wish Fulfillment! A reunion! Dedication! Commitment! A celebration of both the past and the present!
Look at the repertoire here. Christmas standards that were around when Glenn was still alive and more recent compositions he might have recorded if he had not been lost, plus a brand-new contribution, by members of this group – the title song of the album.
IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD -- Musical memories, of good cheer, of the most enduring “sound’ of the Swing Era Big Bands arranged and performed by alumni of the Glenn Miller Orchestra – the collection that each musician is certain is the album Glenn Miller would have recorded….if only he had had the time.
This is music that will live forever. Orchestral and vocal magnificence. Gratification. Joy!
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Saxes: Ralph Olson Lead Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Lee Lachman Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Mark Vinci Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Frank Perowsky Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Richy Barz Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Trumpets: Tom Snelson
Trombones: Larry O’Brien
Piano: Don Edmonds
Bass: Lanny Fields
Guitar: Jay Patten
Drums: Danny D’Imperio
The Moonlight Serenaders: Annette Sanders, Jackie Prestie, Al Dana, Dave Ragaini, Lenny Roberts
Executive Producer: Richard Wilhoyte
Produced By: Richy Barz, Dale Thomson, Dave Wolpe
Contractor: Richy Barz
Arranger: John LaBarbera
Recording Engineer: Jim Czak
Recorded and Mixed at Nola Recording Studio - New York City, NY
Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Moonlight Serenaders are registered trademarks licensed by special permission from Glenn Miller Productions, Inc.