The property is located next to Miller's birthplace home, and the single-story building is to include exhibits and artifacts, a library, music archive, theatre, gift shop, and the office of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society.
"Embrace what makes Glenn Miller's life unique," Clarinda Mayor Gordon Kokenge encouraged. "This museum will honor the legacy of Alton Glenn Miller featuring the story of his life and music."
The city and county have pledged financial support, and an Iowa Community Attraction (CAT) Grant is being sought. The general public is invited to donate as well, by mailing a check or using PayPal on the Birthplace Society's website. (From their homepage, glennmiller.org, click on "Museum Fund Drive" for more details.) All gifts will be recognized on a plaque at the Museum.
It is hoped that the facility will be completed by June of 2010.
Hollywood Palladium Back in Business
For most of the last year, the famous Hollywood Palladium, where many of the big bands appeared in the 1940s and '50s, has been closed while undergoing a complete makeover. It will re-open October 15th with rapper Jay-Z backed by a 12-piece band.
The goal of the renovation, according to Los Angeles Times staff writer Randy Lewis, was to restore the building to the state it was in when it first opened in 1940, with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra on the bandstand.
The renovation includes a new facade replicating the original architecture, work on the interior, and a new dance floor.
Jay-Z commented in a recent statement, "I'm honored to play such an iconic venue."
Louie Bellson in the Quad Cities
Fans of Louie Bellson, the legendary drummer-bandleader who turned 84 in July, have a number of chances to meet and hear him, during a celebration taking place this month in his hometown of Rock Falls, IL and at a couple of nearby events afterwards.
The "Louie Bellson Heritage Days" schedule begins with a "Meet & Greet" dinner (by reservation only) on October 10th at the local Holiday Inn. The morning of the 11th, a drum competition takes place at the Family Center of Harvest Time Baptist Church, followed by an afternoon drum clinic with Hannah Ford, and an evening concert with Bellson and the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble directed by Ronald Carter. On the 12th, the Church holds its morning service while a brunch will be offered at the Rock River Country Club.
If you can't make it to one of those events, you can shake hands and have your picture taken with Bellson on October 14th at West Music, a store in Moline, IL, or hear him perform as guest with the Manny Lopez Band the evening of the 15th at River Music Experience, a museum in Davenport, IA.
Duke Ellington Jazz Festival
Our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., will be filled with music during the "Duke Ellington Jazz Festival," which takes place October 1st through the 7th. Naturally, The Duke Ellington Orchestra is in the line-up, performing at a concert at the Lincoln Theatre on October 4th.
More Name Bands Now
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Oct. 21, Princeton High School, Princeton,
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole, Oct. 17-18, Fred Olsen Lines British Isles
cruise; Oct. 19, River Raisin Centre for the Arts, Monroe, MI; Oct. 24, Bloomington, IL
[ with The Pied Pipers ].
Jan Garber Orchestra directed by Howard Schneider, Oct. 10, Laack's Ballroom,
Johnsonville, WI [ featuring trombonist Bob Havens ].
Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars [ small band ] directed by Slide Hampton, Oct. 16-19, Yoshi's,
Oakland, CA; Oct. 21-26, Blue Note, New York, NY.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke, Oct. 3, The Pampas Club, Seattle, WA;
Oct. 4, Renton, WA.
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe, Oct. 2-4, Bear Creek Farms, Bryant, IN;
Oct. 17-18, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI; Oct. 31, Roanoke Island Festival Park,
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Mike Berkowitz, Oct. 14, Iridium Jazz Club, New York,
NY [ with singer Hilary Kole ].
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien, Oct. 1, Lincoln Way Community High
School, Frankfort, IL; Oct. 3, Fairmont Opera House, Fairmont, MN; Oct. 4, Myles Reif
Performing Arts Center, Grand Rapids, MN; Oct. 6, Wayne State College, Wayne, NE;
Oct. 7, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; Oct. 9, T.B. Sheldon Auditorium, Red Wing,
MN; Oct. 10, Elks Club. Waterloo. IA; Oct. 12, Olivet Nazarine University. Bourbonnais.
IL; Oct. 13, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA; Oct. 15, J.H. Benefiel Auditorium, Coffeyville,
KS; Oct. 16, Stillwater Community Center, Stillwater, OK; Oct. 18, Kingman High School,
Kingman, KS; Oct. 19, Harrah's Casino & Hotel. North Kansas City, MO; Oct. 21,
Glenmoor Country Club [ private ], Canton, OH; Oct. 22, Fort Piqua Hotel, Piqua, OH; Oct.
23, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron, OH; Oct. 25, Lexington Music & Theatre Company,
Lexington, MI; Oct. 26, Macomb Center, Clinton Township, MI; Oct. 28, Upper Darby
Performing Arts Center, Drexel Hill, PA; Oct. 29-30, Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe, PA; Oct.
31, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover DE.
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Rich Chiaraluce, Oct. 15, Mar-Va Performing Arts Center,
Pocomoke City, MD; Oct. 16, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Worcester, MA;
Oct. 18, The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, Tracy, CA; Oct. 19, Cerritos Center,
Al Gallodoro, 95, saxophonist (Whiteman '36-'40 / '48), d.Oct. 4, 2008, "complications of a
very old age."
William Claxton, 80, photographer (Ellington; Gillespie; et al), d.Oct. 11, 2008, "complications of
congestive heart failure."
Neal Hefti, 85, bandleader ('51-'60s? / '74) - trumpeter (Barnet '42 / '47 / '48 / '50; Herman '44-'45; Ventura '46;
James '48-'49) - arranger / composer (Basie '50-'60), d.Oct. 11, 2008.
Dave McKenna, 78, pianist (Ventura '49 / '54; Herman '50-'51; Krupa '56-'57; Morrow '57; Hackett '59),
d.Oct. 18, 2008, "lung cancer."
Peter J. Levinson, author (Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1999);
September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle (New York City: Billboard Books, 2001), Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big
Way (New York City: Da Capo Press, 2005), d.Oct. 21, 2008, "head injuries due to a fall at his home."
Happy Birthday to You
Terry Gibbs, vibraphonist (Rich '48; Herman '48-'49; T. Dorsey '50; Goodman '50-'52), b. Oct. 13, 1924.
Paul Tanner, trombonist (Miller '38-'42; Miller Orch.-Beneke '46-'51), b.Oct. 15, 1917.
Norman Leyden, arranger (Miller AAF '44-'45; Miller Orch.-Beneke '46-'49; Columbia "Once Upon a Time" LP with
Johnny Desmond, '59), b.Oct. 17, 1917.
Garry Stevens, vocalist (Spivak '41-'43; Beneke-Miller Orch. '46-'48), b.Oct. 21, 1916.
Betty Bennett, vocalist (Thornhill '46; Rey '47-'48; Ventura '49, Herman '50; Barnet '52), b. Oct. 23, 1921.
Snooky Young, the trumpeter who rose to fame with the Jimmie Lunceford orchestra in 1939-42 and also was a longtime member of the NBC "Tonight Show" band, is one of six 2009 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Jazz Masters" who will receive a $25,000 grant award at a ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on October 17th.
"I am extremely honored and greatly appreciate the prestigious award of NEA Jazz Master," Young reacted. "This honor means more to me than words can express!"
Now age 89, he continues to perform and occasionally works with his former Lunceford bandmate, Gerald Wilson.
By the way, Snooky's given name was Eugene.
How 'Bout Them Swing Voters
"Political experts say that John McCain's only chance of winning the election next week is to attract swing voters," comedian Conan O'Brien said on his October 27th 'Late Night' NBC-TV program. "Unfortunately, McCain thinks swing voters are people who listen to Glenn Miller."
In-Print and / Or Online
Brittany Anas, "Donation from trombonist bolsters CU's Glenn Miller archives: Soul of
big-band era preserved in university collection," Boulder [ CO ] Daily Camera /
dailycamera.com, Oct. 6, 2008 [ details a recent donation to the University of Colorado
at Boulder from Paul Tanner, a former Miller trombonist and now age 90 ].
Jeff Boucher, "The Hollywood Palladium gets a second wind," Los Angeles Times,
Oct. 5, 2008.
Emma Downs, "Strictly on the record: Lifelong love of jazz spins into massive music
collection," [ Fort Wayne, IN ] Journal Gazette, Oct. 11, 2008 [ about IAJRC President
Geoffrey Wheeler's musical tastes, which include Goodman, Basie, Berigan, Shaw,
and Clinton ].
Tony Eaton, "What's New?," Moonlight Serenader, Number 319 / 4th Edition 2008,
pp.6-7 [ a major new mapping of the wreckage of thousands of WWII aircraft off the
English coast may help resolve the disappearance of Glenn Miller ].
Jerry Fink, "Drummer's daughter talks about the return of the Buddy Rich Memorial
Concert," Las Vegas [ NV ] Sun, Oct. 14, 2008 [ the program, featuring the Buddy
Rich band, will be held Oct. 17th at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, and, for
the first time, will feature among the drummers Buddy's grandson, Nick Rich, 24 ].
Sven Friden, "GM At the Paradise Restaurant, NYC," Moonlight Serenader, Number 319 /
4th Edition 2008, pp.9-10 [ Friden discusses Glenn Miller's June and December 1938
engagements at the Paradise Restaurant in Manhattan ].
Erik Pedersen, "Hollywood Palladium prepares to unveil face-lift," Washington Post,
Oct. 4, 2008.
Will Romano, "The truth is out there," Goldmine, Oct. 10, 2008 (Vol.34 No.21 Issue 736)
[ in a portion subtitled "'My Blue Heaven': Glenn Miller Disappears," Romano discusses
several theories about Miller's fate and includes comments by Paul Tanner and Alan
Cass, the Curator of The Glenn Miller Archives at CU ].
Roland Taylor, "Mission to Moscow," Moonlight Serenader, Number 319 / 4th Edition
2008, p.1+ [ for the first time ever, a Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform in Russia -
headquartered in continental Europe and directed by pianist Wil Salden, the band is to
appear in Moscow on Christmas Eve, as part of a short tour of Eastern Europe (also
including four shows in Poland and the Czech Republic) ].
Compact Disc Reviews
Jerry Gray, "Flagwaver," Montpellier ( UK ) 48. It's nice this disc contains the tunes from the 1954
LP "Big Dance Tonight" (Decca DL 8101), but the rest of this material has been out on CD more than
once already. Why not fill it out with other Decca sides that have yet to be put on CD, such as And the
Bull Walked Around Olay, A Garden in the Rain, or At Last?
Big Band Library rating: FAIR
Jerry Gray, "Shades of Gray," Montpellier ( UK ) 49. Here we go again! Half of the CD is the old
LP "Hi Fi Shades of Gray" (Liberty LST 7002), so the logical thing would have been to pair it with Gray's
other album for that label, "Jerry Gray and His Orchestra At the Hollywood Palladium" (Liberty LST 7089).
But, instead, we get more Decca material already available on other CDs.
Big Band Library rating: FAIR
Si Zentner, "Swing and Latin," Montpellier ( UK ) 52. This CD combines two albums, "Si Zentner and
Dance Band" (Bel Canto SR 1007) and "High Noon Cha Cha Cha" ( Bel Canto SR 1011). For them,
Zentner used excellent studio musicians including such men as Don Fagerquist and Uan Rasey (trumpets),
Vern Friley and Bob Pring (trombones), and Willie Schwartz and Don Lodice (saxophones), so the music is
fine. Note that Fresh Sound Records reissued the former LP onto CD in 1993, but minus Lynn Franklin's
Big Band Library rating: GOOD
More New CDs
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, "Mosaic Select," Mosaic MS-033 [ 3 CDs;
their 1974-77 RCA studio LPs: "Kogun," "Long Yellow Road," "Tales of a Courtesan,"
"Insights" and "March Of The Tadpoles" ].
Tex Beneke, "Glenn Miller's AAF Sound Without Strings," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK)
Tommy Dorsey, "Only the Best of Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra," Collectables 1131
[ 6-CD bundle pack; includes "That Sentimental Gentleman," "This Is Tommy Dorsey and
His Orchestra, Volume 1," "This Is Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Volume 2," "The
Legendary Sides (with Frank Sinatra)," "In the Mood with Tommy Dorsey," and "Swinging
with Tommy Dorsey" ].
Benny Goodman, "Only the Best of Benny Goodman," Collectables 1148 [ 7-CD bundle
pack; includes "Arrangements By Eddie Sauter," "Arrangements By Fletcher Henderson,"
"Benny In Brussels, Volume 1," "Benny In Brussels, Volume 2," "The Early Years," "Solid
Gold Instrumental Hits," "In The Mood With Benny Goodman," "Rarities (1940-1942),"
and "Let's Dance" ].
Jay McShann, "In Copenhagen," Storyville ( Den ) 1018524.
various artists, "Charlie Parker: Bird in Time 1940-1947," ESP Disk ESP 4050 [ 4-CD set;
includes McShann; Goodman; Eckstine; Williams; Gillespie; others ].
---, "G.I. Jukebox Jive: The Best of the VDisc Sessions, Volume One" Giant Steps Records
02 [ includes Miller; Goodman; Ellington; Rich; Herman; Krupa; Basie; Donahue; James;
Norvo; Armstrong; Hampton; others ].
---, "Legendary Radio Broadcasts, Volume 3: Fats Waller and Cab Calloway," Storyville
( Den ) 1038413 [ 2-CD set ].
---, "Manteca!: The Roots of Afro-Cuban Jazz," Giant Steps Records 08 [ 2-CD set; includes
Herman; Kenton; Gillespie; others ].
---, "You Belong to My Heart: The Stars Sing the Love Songs of the Forties," Flare ( UK )
9004 [ includes Bob Eberly (I Can't Resist You) and Vaughn Monroe (The Legend of
various artists, "All-American Co-Ed" / "Swing Hostess," Alpha Video [ the latter title, made
in 1944, stars former Benny Goodman vocalist Martha Tilton ].
Heading into the Holidays
Earlier this year, The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes held recording sessions at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ, for a new CD backing singer Tony Bennett, "A Swinging Christmas featuring The Count Basie Big Band." It's due out on October 14th.
In fact, the entire project was videotaped, so, besides the standard CD issue, it will be also available with a bonus DVD and a holiday card with artwork by Bennett.
Musical selections include I'll Be Home for Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and, as an introduction of Bennett's daughter, Antonia, a duet with her father on I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.
After that project was completed, the Orchestra stayed put and singer Jamie Cullum came in to record two songs with them for his upcoming album.
This month, the Basie Orchestra is scheduled to be in the studios working on its own CD, a salute to "The Jazz Masters" and using all-new arrangements. That title is penciled in for release in early 2009.
Around February of next year, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's CD tribute to Cab Calloway, prepared in cooperation with one of Cab's daughters, Lael, should be out.
The band's trumpeter, Glen Marhevka, recently told Molly Bennett of the [ Salt Lake City,
UT ] Deseret News, "I have a special place in my heart for for Cab."
When Marhevka was 12 years old, he saw Calloway perform in Los Angeles.
"I was blown away," Marhevka said.
send feedback about October 2008 "Big Band News" via e-mail
FEEDBACK AND FOLLOW-UP
Christopher Popa follows-up:
In the October 2008 Miller Notes, the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society
said that they have raised almost $300,000 to use toward building a
Miller Museum. "All Iowa tourism grant money in 2009 will be used to
assist the Iowa flood victims, therefore the Glenn Miller Birthplace
Society will not be able to access the Community Attraction Tourism
(CAT) grant monies as was originally planned," it was stated. "So,
we must raise more money to build the Museum."
Christopher Popa again follows-up, on January 27, 2009:
The Birthplace Society's website has been re-done with a new, more
eye-catching design and additional information about membership, the
Festival, the Museum, and Glenn Miller history. View it at