Saturday, 15 December 2012
GLENN MILLER DISAPPEARANCE ANNIVERSARY TODAY
Glenn Miller disappeared on this day in 1944 on his way to France to meet up with the Band which had gone ahead - but he never arrived. He was in only two B & W wartime films, one of which I recorded on video (Sun Valley Serenade) and still play from time to time. The 'hero' was John Payne, who adopted a Norwegian child during the war but when she arrived she was a young woman, Sonia Henie. You'd have to be of a certain age to remember the name. She was a World Figure Skating Champion and Olympic medal winner - and film star. Also in the film were the dancers Nicholas Brothers with Dorothy Dandridge in a solo spot. Plenty of songs you'd remember from any Glenn Miller recordings. At the end of the film Sonia Henie dances on black ice which fascinated me when I saw it for the first time - there were no scratches on the ice. How was it done? Simple really, you don't have the top layer of water frozen, there's just a layer of water which doesn't leave any trace behind. Her routine probably looks a bit old-hat now but was wonderful at the time... try YouTube if you want to see snippets.
The only other film was Orchestra Wives about which I know almost nothing. I believe it was On Tour with the band, the 'hero' was George Montgomery. Can't remember the story at all!
The book above I saw at either a jumble sale or car boot and recognised the title. I took the picture from the cover, as you can see. The Glenn Miller Band played at Wycombe Abbey in High Wycombe and during the performance you can hear the sound of a doodle-bug arriving and exploding somewhere in the distance - the Band plays on.