Saturday, 15 December 2012


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.


Kath said...

Your posts are always so interesting Silve. I didn't know Glen Miller played at the Abbey. Was it a girls school in those days?

Helsie said...

That explains why the Glen Miller Story was on TV yesterday! An olsie but a goodie.

Sylve said...

Yes, it was a girls' public school. Thanks for the compliment.
Helsie, another bit of useless least 'you' remembered and recognised the date.

Bernard said...

WE used to have an organ get-together over at Bedford on the air-field where he last flew off from. There is a Glenn Miller Museum there, but it's really a WW2 museum as it mostly has nothing to do with GM&Band. Not many people turned up to hear us play, so we re-located to the Museum at Milton Keynes for our 'do'.