Glenn Miller was born at Clarinda, Iowa
. After 10 years of playing in dance band
s he discovered a new voicing using a clarinet
lead over four saxophone
s. His first venture as a band leader
failed, but he tried again the next year and enjoyed phenomenal success with his "sweet" ensemble sound, foxtrot
rhythms and well-drilled showmanship
Just two years later, in 1939, his hit records included Moonlight Serenade (his theme song), Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug and In The Mood. In 1942 he joined the US Air Force and assembled a large orchestra in England.
In December 1944 he took off for France on a flight that disappeared without trace. Decades later records revealed that his plane had been inadvertently hit by bombs jettisoned over the English Channel by Allied bombers returning from a mission over Germany.