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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Chattanooga Choo Choo: The Life and Times of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra » User review

Lovingly done history of the venerable Glenn Miller Orchestra.

  • Feb 3, 2010
Rating:
+5
His success did not come overnight.  There were major setbacks along the way and at times Glenn Miller wondered if he would ever find "his sound".  But in the spring of 1939 it finally happened! Glenn Miller and his Orchestra exploded onto the scene with appearances at the Meadowbrook in New Jersey and at the legendary Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY.  Almost overnight they became a cultural phenomenon.   "Chattanooga Choo Choo:  The Life and Times of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra" is a book that took nearly five years to put together,   Author Richard Grudens has gone to great lengths to lovingly recreate the flavor of that Golden Era.  Wonderfully written (in nice large print) and generously sprinkled with dozens of fascinating photographs, "Chattanooga Choo Choo" is a must read for anyone who is a fan of or is curious about the Big Band EraGrudens discusses the history of the Miller outfit from all kinds of different perspectives. In the course of writing this book the author interviewed musicians from the original Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as some of the vocalists and arrangers from those halcyon days so many years ago.  There are also memories from booking agents, record company executives and disc jockeys.  Read transcripts from "live" radio broadcasts and enjoy many recollections of the two movies the band appeared in.  And then there is speculation over what really might have happened to Capt. Glenn Miller on December 15, 1944.  While traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.  Sadly, his body was never  found. 

But fortunately the story did not end on that fateful night.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra, using all of Glenn's original charts, was reorganized in 1956.  It continues to this day under the direction of Larry O'Brien. Grudens brings us up to date with information on the members of the current orchestra.  A few years ago my wife and I were able to catch a performance of the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the beautifully refurbished Stadium Theater in Woonsocket, R.I.   What a great venue!
It was an absolute joy to see them and much to my surprise there were a lot of youngsters in the audience.  I was even able to get my copy of this book autographed by featured vocalists Julia Rich and Nick Hilscher.  You can order a copy of "Chattanooga Choo Choo:  The Life and Times of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra" through amazon.com or if you prefer just dial PENNSYLVANIA 6-5000.  A terrific read that can be enjoyed by music fans and history buffs alike.  
Very highly recommended!
Lovingly done history of the venerable Glenn Miller Orchestra. Lovingly done history of the venerable Glenn Miller Orchestra. Lovingly done history of the venerable Glenn Miller Orchestra. Lovingly done history of the venerable Glenn Miller Orchestra.

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book

Wiki

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Glenn Miller's life and the 60th anniversary of his disappearance over the English Channel in late 1944, we present the tribute book Glenn Miller fans all over the world have been waiting for, a compendium of authentic stories, interviews, over 150 photos and features illustrating the life and times of the most popular musical organization in American show business history, spread out under a shower of stars tracing the career of legendary bandleader, arranger and slide trombonist, Alton Glenn Miller, and placing to rest, once and for all, the truth about his mysterious loss during World War II.


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Tags

Books, Nonfiction, Jazz, Classic Big Band

Details

ISBN-10: 157579277X (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9781575792774 (pbk.)
Author: Richard Grudens
Publisher: Celebrity Profiles Publishing
Date Published: March 2004
Format: Paperback
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