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Big Bands & Swing

Swing: The Music*

The Swing Era*
Swing: The Music*
Songs During a Time of War*
Frank Sinatra: A Musical Sensation*
Importance of the Radio*
Big Bands: Fast Facts*
Well-Known Musical Artists*
Works Consulted

Big bands played the most popular type of music during the war, identified by the name of Swing.

There were many members in a big band and several instrumental sections represented. There was the brass section that included saxophones and trumpets, the rythym section comprised of guitar, piano, possibly drums and the vocalists. The most popular big band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, was conducted by Glenn Miller and best represents the time of Swing Music.

Popular Swing Names:
(conductors, arrangers and writers)
Benny Goodman
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
Fletcher Henderson
Duke Ellington
Glen Miller

Glenn Miller and his Orchestra

*Three days of the week, early in the morning Americans could hear Glenn Miller's music, he was very well liked and his success showed that. The Glenn Miller Orchestra sold hundreds of thousands of records. Some popular hits inlucded but were not limited to: "Tuxedo Junction", "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo".*
*Swing music even had its place in the war physically. Miller's worked to enlist his orchestra in the navy's entertainment in 1942. Although denied, he turned his offer to the army and who welcomed their entertainment. They were pleased witht eh idea of putting together a musical unit to uplift the spirts of the troops. As a result, the band performed at multiple locations: concert halls, theaters, military bases of allied nations, such as in Great Britain.
*When Miller was on his way to Paris to perform a song due to the victory Miller's plane went down in the English Channel, that was the end of Miller's musical carrer in December 1944. However, is musical influence and well-known songs will live on.

Honors Madman Project