MOONLIGHT SERENADE THE GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA, 1939
First released as an instrumental, Moonlight Serenade had the rare distinction of inducing raw emotion in the listener without the aid of lyrics. New York jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote of the song: “Throats clutch, eyes soften. Can any record match it for its ability to induce a Pavlovian slobber in so many for so long? ” Despite its instant success, lyrics penned by songwriter Mitchell Parish were later added, adapted from a 1935 poem called Gone With The Dawn. This would prove eerily prescient when in December 1944 bandleader Glenn Miller boarded a single-engine plane in Bedford, England, bound for Paris. ( Miller and his Army Air Force Band had been performing for Allied troops all over Europe during World War II.) The plane never made it to France, and no trace of it or its passengers was ever found. The Glenn Miller Orchestra (reformed in 1956 to reprise the original GMO) plays QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, next Saturday.