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The Glenn Miller Trust

A Noble and Great American Musician(Sam Casale 1996)

What would Glenn Miller think?


What was your first reaction on the announcement that “Tommy Steele is to star in a new musical about Glenn Miller directed and produced by Bill Kenwright.

Well no need to ask as already I have had some of your reactions, and I must say I couldn't believe it either but when the dust settled I began to think about this ‘Rock Star’ when he first appeared in 1956 just as I was joining the Royal Air Force. I was at that time caught up with the pop scene then as my love of music did and does include, not only the music of the big bands but a lot that happened certainly from the 1950's into the 60;s 70's 80's and of course now and then something will grab me of today.......... but not a lot.

When Tommy Steele appeared I was a keen as anybody to collect his records and still have my favourites on the shelf including some of the original 78rpm's . If think about it now it makes me shuddered when I realise that they go back nearly sixty years. Wow, just writing that make me think, am I really that old ? Well 'Yes' and what's more so is Tommy Steel reaching his 78 birthday this year, so I just couldn’t imagine him dancing around a stage playing a trombone but thankfully we learned recently that will not happen. However I couldn't help imagining what Tommy would do if he was to play the part of Glenn Miller in a show based on the film ‘The Glenn Miller Story’.

Just imaging this scene:

We see Glenn (played by Tommy Steele) in the Dance Hall of Band Promoter Cy Shribman, Glenn is rehearsing his newly reformed band as they play 'I Know Why', the trumpet player has just split his lip. Glenn (Tommy Steele) guitar slung over his shoulder swings around. ... The band stops playing.

"What's the ruddy matter", he calls out.

"He's Split his lip" came a reply,

"Stone a crows he'll be out for weeks" says Glenn ..

"What are we going to do now Glenn, postpone the opening" says Chummy.

"Poor widow lady" says Cy,

Glenn burst out "Postpone the opening not bleeding likely,. No wait a minute, I could play those parts on my guitar, I could re write the arrangement, I could harmonise it real tight in the same octave.

Don call Helen on the 'dog and bone' tell her I'll be up all night,

Use your office Cy.

"Sure, sure,------- Guitar lead, he better stay up all night" says Cy.

Next scene

Glenn playing on stage String of Pearls, Glenn walks over to Helen as she sits at a table with Don and Cy.

"Hey I brought you a present for your birthday",
"My birthday? that not until next year" replies Helen.
"This is for you last birthday" says Glenn .

Helen rubbing her neck as she feels a hot breath making the hairs on her neck stand on end , she turns around and standing behind her is a 'White Galloways Bull' the band start to play 'Little White Bull'. Helen looks at Glenn in astonishment."Oh it just real" says Glenn, cost me half a sixpence.

Band breaks Playing 'Half a Sixpence'

Next scene:

Glenn's wedding anniversary party, Chummy gets up to give a speech about the good times now ending with,

"We can remember when it wasn't like this"

Glenn gets up guitar in hand start to sing

"What a mouth, what a mouth,
what a north and south, Blimey Chummy what a mouth you got'

Final Scene:

We see Glenn at the end of the play boarding his plane to fly to France. The plane disappearing into the fog and we're all left

'Singing The Blues'

The moon and stars no longer shine
The dream is gone I thought was mine
There's nothin' left for me to do
But cry-y-y-y over you (cry over you)
Well, I never felt more like runnin' away
But why should I go 'cause I couldn't stay
Without you, you got me singin' the blues.

Just a bit of fun

I hope this did not affend you fans.


Who said, Glenn Didn't have a sense of humour ?


Well I’m sure you can take it further but do not fear because we shan’t see Tommy playing the part of Glenn after all. Apparently the latest news is that he is to narrate the show and the other members of the cast are yet to be announce.

So Clap you hands, stamp your feet, banging on the big bass drum,

what a picture, what a picture,


Stick it your family album.

What Tommy Steele will bring to this show is perhaps his name and his popularity but it will come down to the story, the dances and most important the band that surely must create that beautiful original and indelible sound every one around the world knows and loves.

Mess that up and it- Flash, Bang, Wallop.

The Stage magazine announced this show as ‘Music legend turns master storyteller as Tommy Steele takes to the stage to narrate the extraordinary tale of the world’s most famous big band leader, accompanied by a live 16-piece 'Glenn Miller orchestra' and a full supporting company of singers, dancers and actors.’

Whether the band will be an official Glenn Miller licensed orchestra I don’t know but I doubt whether the name above ‘Glenn Miller Orchestra’ will be able to be used if not.

It was only two or three years ago that I began to get mail about the Musical ‘Bugle Boy’ a Musical big band stage production again about Glenn Miller, and I had some very supportive letters but also some very critical ones too from some who had seen the show that had very few audience attendances and a disappointing band, which was not always the case. Sadly that show failed, and now we have a new show about to arrived from a producer/director of some high regard with great experience in the world of Stage show musicals, films and plays Bill Kenwright. His list of successes can be found on his web site worth looking at if you have doubts that this organisation would not be capable of making this show of our hero Glenn Miller a great success. It will also have the potential of creating interest in the media and hopefully the consequence of that may well improve some of the dwindling audience that our finest big bands touring today are experiencing.

Check for show Updates.

Pete King:

Members are invited to write articles, send photos and stories about your love for this type of music and/or your connection with the making of music.

So enjoy sharing your experience with other enthusiasts around the world.

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