">

 

The Glenn Miller Trust

 

Jan Eberle

Writes about

Her Dad

Ray

 

 

He was someone's brother. He was someone's son. And, he was a healthy, young teenager with bright and brilliant dreams of becoming a popular singer like his brother, Bob. He hoped he was not destined to remain in Hoosick Falls, New York. And he prayed he wouldn't spend the rest of his days shucking clams at his folks hotel restaurant.
Although he was only eighteen and still in high school, Ray Eberle had performed locally with Don Weston's band, but nothing that came close to what was happening in the big world out there. Namely, New York City. It was the core, the center of the onset of the big band explosion. The city brewed like a volcano preparing to erupt in song and style and the very thought sent my father into his own dream world.
 
Meanwhile, Glenn Miller was in the midst of putting together his
final and best band. His success thus far had been minimal and he
knew he needed a tight band and great singer to compete. Glenn
had experience in the music business and he knew what sounded
good and what looked good, too. Now, I'm not a believer of luck (dumb
or any other kind), but I do believe in happenstance ? good fortune.
On this particular day in New York City, a historical meeting took place.
It was a pivotal day in the future of the big band era.
The very afternoon Dad took the train from upstate New York to visit
his brother, Bob, was the very afternoon Glenn decided to sit in on
Jimmy Dorsey's show to watch Bob Eberly perform. Glenn was in the
market for a good singer, and truth be known, if he could've had
Uncle Bob for himself, he would have. He thought Bob was handsome
and sang with beauty and style. However, his prayers were soon
answered.

As Miller sat with Jimmy Dorsey's manager watching the show, Ray Eberle bound past his table toward the stage to see his brother. Glenn, who believed he was seeing double, immediately sat up and kept his eyes upon my father. Another Bob?
Glenn had Dorsey's manager scrambling for answers. What's his name? Does he sing? Would he audition for me? Finally, after the show, Ray Eberle and Glenn Miller met for the first time. My father auditioned the following week and got the job on the spot. Then, he had the undaunted task of asking his father's permission.
My grandfather just shook his head and said, "Well you either want to be a smart fellow or a dumb singer and I think I know which one."
The rest, so to speak, is history, but not without his share of trials and tribulations.

Ray's career with Glenn ended in 1942 a few months after finishing the film, Orchestra Wives. It was a sad scenario as the band was exhausted after filming and looked forward to a much needed rest. Glenn had set up a lengthy tour playing as many service bases as he could in an effort to obtain a commission. As the band's tour ended in Chicago, some smoldering issues between Dad and Glenn surfaced. Poor morale and judgment caused the two to feud and, in the heat of that moment, my father quit the band. Yes, I said quit. Yes, it is true. Months later, they made amends. Glenn went into the service and Dad joined Gene Krupa's band for almost a year.

Finally, when I reflect on my father's life and career, I ask one question: Did my father succeed? A priest at the church I once attended spoke one day in his sermon about what succeeding really was. He said, "Success is not measured by what you achieve, but is measured by how hard you try." The answer is 'yes'.

He was someone's brother.

He was someone's son.

He was someone's idol.

He was my Dad.

 

_______Ray________________Glenn_________________Paula Kelly

 

This is One of my favouite Ray Eberle songs. (Pete King)

Jan Eberle's Book about her dad Ray Eberle, is now available. ...

Membership Click here

Back To Menu....