Glenn Miller/Tex Beneke/George Melachrino - Strings With Wings - CD
The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, irder to effectively provide all of the required broadcast coverage, was broken down into several sub-units. The band and some of the units were known under several names.
One of the sub-units was The Strings With Wings, twenty musicians including the Concertmaster, George Okner. Glenn had hand-picked them from the best symphony orchestras in America. Mel Powell said, 'The rest of the band would get around the radio every Saturday morning just to listen'.
The Tex Beneke-Glenn Miller Orchestra was the civilian version of the Army Air Forces Band, on a smaller scale. For example, it’s string section was only twelve musicians strong. Tex Beneke had been the tenor sax and singing star of Glenn’s 1938-42 civilian band. During World War II Tex was a Chief Petty Officer in charge of a U.S. Navy band in Norman, Oklahoma. Tex was helped by ex-Miller arranger, Norman Leyden, as co-pilot and chief arranger. All the scores which Phil Cogliano (Phil Marino) and his colleagues in the string section played came from the AAF Library. We can be sure that it was Norman Leyden who was the driving force behind the the regular appearance of the Strings With Wings in the 'On The Beam' broadcasts in the first half of 1948. 'On The Beam' was an Armed Forces Radio Service series which encouraged recruitment into the U.S. Air Force.
The American Band Of The AEF was directed (from August 17th 1944) by Major Glenn Miller. The Canadian Band Of The AEF was directed by Captain Robert Farnon. The British Band Of The AEF was directed by Regimental Sergeant Major George Melachrino, and it is the String section of the British band of the AEF that rounds up the final section of this CD.
It is unusual to have a complete CD featuring the string sections of these three Miller inspired orchestras and it is sure to be popular with all Glenn Miller collectors.