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Glenn Miller played Broadway in 1930

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In a recent article about the great big band leader Glenn Miller it mentioned that he had worked in a show orchestra on Broadway. Do you know what show? When was it?

The answer: In 1930, the hit musical of the Broadway season was George and Ira Gershwin's “Girl Crazy,” The production starred Ethel Merman (her debut) and Ginger Rogers.

Ethel Merman became an overnight sensation when she stopped the show with "I Got Rhythm." George Gershwin, supposedly visited her the day after the opening to congratulate her and to advise her to "never take another singing lesson...don't let anyone change you... just keep doing what you are doing!"

To fans of the big bands, the orchestra for the 1930 show is of great interest. The band in the pit for the original Broadway production was known for its richness of talents: Red Nichols, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Glenn Miller! All future big band leaders!

Glenn Miller, working as a music contractor, put the group together, including his roommate from the Ben Pollack band days in California....Benny Goodman.


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