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Encyclopedia > Tex Beneke

Gordon Lee "Tex" Beneke (born February 12, 1914 in Fort Worth, Texas; died May 30, 2000) was an American bandleader, tenor saxophonist and singer. 1914 (MCMXIV) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...

Tex Beneke started playing saxophone when he was nine, starting out on soprano, then alto and later the tenor saxophone he would be identified with. He began working professionally with bandleader Ben Young in 1935. He joined with Glenn Miller in 1937 and became one of the band's most popular soloists. Although originally hired as a saxophonist, Beneke quickly proved himself a valuable singer, ideal for some of the jazzier numbers and novelty tunes. He lent his voice on Miller’s now famous recordings of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "(I’ve Gotta Gal In) Kalamazoo," among others. An ideal saxophonist, he played saxophone from jazz numbers like "Bugle Call Rag" to ballads like "Sunrise Serenade." With Miller, he appeared in the movies "Sun Valley Serenade" (1941) and "Orchestra Wives" (1942), both of which helped propel him to the top of the Downbeat and Metronome polls. Major Glen Miller Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – December 15, 1944) was an American jazz musician and band leader in the Swing era. ...

When Miller broke up his band in late 1942 to join the Army Air Force, Beneke played very briefly with Horace Heidt before Beneke himself joined the Navy, where he led a United States Navy band in Oklahoma. He was discharged in 1945.

In 1946, he formed another band, this time with the Miller Estate. The Tex Beneke Band immediately drew a good following. The band played arrangements by either Miller’s civilian or Army Air Force Bands, as well as new arrangements by Henry Mancini and other arrangers. Beneke also introduced some Bebop material into the books as a way with staying with the times, as both Bebop and the singers took over (thanks in part to James Petrillo’s Recording Ban of 1942; the ban lasted until 1944). Bebop didn’t fair too well with the Miller Estate and they finally severed their association with him in 1948. This led to Beneke not being mentioned or seen in "The Glenn Miller Story" six years later (1954).

In the 1960s, he worked occasionally at Disneyland and at special Miller reunions. He also worked with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires—both associated with Miller as well—around this time. In 1965 they recorded a popular reunion album for Columbia Records, Christmas Serenade in the Glenn Miller Style. By the 1970s and the 1980s, he was still playing with his band in a style closely resembling the Miller sound, but with new songs. In 1972 he recreated a few of his trademark Miller vocals for Time-Life Records' hit series of big band recreations, The Swing Era, produced and conducted by Billy May. Beneke continued to be active until the 1990s, mostly touring the West Coast and continuing to play in the Glenn Miller style. In 1996, Tex Beneke was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... The 1980s, in its most obvious sense, was the decade between 1980 and 1989. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year that started on a Saturday. ... The 1990s refers to the years 1990 to 1999; the last decade of the 20th Century, but in an economical sense The Nineties is often considered to span from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 to the September 11 attacks in 2001. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...

Tex Beneke died in 2000 of heart failure. This article is about the year 2000. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Tex Beneke (315 words)
Tex was asked by Glenn's wife Helen to lead the new Glenn Miller Orchestra, which was to be revived by the Glenn Miller organization, after the loss of Glenn and the end of the war.
Tex was the obvious man to front this new civilian band but of course Ray McKinley could perhaps have also been accepted by the Miller fans as the new leader.
Tex managed to produce the true Miller AAF orchestra sound, and the only difference being his own saxophone sound which was so distinctive in the new line up.
Solid! -- Tex Beneke (349 words)
Beneke readily accepted, and over the next few years the group charted several hits and played to record-breaking crowds.
Beneke, however, was not content with the restrictions placed upon him by Miller's estate.
Beneke felt that Miller's sound was capable of being expanded upon and often argued that Miller himself had planned to explore new directions after the war.
  More results at FactBites »



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