Tune Tuesday: Casa Loma Orchestra 1944
Seventy-five years ago, today, the #1 song on Billboard (pre-hot 100 era) was My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?) by Glen Gray, his Casa Loma Orchestra and singer Eugenie Baird. Written by Harry Warren (Lullaby of Broadway, Jeepers Creepers & That’s Amore) with lyrics by Mack Gordon (Chattanooga Choo-Choo), this was the theme for the 1943 musical film Sweet Rosie O’Grady. Betty Grable sang the song in the movie.
Glen Gray & his Orchestral version was number one for five weeks from January 29 to February 26, boosted by the popularity of the musical. As a popular standard for the 1940s, other well-known artists with their own versions include Etta Jones (1961), Frank Sinatra (1945), Nat King Cole (1958) and Tony Bennett (1955). Glenn Miller & his orchestra had a go in 1944, broadcasting to German soldiers. From Dance in the City (Page 191):
“One of the paradoxes of the Nazi terror was that SS officers themselves demonstrated a fondness for swing (Vogel, 1962).
Mike Zwerin (1985), in his exploration of jazz under the Nazis, described a Luftwaffe pilot who switched on the BBC hoping to catch a few bars of Glenn Miller before bombing the antenna from which these forbidden sounds were being broadcast. Allied propagandists recognised the potential for exploiting the contradictory allure that jazz possessed with Nazi society.
The sound barrier of 1944 was marked on the one hand by the music of the Nazi marches and on the other by the big band swing of Glenn Miller. The Allies attempted to exploit the popularity of swing inside Germany. On October 30, 1944, Miller’s swing tunes were aimed at German soldiers through the American Broadcast Station in Europe (ABSIE) in an effort to persuade them to lay down their arms.
Major Miller addressed German soldiers in their own language with the assistance of Ilse Weinberger, a German compere and translator. Ilse introduced Glenn Miller as the ‘magician of swing’ and, through a strange act of cultural alchemy, tunes like Long Ago and Far Away and My Heart Tells Me were rendered in German by vocalist Johnny Desmond.”
13 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: Casa Loma Orchestra 1944”
January 30, 2019 at 6:27 AM
Ooh, I do love Old music. I hadn’t heard of her before. Thank you for introducing me. 🙂
January 30, 2019 at 1:32 PM
I hadn’t either. I love music & l like doing research. I’ve learned a lot digging around. 😁
January 30, 2019 at 9:48 PM
He had a high voice…great voice though. I love the sound of these old recordings.
Miller’s swing tunes were aimed at German soldiers through the American Broadcast Station in Europe (ABSIE) in an effort to persuade them to lay down their arms…
I never knew that wow.
January 30, 2019 at 11:39 PM
You’ve heard Glen Gray sing? I didn’t dig around to hear HIS voice.
Major Miller…talking to the troops in German. I didn’t have a clue, either. God, I love history.
January 30, 2019 at 11:42 PM
Well who the heck is singing? it’s not Betty Grable is it?
January 30, 2019 at 11:44 PM
I listed Eugenie Baird, as that was the attributed singer. Betty Grable sang in the movie/musical.
January 30, 2019 at 11:48 PM
I’m an idiot….I totally missed that. I read it this morning and listened to it and then proceeded to have a terrible day.
I thought…wow that dude has a high voice lol.
January 31, 2019 at 1:43 AM
Sorry for the terrible day. ☹
January 31, 2019 at 10:22 AM
Ah…just executives who think they know how long it takes to fix IT issues… frustrating more like it.
January 31, 2019 at 12:28 PM
Non-tech thinking they know tech better than the geeks. Yeah…NO. You don’t. It will take as long as it takes so, get out of the way…and shut up.
I feel for you.
January 31, 2019 at 12:08 PM
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February 1, 2019 at 1:21 PM
This type of music just reminds me of my dad listening to his old crackly transistor radio.
February 1, 2019 at 2:44 PM
Yeah. Reminds me of my paternal grandparents. They did a lot of dancing to this music.