Slap a cap on the man, and give him a trombone, because RCA Victor Presents, Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Released in 1955, the five disc collection of patriotic big band hits serve God, country, and an eager ear with a cold shower, discipline, and a swingin’ good time.
As the 16-page informational booklet boasts:
“We didn’t come here to set any fashions in music. We merely came to bring a much-needed touch of home to some lads who have been here a couple of years. These lads are doing a hell of a job – they have been starved for real, live American music.” – Mr. Major Glenn Miller
Serving as leader of the 50-piece Army Air Force Band (from 1942 – 1944), Mr. Miller’s voluptuous, and international success was met with a stormy cloud of pouring despair when the plane he was occupying went missing on December 15th, 1944. The clouds of sadness would eventually depart, but the resulting flood has never receded.
Oh, and fyi, if you Google “Glenn Miller,” the photo that pops up (to the right) is of Jimmy Stewart, PLAYING Glenn Miller. Here’s a link, oh curious Curtis.
Victorious, self-promoted back-patting often follows a discovery of unrelated mediums. My fandom of all things Wax Trax!, (X-Ministry member) Paul Barker, and kickass covers first drove me, at nauseating high speeds, to the Lead into Gold (aka Paul Parker) three-track EP, Chicks & Speed: Futurism. Thinking little-to-nothing of the embossed “chick with speed” cover upon its immediate acquisition, set up a cloud parting, heaven’s light-shining, all-aware, and never forgotten moment of connection and instant recognizable correlation some several (possibly three) years later.
I’d heard Georges Bizet’s legendary opera, Carmen, several times prior, although I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint when and where, but this ear-ingesting fact is unimportant. What’s profoundly relevant is the striking similarity, i.e. blatant ripping off (homage?) of the 1955 Columbia Records (CL 735) discharge by André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra to the 1990 Wax Trax! Records release. Nowhere during the opera’s IV acts does the swelling drama invoke even a hint of the Chicago based American industrial offered by Lead into Gold, and nowhere throughout the 19 minutes of Chick & Speed: Futurism is a hint of Carmen revealed.
The struggles to continue the lifelong search of the ever-illusive relation between these two albums marches on, and perhaps always will, but the journey’s soundtrack, as well as its alluring cover art, certainly is provocative.