One one of my favorite movies is "The Glenn Miller Story" starring Jimmy Stewart. First of all, it is an educational view into the life that band players went through in the 1930's and 40's. It was not an easy life! It's also a movie in which the music is very faithful to the original, having been performed mostly by Glenn Miller personnel.

But there is a scene about 2/3 of the way through the movie that will stick in a brass player's memory forever. Miller spent the first part of this movie trying to figure out how to create "the sound" that was in his head. He tried several instrumention choices and scoring ideas, but was not fully satisfied. However, by this time he had one that he though was pretty good. He got the sound by featurinng one of his trumpet players who was particularly adept at playing sweet solos in the upper register, with the woodwinds supporting that lead. During a rehearsal before an important gig, as the trumpet soloist was sitting down he had the horn up to his mouth and accidentally slammed the bell into his music stand! Ouch! He had to go to the hospital to get stitches, and Miller frantically rewrote all the charts to use a clarinet lead above sax chords, which created the famous sound. Anyway, I never hear the song that was being played without thinking of slamming one's chops like that. The song was "I Know Why and So Do You."

I programmed that song at my recent University of Iowa recital. Below is the video of that performance.