Tex Beneke, singer, bandleader
Singer ~ Bandleader
Glenn Miller Orchestra
birth name: Gordon Beneke

Tex Beneke

February 12, 1914, Fort Worth, TX ~ May 30, 2000, Costa Mesa, CA

He began playing the saxophone at age nine, first the alto and then the tenor, and played in local and regional bands in Oklahoma and Texas during the early and mid-'30s. A gig playing with a band led by Ben Young brought him to Detroit, where he was spotted by Sam Donahue, then a saxman in Gene Krupa's band - Krupa was unable to hire Beneke but informed a friend of his in New York of this promising new player. The friend was Glenn Miller, who'd recently begun forming a band of his own, and Beneke was hired, joining the orchestra in the spring of 1938 - it was with Miller's band that Beneke picked up the nickname ‘Tex.’ ~ Allmusic: Tex Beneke ~ retrieved February 10, 2014 © Allmusic

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His sunny Southern voice helped make hits of Miller's Chattanooga Choo Choo, I Got a Girl in Kalamazoo and Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree. When Miller broke up the band in 1942 to join the military, Mr. Beneke played with other bands before joining the Navy in World War II. Although he played in the Navy Band, he never played in Miller's Air Force orchestra. Miller was killed in December 1944 after his plane disappeared on a flight from England to France. In 1946, his widow asked Mr. Beneke to take the Glenn Miller Orchestra back on the road. Under Mr. Beneke's direction, the band flourished. Postwar audiences went wild for the reconstituted group, which scored a string of Top 10 records. ~ New York Times: Tex Beneke Obituary ~ May 31, 2000 © New York Times

Tex Beneke ~ Inducted in the 1996 Big Band And Jazz Hall Of Fame.



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