by Steve Payne
says: what if Glenn Miller had not been in the mood to listen to his
saxophonists? Please note that the opinions expressed in this satirical post
do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
November 7th 1992,
to comment on Reddit.on this day the proprietor of the popular jazz
cafe Pennsylvania 6-5000 Glenn Miller died at his home in New York City.
He was eighty-eight years old.
Right up until the end he was an occasional player too, setting down his
little brown jug of alcohol to thrill members of the audience who were in
the mood for the big band sound. Of course Miller was there at the birth,
touring with his own band up until the American entrance into the Second
World War. They disbanded in 1942.
Aged thirty-eight, Miller was too old for the draft but determined not to
miss out. And it was during this period of preoccupation that a
clarinetist and alto saxophonist Wilbur Schwartz came forward and
suggested an unusual refinement to the big band sound - to have a clarinet
play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while
three other saxophones harmonized within a single octave. It was a
sophisticated, and potentially innovative suggestion, but at first it just
sounded _wrong_ and there was no time to work it through.
Before long, Miller found himself serving in the US Army Air Force.
Stationed in Great Britain he soon realised that he was now too old to
pursue a professional career in music, instead he dreamt of opening a jazz
cafe after the war.
And so following his demobilization, Miller returned to the States, and
after a short spell settled in Manhattan. He was able to use his military
pension to open an establishment which he would ultimately run for almost
half a century.
Some nights he would recall Schwartz's idea and by the mid 1960s he began
to experiment with the sound again, this time successfully. Because as
that crazy Schwartz always used to say, "it dont mean a thing if it aint'
got that swing".
says in reality on December 15th 1944 Glenn Miller's Noorduyn Norseman
bush plane wandered into the path of one hundred and thirty-eight Lancaster
bombers which were about to release approximately one hundred thousand
incendiaries into a jettizon zone. To view guest historian's comments on
this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting