Miller's Tune


During the big band era of the mid-twentieth century, bands and bandleaders were readily known by their theme songs. Audiences knew at once who they were listening to on network radio broadcasts. As they did with baseball teams and players, the public knew and kept track of every musician in every name band. All of today’s descendants of those avid and loyal followers do not recognize most of the bands or their theme songs. There is one clear exception. Wherever they are or however they hear it, twenty-first century listeners know Moonlight Serenade, the evocative theme song of popular bandleader Glenn Miller, which has come to be the enduring theme song of the entire era. This is the story of the historic musical arrangement and the talented musician who found a unique style and sound that by 1939 captured the imagination of a generation of Americans who were emerging from the economic depression and poised to rescue humanity from fascism.

Learn more about the development of Glenn Miller's theme, the sound it embodied and the era it represents, here:

Moonlight Serenade

Updated May 5, 2022