Glen Gray

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Glen Gray
Grayg.jpg
Background information
Birth name Glen Gray Knoblauch
Also known as Spike
Born (1906-06-07)June 7, 1906
Roanoke, Illinois, USA
Died August 23, 1963(1963-08-23) (aged 57)
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Jazz, big band
Occupations Bandleader
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1915–1963
Labels Brunswick, Decca, Capitol
Associated acts Casa Loma Orchestra

Glen Gray (June 7, 1906 – August 23, 1963) was a jazz saxophonist and leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra.[1]

Biography[edit]

Gray was born to Lurdie P. and Agnes (Gray) Knoblauch in Roanoke, Illinois. His father was a lifelong railroad worker who died when Glen was two years of age.[2] His widowed mother married George H. DeWilde.

Gray graduated from Roanoke High School. He is said to have joined the Army at seventeen, and two years later he was living at home with his family. He was employed as a bill clerk for the railroad. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University, where he joined Tau Kappa Epsilon, but left to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.

In 1927, his Orange Blossoms Band was renamed the Casa Loma Orchestra, after Casa Loma in Toronto, where the band played for eight months. Gray collaborated with the jazz musician Jean Goldkette, and with trumpeter/arranger Salvador Camarata. He gave Betty George her first job as a soloist. Ill health forced Gray to retire from touring in 1950. In 1956, he went back into the studio to record the first of what became a series of LPs for Capitol Records, which recreated the sounds of the big band era in stereo.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hollywood Star Walk Glen Gray". Los Angeles Times. 25 August 1963. 
  2. ^ Borgman, George A. (October 2006). "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra". The Mississippi Rag. p. 1. 
  3. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Glen Gray Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 

External links[edit]