October 15, 1917|
Skunk Hollow, Kentucky, United States
|Died||February 5, 2013
Carlsbad, California, United States
|Occupations||Musician, inventor, educator, author|
Tanner gained fame by playing trombone with Glenn Miller's band from 1938 until 1942, when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force. He later worked as a studio musician in Hollywood. He was a professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and also authored or co-authored several academic and popular histories related to jazz.
|Oral History, Paul Tanner shares moments of his life story and career. Interview date May 18, 2001, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
Tanner developed and played the Electro-Theremin, an electronic musical instrument that mimics the sound of the theremin. The Electro-Theremin is featured in several songs by The Beach Boys, with Tanner playing the instrument; most notably Good Vibrations, Wild Honey, and I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.
Tanner had five brothers and each could play an instrument. Tanner learned to play the trombone at a reform school where his father was employed as superintendent. Tanner and his brothers were playing in what he described as a "strip joint" when Miller heard him and offered him a position in his band.
Tanner earned three degrees at UCLA — a bachelor's in 1958 (graduating magna cum laude), a master's in 1961, and a doctorate in 1975. He also was influential in launching UCLA's highly regarded jazz education program in 1958.
He died of pneumonia on February 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
- Jazz, with Maurice Gerow and David W. Megill (1964, W. C. Brown / 2009, McGraw-Hill; ISBN 978-0-07-340137-9)
- Every Night Was New Year's Eve: On the Road With Glenn Miller . With Bill Cox (1992, Cosmo Space Co., Ltd. Tokyo. ISBN 4-947544-08-2)
- "A look back at the best of Backstage in 2006". North County Times. December 27, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- UCL (July 26, 1976). "Paul Tanner Packs Them In At UCLA...". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Shimp, Rachel (16 October 2009). "EMP/SFM show is 'Spaced Out,' — and far out". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Heckman, Don. (2013, February 6). Paul Tanner dies at 95; trombonist with Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Los Angeles Times.