A String of Pearls (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1941 RCA Bluebird 78, B-11382-B.
Sheet music cover, Mutual Music Society, Inc., New York

"A String of Pearls" is a 1941 song composed by Jerry Gray[1] with lyrics by Eddie DeLange. It was notably recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra on RCA Bluebird that November, becoming a #1 hit.[2] The song is a big band and jazz standard.


Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "A String of Pearls" on November 8, 1941 in New York, which was copyrighted and published by The Mutual Music Society, Inc., ASCAP. It was released as an RCA Bluebird 78 single, B-11382-B, backed with "Day Dreaming", in 1941 by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. "Day Dreaming" was the A side.

The personnel for "A String of Pearls": Saxes: Babe Russin, Tex Beneke,[1] Wilbur Schwartz, Ernie Caceres, Al Klink; Trumpets: John Best, R. D. McMickle, Billy May, Alec Fila; Trombones: Glenn Miller, Jimmy Priddy, Paul Tanner, Frank D'Annolfo; Piano: Chummy MacGregor; String Bass: Edward "Doc" Goldberg; Guitar/Cornet: Bobby Hackett; Drums: Moe Purtill. Bobby Hackett performed the cornet solo on the original Glenn Miller recording.

The record was ranked No. 1 in the US for two weeks in 1942 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart in a chart run of 21 weeks.[3][4]

Cover versions[edit]

Connee Boswell's recording for Decca Records in 1942 was among the very first vocals of the song ever waxed. The song was also recorded by Benny Goodman,[5] Harry James, Woody Herman, Ritchie Lee, Kurt Edelhagen, Barney Kessel, Floyd Cramer, Dick Schory's Percussion Pops Orchestra, Ernie Fields, James Last, Herb Miller, Geoff Love and His Orchestra, Felix Slatkin, Billy Maxted's Manhattan Jazz Band, Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra, Hugo Montenegro, Marty Gold, Ray McKinley and the New Glenn Miller Orchestra, Ted Heath and His Orchestra, Enoch Light and the Light Brigade, Les and Larry Elgart, the Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, the Freddie Mitchell Orchestra, Lawrence Welk, Joe Bob's Nashville Sound Company, Diane Courtney, and Narciso Yepes, among others.[6] Jazz pianist Stan Kenton recorded a live version with Red Kelly on bass and Lennie Niehaus on alto saxophone on the At the Las Vegas Tropicana album on Blue Note Records released in 1996.

The Benny Goodman recording was released as a V-Disc 78 single as No. 409A by the U.S. War Department in April, 1945.

In popular culture and media[edit]

The song was featured in the 1953 Glenn Miller biopic The Glenn Miller Story starring James Stewart.

The song appeared in Mike Nichol's 1971 film Carnal Knowledge.

"A String of Pearls" was featured on a 1972 episode of The Lawrence Welk Show in the episode entitled "Songs of the 40s".

The instrumental version appeared on a 1976 episode of the CBS series The Carol Burnett Show.

The song was played on the radio in the 1977 film Oh, God! starring John Denver and George Burns.

The song was in the 1986 comedy Tough Guys starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. The Glenn Miller recording was in a bedroom scene in the 1987 action thriller "The Sicilian". The Glenn Miller recording was featured in the 1993 comedy film Dennis the Menace starring Walter Matthau and Mason Gamble.

A recording by the Glenn Miller Orchestra appeared in the 2002 environmentalism documentary Blue Vinyl.

The Glenn Miller recording was featured on The Notebook soundtrack album in 2004.

The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2008 film Revolutionary Road starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.


  1. ^ a b "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #6". 1972.
  2. ^ Flower, John (1972). Moonlight Serenade: a bio-discography of the Glenn Miller Civilian Band. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House. ISBN 978-0-87000-161-1
  3. ^ Simon, George Thomas. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. New York: Crowell, 1974.
  4. ^ Song artist 6 - Glenn Miller..
  5. ^ Connor, D. Russell and Hicks, Warren W. BG on the Record. NY: Arlington House, 1969.
  6. ^ A String of Pearls. Second Hand Songs.


  • Butcher, Geoffrey (1997). Next to a Letter from Home. North Pomfret, Vermont: Trafalgar Square. ISBN 978-0-7515-1078-2
  • Miller, Glenn (1943). Glenn Miller's Method for Orchestral Arranging. New York: Mutual Music Society. ASIN: B0007DMEDQ
  • Simon, George Thomas (1980). Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. New York: Da Capo paperback. ISBN 978-0-306-80129-7.
  • Simon, George Thomas (1971). Simon Says. New York: Galahad. ISBN 978-0-88365-001-1
  • Schuller, Gunther (1991). The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930–1945, Volume 2. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507140-5

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Chattanooga Choo Choo"
by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra with vocal refrain by Tex Beneke and the Four Modernaires

"Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol' Me)"
by Woody Herman and His Orchestra with vocal chorus by Woody Herman
The Billboard National Best Selling Retail Records number-one single
February 7, 1942 (one week)
February 21, 1942 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol' Me)"
by Woody Herman and His Orchestra with vocal chorus by Woody Herman

"Moonlight Cocktail"
by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra with vocal refrain by Ray Eberle and the Modernaires