|Birth name||Glen Gray Knoblauch|
|Also known as||Spike|
June 7, 1906|
Roanoke, Illinois, USA
|Died||August 23, 1963
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
|Genres||Jazz, big band|
|Labels||Brunswick, Decca, Capitol|
|Associated acts||Casa Loma Orchestra|
Gray was born to Lurdie P. and Agnes (Gray) Knoblauch in Roanoke, Illinois. (Another source says that Gray was born in Metamora, Illinois, and his family moved to Roanoke when he was an infant.) His father was a lifelong railroad worker who died when Glen was two years of age. His widowed mother married George H. DeWilde.
Gray graduated from Roanoke High School, where he played basketball. 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 fraternity, but left to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.
Gray attended the American Conservatory of Music in 1921 but left during his first year to go to Peoria, Illinois, to play with George Shaschert's orchestra. From 1924 to 1929, he played with several orchestras in Detroit, Michigan.
In 1927, Gray's 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. Casa Loma in Hi-Fi was the result, with 14 high-fidelity recordings.
Gray and his wife had one son.
- "Hollywood Star Walk Glen Gray". Los Angeles Times. 25 August 1963.
- Holloway, Tony (February 3, 1957). "Glen Gray Top Band Leader for 20 Years". The Pantagraph. Illinois, Bloomington. p. 6. Retrieved May 7, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Borgman, George A. (October 2006). "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra". The Mississippi Rag. p. 1.
- Eder, Bruce. "Glen Gray Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 114.
- Ref. 1, op cit.
- Glen Gray at the Internet Movie Database
- Glen Gray biography at Swingmusic.net
- The Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra records, 1915-1979 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
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