Friday, April 04, 2014

A Signature Serenade

When I was a small child, my parents had an old stereo and a rather meager collection of records — both of which were stored on a shelf that was just high enough that I couldn't reach it even if I climbed up on the shelves.

I guess my parents managed to stay one step ahead of me.

A few of the records in that collection were mine — and my brother's, too, after he was born. They tended to be narrated children's stories with sound effects, and they were scattered among my parents' records. At times, I knew exactly what I wanted to hear — and sometimes I climbed up that shelf to get one. I wasn't old enough to read, but I could tell from the picture if the album was one of mine or one of my parents'.

Didn't matter, really. As I say, I still couldn't reach them, and I gave up trying after a couple of attempts. Good thing, too. I could have been seriously hurt if I had fallen.

In my parents' collection was a set of Glenn Miller recordings, and I remember watching them dance to the songs in our modest living room. They didn't dance often, but, when they did, they liked to dance to Glenn Miller.

When I got older, I could almost imagine what they must have been like when they were dating in college — dancing to Miller's music and the other popular recordings of that time with their friends — who I knew, of course, as older versions of themselves.

Anyway, when my parents danced together in our living room, one of their favorites was "Moonlight Serenade," which was recorded 75 years ago today.

It is often regarded as Miller's signature song, and it is easy to see why. It should make just about anyone's list of his greatest works.

Other people might name something else — personally, "In The Mood" has always stood out as Miller's best as far as I am concerned — but I think that most people could live with "Moonlight Serenade" as his signature song.