Original Soundtrack

Sun Valley Serenade/Orchestra Wives

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This unauthorized gray-market release draws music directly from the soundtracks of two early-'40s movies, both of which served as showcases for Glenn Miller & His Orchestra. Miller was the most popular musician of his day, and Hollywood exploited his success by building a couple of thin stories around performances by his band in Sun Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives. Composer Harry Warren and lyricist Mack Gordon provided most of the songs (with interpolations of some of Miller's bigger hits, including "In the Mood." Not all the music from the films is included on this slipshod collection (notably missing is "That's Sabotage," featuring singer Marion Hutton), but the sound quality is surprisingly good. The standout number from Sun Valley Serenade is "Chattanooga Choo Choo," in which, after regular Miller singers Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly, and the Modernaires take their turn, Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers step in to provide a jazzy alternative. The corresponding song from Orchestra Wives is "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," again with the Nicholas Brothers presenting a different interpretation. (Of course, they also dance up a storm, but the only evidence of that here is some percussive foot tapping.)

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