Living Era's tribute to Tex Beneke presents a heartwarming selection of vintage swing recordings, beginning with two that he made as a member of Glenn Miller's orchestra in 1941 and 1942, followed by 23 examples of Beneke's best work as a bandleader, recorded between March 1946 and November 1949. Gordon Lee "Tex" Beneke was born in Fort Worth TX on February 12, 1914. He played in various jazz and dance bands in the southwestern U.S. and toured with the Ben Young orchestra until Glenn Miller hired him in 1938. Christened "Tex" by Miller himself, Beneke became one of the orchestra's featured saxophonists but was best known to the public as a warm and personable vocalist. After the dissolution of Miller's highly successful band in 1942, Beneke served in the Navy as a musician. After Miller's death in 1944, Beneke worked with the leader's widow to re-assemble the orchestra and present music that closely emulated the established Glenn Miller sound. This ultimate tribute band opened at New York's Capitol Theatre in January of 1946. By December of that year Beneke was able to assume nominal leadership of the band, and he stayed at the helm until breaking with the Glenn Miller estate in 1950 to establish his own independent dance band. For the remainder of his long life Beneke presided over a series of well-received nostalgia-fueled groups, regularly fronted Glenn Miller reunion and tribute ensembles, and was still singing in front of live audiences during the late '90s. Tex Beneke passed away at the end of May 2000, having outlived Glenn Miller by more than 55 years.
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