TEX BENEKE BIO
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Gordon "Tex" Beneke was born in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 12, 1914. Tex originally played with the Ben Young Orch in 1935 to 1937. In 1938, he joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra (During WW2, he was in a U.S. Navy Band.)
Beneke became the official band leader of the Glenn Miller's Band in 1946. As a sidemen, Beneke was known for his flexible sax solos with Miller's band and for his occasional singing, most notably - "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
When Miller broke up the band in 1942 to join the service, Beneke played with other bands (Horace Heidt and Jan Savitt) before joining the Navy. He was asked to lead the Miller band by Glenn's widow in 1946. "With Miller a fallen hero," wrote Leo Walker, "demand for the Miller sound was bigger than ever, and the band played to capacity audiences everywhere."
Year later he billed himself as "Tex Beneke and His Orchestra: Playing the Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller." In the 1960's he worked occasionally at Disneyland and special Miller re-unions. By the 1970's and 1980's he played with his own band in a style closely related to Miller's but with new songs. His new found success kept him active until the 1990's (mostly touring the West coast.) His health has been failing in recent years.
Even though he was one of the most popular soloists with the Miller band, his role was completely omitted from the Hollywood film, "The Glenn Miller Story".
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