Decca Records is delighted to renew its recording partnership with The Royal Air Force Squadronaires, 70 years after the band formed and recorded their first Decca album in 1940, the very year of The Battle of Britain. The band releases In The Mood: The Glenn Miller Celebration, a tribute to the great bandleader Glenn Miller, bringing new but authentic recordings to some of the best-known Big Band tunes of the wartime era.
The album will take in both the original and the 21st Century, from X-Factor stars to vintage greats. Decca has enlisted some bright young artists including X-Factor’s Stacey Solomon who sings At Last (the song she also performed on the ITV show). But the album also includes a very special new recording of Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree with original vocals lifted from The Andrews Sisters*.
The Royal Air Force Squadronaires were a household name in the Second World War when they provided a much-needed morale boost during arguably Britain’s darkest hour. Their first public date took place 70 years ago in Blackpool with a line-up that included saxophonist Harry Lewis, the late husband of Dame Vera Lynn. They travelled the world entertaining soldiers, sailors and airmen, and quickly established themselves as the UK’s leading Big Band.
Comprising 18 elite musicians from the RAF, the band has kept its heritage and has an enviable worldwide reputation. Today’s band, led by Sergeant Kev Miles, frequently performs for Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace and has backed, amongst others, Will Young with its inimitable nostalgic sound.
All-time jazz legend Glenn Miller was the best-selling recording artist in the war era. His success came to an abrupt end in December 1944 when his plane went missing over the English Channel while on his way to entertain US troops in France with the American Air Force Band (The Squadronaires’ US equivalent). Miller had been recording at Abbey Road studios and so it is fitting that this new Glenn Miller tribute album was recorded there too in the year that we commemorate the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain.
The album features classics that were co-written and popularised by Miller including the title track In The Mood, plus other favourites Chatanooga Choo Choo, Little Brown Jug, Moonlight Serenade, String of Pearls and Pennsylvania 6-5000.
It is an album that perfectly encapsulates the very best of the wartime era. Decca hopes that this injection of nostalgia will echo the success they experienced last year with another of their war-time artists, Dame Vera Lynn.
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