Tex Beneke (Gordon Lee Beneke)
BiographyFort Worth, Texas, USA
The popular singer and saxophone player began with the Ben Young Orchestra (1935-1937), and joined the Miller band in 1938, becoming one of the bands's most popular personalities and soloists (though he was not seen or even referred to in The Glenn Miller Story). His personality and talents led him to the top of the Downbeat and Metronome magazine polls, with his vocal work on "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo", and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree". Read more... had a string of Top 10 hits. But disputes arose between the band's manager/producer (who wanted to keep the band's music in the pre-war mode) and Tex, who wanted to introduce new music and sounds. Tex left to start his own band, which became "Tex Beneke and His Orchestra: Playing the Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller", with his first album, "Shooting Star" (released on Magic Records in 1948), where Tex could express his desire for fresh sounds while still perpetuating the classic Glenn Miller trademarks. He worked consistently into the 1990s, making personal live appearances, playing his own kind of music in the style we still closely identify with the Miller sound.