AT a recent meeting of the Ross Vaga Probus Club members and visitors were treated to a splendid talk by Richard Jordan entitled The Other Glenn Miller Story.

Richard has spent most of his working life in the music industry, working alongside many famous musicians and bands, including Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. He is thus well qualified on the subject.

Richard's talk was smooth and professional, interspersed with music and video clips and a plethora of photographs, covering Miller's early years and culminating in his commissioning into the US Army during the Second World War, as leader of the Army Air Forces Band.

Glenn was born in Ohio, USA, in 1904. He and his wife, Helen, were voted America's 'most devoted married couple' in 1942.

Working alongside Benny Goodman and Bing Crosby, Glenn formed a major cornerstone of American Jazz during the 1920s and 1930s.

Under his leadership, the Glenn Miller Band had 25 Number One hits between 1938 and 1942, albeit the only hit he wrote himself was Moonlight Serenade.

His Army Air Force Band was a large 40-piece ensemble, which played to troops in England and Europe between 1942 and 1944 – a much-needed morale boost for soldiers fatigued by the onslaught of war.

Of note, his arrangement of WC Handy's St Louis Blues combined blues and jazz as a traditional military march.

The story of his death is a mystery. Planning to fly from Bedford to Paris on December 15, 1944, he turned down a flight in a Douglas Dakota, opting instead for a single-engine monoplane.

The aircraft and its passengers disappeared over the English Channel.

The cause to this day is unknown, although it is believed that the aircraft iced up in cold weather, causing it to ditch.

Vaga Probus is a men-only group that meets twice a month in Ross-on-Wye. Visitors are very welcome: please contact the secretary on 01989 218295.