“Moonlight Serenade” is not only one of the most beautiful songs of the Big Band Era, it’s one of the most beautiful in the history of American music. Written by Glenn Miller (Great American Things, August 27, 2009) and recorded by his orchestra, it was the number five song for the year 1939 on the Billboard chart.
The song was recorded initially as an instrumental, but Mitchell Parish soon added lyrics that are less well known. Parish, by the way, may be a songwriter you’re not familiar with, but he wrote lyrics to such great songs as “Star Dust,” “Deep Purple,” “Sophisticated Lady,” and “Sleigh Ride.”
“Moonlight Serenade” became Glenn Miller’s theme song. He even used the name for his radio program that ran three times a week from 1939 to 1942.
It’s always fascinating to look at a classic song and see who’s recorded cover versions. As you may expect, lots of artists have recorded “Moonlight Serenade,” but these are some of the more unexpected: Los Indios Tabajaras (Brazilian guitar duo), Taco, The Rivieras (doo wop), Buddy Emmons (steel guitar), The Ventures, Bobby Vinton, and Chicago.
In 1991, Glenn Miller’s original version entered the Grammy Hall of Fame…