Glen Gray

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Glen Gray Knoblauch, [1] better known as Glen Gray, (June 7, 1900 [2] – August 23, 1963, Plymouth, Massachusetts) was a jazz saxophonist and leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra.

Gray was born to Lurdie P. and Agnes (Gray) Knoblauch in Metamora, Illinois. His father was a lifelong railroad worker who died when Glen was two years of age. [3] His widowed mother married George H. DeWilde who was a few years younger than she was. When he was 13 years old, Gray organized a group known as Spike's Jazz Band.

Gray graduated from Roanoke High School. He is said to have joined the army at seventeen and two years later he was living at home with his family. He was employed as a bill clerk for the railroad. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University but left to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.

In 1927 his Orange Blossoms Band was renamed as the Casa Loma Orchestra, after the Casa Loma Hotel in Toronto, where the band played for eight months. Gray was forced to retire from touring due to ill health in 1950. Gray began recorded big band LPs in 1956.

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References

  1. The Mississippi Rag, "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra," George A. Borgman, October 2006, page 1
  2. The Mississippi Rag, "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra," George A. Borgman, October 2006, page 1,
  3. The Mississippi Rag, "Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra," George A. Borgman, October 2006, page 1

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