Ray Eberle

Born

  • January 19, 1919
  • Hoosick Falls, NY

Died

  • August 25, 1979

Theme Song

  • Serenade in Blue

Ray Eberle

Glenn Miller vocalist and orchestra leader Ray Eberle was the brother of Jimmy Dorsey singer Bob Eberly. Ray had no professional experience when he joined Miller in 1938. Miller, looking for a male vocalist for his new orchestra, asked Bob if he had any brothers at home that could sing. Bob said ''yes,'' and Miller hired Ray without question.

Though not all music critics were impressed with Ray's voice, he became an integral part of the Miller line-up, singing on many of the group's biggest hits. Even Miller's own musicians weren't happy with Eberle's style and often voiced their complaints, but Miller stuck with him. It was his lack of discipline that ultimately led to his departure from the group in 1942, though the actual event that led to his dismissal was beyond his control. Stuck in traffic during a Chicago engagement, he was late for rehearsal. Miller fired him on the spot, no questions asked. Eberle responded by blasting Miller in a trade paper. An angry Miller retorted with his own version of Eberle's firing.

Despite the riff with his former boss Eberle soon landed a job with Gene Krupa. He stayed only a short while, though, leaving to go solo. He starred in several movies in 1943, but before the year was out he entered the army. When his tour of duty ended in 1945 he formed his own orchestra, which drew on his past life with Miller. The group broke up in the mid-1950s, after which Eberle continued singing, often appearing on television. In 1970 he joined former Miller bandmate Tex Beneke's orchestra for a national tour. He later re-formed his own orchestra. Ray Eberle died from a heart attack in 1979.