Seventy-five years ago this week was a great time to be a fan of big-band swing and jazz in Buffalo.
Friday, May 10, 1940, Glenn Miller and his orchestra played at the Connecticut Street Armory.
Already a well-established star when he came to Buffalo, Miller was America’s top-selling recording artist in the late '30s and early '40s. He only relinquished the title as he left commercial music to become the wartime leader of the Army Air Force Band. Miller went missing and was presumed dead when the plane he was flying in disappeared over the English Channel.
On Sunday, May 12, 1940, Count Basie and his orchestra played the Broadway Auditorium, now known as the Broadway Barns and home of the City of Buffalo’s heavy snow removal fleet and public works equipment. The building is rumored to be slated for demolition and replacement.
Basie was relatively new to the nationwide big band scene in 1940, having completed his first national tour the year before.