Happy New Year
Posted on: 11th January 2011 20:30:26

 1Welcome to the January installment Orchestra Wives. Let’s swing in the New Year with the Big Bands!

Orchestra Wives was chosen for inclusion in the workbook primarily because I love Glenn Miller music.

More to the point,  this film above all others in the series, is the film my patients relate to the most – The Big Band era, dating their spouse, going to dance halls and the music.


Everyone recognizes the music and I get great responses. I have even found closeted Glenn Millers who played in High School Jazz bands.


The ladies in my group reminisce about their first crushes, whether it be on a boy in school or thinking “dreamy thoughts” about a celebrity in much the same way Connie (Ann Rutherford) does as she watches Bill Abbott (George Montgomery) play the trumpet at an outdoor dance.


In the group we also find ourselves talking about social standards for women and proper etiquette related to how ladies and gentlemen interacted.


When Connie goes to see Bill Abbott at a dance hall in Elgin she can’t get in because she is unescorted. When he asks her to stay with him past midnight she refuses – it wouldn’t be proper. Conversation takes off when we compare that behavior to today.


One of my favorite scenes in the film is the first. The band is rehearsing Chattanooga Choo Choo. I ask if the group recognizes anyone? Jackie Gleason, Cesar Romero, Tex Benecke. We begin to discuss where we have seen them before or since.   (Note: As you watch that scene, feel free to point out the girl singer, Marion Hutton. She was the elder sister of actress Betty Hutton and began singing with Glenn Miller and his orchestra at the age of 17).


There are so many other things I like about this film, I could spend days just talking about it. However, in the interest of space and your time, I’ll simply recommend that you and the group spend time talking about how the women dress -- in dresses, hats and white gloves.  Now that’s class!


I hope this helped put you in the mood for a great month of group sessions.


Thanks for looking in!


See you in February for President’s Day and the musical history lesson found in 1776!






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