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Publicity photo of Ray and the band

GMO starts its first road trip from La Guardia Airport, NY, on June 9, 1956

La Crosse, WI - July 4, 1956

July 1956-Ray McKinley & Lenny Hambro doing an interview at WKBH-NBC

Ray McKinley playing the drums during a dance

The Glenn Miller Orchestra during a dance

Versatile Ray McKinley takes a turn at the drums

Ray directs the band

The Maestro himself sings about the south in 'Bowlin' Green, KY

Ray and the band

Ray shaking his maracas while singing with the band

The band under the direction of Ray McKinley

The band heading off on an airplane

The band on the road - January 1956

Talented drummer

Ray McKinley

June 6, 1956 – January 6, 1966

The mating of Glenn Miller’s magnificent music with Ray McKinley’s very special talents began long before he lead the band.  It started as sort of a mutual admiration and culminated many years later in Ray’s taking over Glenn’s wonderful AAF dance band when Major Miller was lost in action during World War II.

Ray McKinley first met Miller when they played together from time to time in the old Ben Pollack band and then worked together in the Miller Army Air Forces band up to the time of Glenn’s disappearance over the English Channel in 1944.

There were several attempts in the past to recreate the Miller style with bands led by Tex Beneke, Ralph Flanagan, Ray Anthony and Jerry Gray.  But the elusive quality that made Miller’s name a sweet and swing byword in the late ’30s and early ’40s never was entirely captured.  Ray was one of the most sought-after drummers and most respected band leaders in the history of the business.