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Ray Eberle

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Subject: Glenn Miller, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Moonlight Cocktail, At Last, That Old Black Magic
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Ray Eberle

Ray Eberle
Eberle in 1960.
Background information
Birth name Raymond Eberle
Born (1919-01-19)January 19, 1919
Mechanicville, New York, U.S.
Died August 25, 1979(1979-08-25) (aged 60)
Douglasville, Georgia, U.S.
Genres Big band, swing, Traditional Pop
Occupation(s) singer
Instruments vocals
Years active 1938 - 1979
Associated acts Glenn Miller Orchestra
Tex Beneke
Marion Hutton

Raymond "Ray" Eberle (born January 19, 1919, Glenn Miller Orchestra.


  • Career 1
  • Death 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Eberle was born in Mechanicville, Saratoga County, New York. His father, John A. Eberle, was a local policeman, sign-painter, and publican (tavern-keeper). His elder brother was Big Band singer, Bob Eberly, who sang with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Ray started singing in his teens, with no formal training. In 1938, Glenn Miller, who was looking for a male vocalist for his big band, asked Eberly if he had any siblings at home who could sing. Bob said "yes", and Ray was hired on the spot.[1]

Eberle recalled walking by a table when his similar looking brother was performing, and being stopped by Miller and invited to audition.[2] Music critics and Miller's musicians were reportedly unhappy with Eberle's vocal style but Miller stuck with him.[1]

Ray Eberle went on to find success with Miller,[3] deeming the songs for Orchestra Wives, such as the jazz standard "At Last", to be among his favorites as there were songs he could "sink my teeth into, and make a story out of".[4] He appeared in the Twentieth Century Fox movies, Sun Valley Serenade (1941) and Orchestra Wives (1942).

He made several Universal films, including Mister Big, making a cameo appearance as himself. Eberle mostly sang ballads. He led his own orchestra called, The Ray Eberle Orchestra as well as the Serenade In Blue Orchestra from 1943 and maintained his band until his death in 1979.[5] From 1940-43 he did well on Billboard (magazine)'s "College Poll" for male vocalist.[6] He also appeared on numerous television variety shows in the 1950s and 1960s.

Ray Eberle sang lead on "Sometime", composed by Glenn Miller in 1939, "Polka Dots and Moonbeams", "At Last", a number 9 chart hit on Billboard in 1942, and "To You", but Miller ran a tight ship and often fired people after one negative incident. Eberle was stuck in traffic one day during a Chicago engagement, and was late for a rehearsal. Miller fired him on the spot, and replaced him in June 1942 with Skip Nelson. After his departure from Miller, Eberle briefly joined Gene Krupa's band before launching a solo career.[1] He later joined former Miller bandmate Tex Beneke's orchestra in 1970 for a national tour, and reformed his own orchestra later in the decade.


Ray and his wife, Janet (née Young), had three children, Jan, Laurie and Raye Ellen Eberle. Janet's daughter Nancy Atchison became Nancy Eberle when she was adopted by Ray. Janet died in 1964. Ray had two sons from his second marriage to Joanne Eberle (née Genthon), Ray Eberle Jr. and John Eberle. He also has numerous grand children. Ray Eberle died of a heart attack in

  • Biography
  • IMDb profile

External links

  1. ^ a b c Solid! -- Ray Eberle
  2. ^ Tape 2, side A.
  3. ^ Gilliland 1994, tape 1, side A.
  4. ^ by Richard Grudens, pp. 144-47Chattanooga Choo Choo: The Life and Times of the World Famous Glenn Miller
  5. ^ Swing by Scott Yanow, pp. 101-03
  6. ^ Billboard magazine for April 24, 1948
  7. ^ New York TimesObituary from the



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