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Big Bands and Moonlight

In the Knott’s record collection there are six sides with a reference to the moon in the title. Most are from the swing era. None have anything to do with astronomy.

The oldest lunar reference is “Indiana Moon” by John McCormack from 1924.  The newest is “Carolina Moon” by Perry Como from the late forties. Between these somewhat tepid appeals for selenic help are several songs focusing on the more immediate benefits of moonlight. 

In 1942, Glenn Miller had two ‘moonlight’ tunes on one record. On one side we find “Moonlight Mood” with vocal accompanists, the Modernaires:

On the other side we have “Moonlight Becomes You” from the movie The Road to Morocco:

Glenn Miller is hard to beat, but Harry James’ version from the same year is arguably better:

The trumpet line is a strong statement of the tune, and the male vocal restates it nicely.

These recordings are both A-sides from 1942, the same year that The Road to Morocco premiered. Needless to say, both recordings are foxtrots. It would be interesting to know which version the local dancers preferred.


Glenn Miller  (1942)

A: “Moonlight Becomes You”

B: “Moonlight Mood


Harry James (1942)

A: “Moonlight Becomes You”