General News

Big-Band Biggie Dies

Aug 15, 2001 | 10:04am EDT

You might not know the name, but if you've ever heard a scratchy version of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" on a record, you know the voice. Tex Beneke, who handled lead vocal duties on the big-band-era hit, died today at a Costa Mesa, Calif., nursing home. He was 86.

Beneke was a singer and saxophonist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He played on all the Miller standards, including the classic instrumental "In the Mood," and the aforementioned "Choo Choo."

Beneke went on to found his own orchestra after Miller was lost in a WWII combat flight in 1944.

Cause of death was not disclosed.

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