The Glenn Miller Orchestra was originally formed in 1938 by Glenn Miller. It was arranged around a clarinet and tenor saxophone playing melody, while three other saxophones played the harmony. Miller had already formed one band before this in 1936, but dissolved it as he considered it too similar to other bands of the era.
After the disappearance (and presumed death) of Miller in 1944, the band was reconstituted under the direction of Tex Beneke, its lead tenor saxophonist, singer, and one of Miller's longtime close friends. A few years later, the Miller estate, having parted ways with Beneke, hired Ray McKinley, principal drummer in Miller's Army Air Force band, to organize a new 'ghost band' in 1956.
Hollywood contributed to the band's popularity and that of its founder and original members with the 1953 release of The Glenn Miller Story on the big screen. The band garnered award nominations and box office success, as well as top hit status for its soundtrack album in 1954.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra continued to record and perform under various leaders starting in 1956 and is still touring today. Singer Nick Hilscher became the director of the touring band in 2012, replacing previous director Gary Tole.