Glenn Miller Interviews the ‘I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo’ Singer
Most famous for his skills as a trombone player and bandleader, Glenn Miller was no singer. The voice you hear on "(I've Got a) Gal in Kalamazoo" is Tex Beneke.
Nobody ever calls him "Gordon," but Glenn Miller signs his checks so he knows Tex's real name. Gordon "Tex" Beneke was a saxophone player with Glenn Miller and His Orchestra and is the lead voice you hear on "(I've Got a Gal) in Kalamazoo." The two sat down for a chat and we learn a little about the man who did that "old-time, rough-style singing" on the song that put Kalamazoo on the musical map.
Beneke's interest in music started young, when he was 8 or 9. He played in his Fort Worth, Texas high school band and after graduation, played out every chance he got. In 1935, bandleader Ben Young gave him his first paid gig and he would defect to the Glenn Miller Orchestra three years later. (I've Got a) Gal in Kalamazoo was not the only big hit Tex Beneke is featured on, he has a sax solo on "In the Mood," and is the featured singer on "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Asked by Glenn Miller whether he'd rather play or sing, Tex replies, "I don't mind the singin', but for real kicks, give me my horn."