Glenn Miller’s AAFB ∽ Russian Patrol a.k.a. Red Cavalry March a.k.a. Meadowlands ∽ 1944

One of the most thrilling charts by Jerry Gray for Major Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band, played ‘live’ on the radio, at some night in late 1944, will be today’s post after all that JC.

For all who are too lazy to read my description at the video, here it is for your convenience:

This is Sgt. Jerry Gray’s excellent arrangement on “Russian Patrol”, also known as “Red Cavalry March” & “Meadowlands”:

Learn more about the song, originally entitled “Polyushko-polye”, in Wikipedia.

There is also a splendid version of the same arrangement by Tex Beneke & His Orchestra, recorded in 1947; but the track I’m featuring here, is in my opinion the most authentic.

Vince Carbone can be briefly heard on tenorsax, Ray McKinley marches on with the drums.

Listen to the highly effective use of the biting trumpet section in the introduction. The inevitable Miller clarinet-lead reed sound is of course prominently featured as well.

Enjoy the Russian ride!

I love this one since I heard it being played by Tex Beneke & His Orchestra:

Here is Meadowlands (1947), transferred from the original shellack.

An old friend from Big Band Talk said the following after he’d played my “video”:

Very nice, Brew.

And you don’t hear trumpets with Harmon mutes very often any longer.


Yeah, you nailed it: Jerry’s instrumentation/ orchestration is excellent, as usual.

By the way: His “Begin The Beguine” for Artie Shaw shows already that he knew about certain “tricks” to get the listener’s attention.

Tex’s version from 1947 is faster. The much slower pace of the AAFB’s rendition maybe due to Winter’s cold 🙂

P.S. — Here’s the Tex Beneke version as it was issued by RCA on their budget label Camden, unfortunately with a lot of echo: Tex Beneke & His Orchestra, playing “Meadowlands” @ YouTube

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