The Glen Island Casino

Glen Island Casino

The Glen Island Casino was one of the centers of the Big Band Universe in the 1930's and 40's.  Many of the era's most influential bands made their names there including Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Charlie Barnet and The Dorsey Brothers.  It was located in New Rochelle, New York and overlooked the Long Island Sound, which made it an attractive location for dining and entertainment.

The term "casino" had a different meaning back then.  At that time a casino was defined as a social place for public entertainment and not associated with legal gambling. The Glen Island Casino did develop a reputation for being a speakeasy towards the end of Prohibition.

In the early 1930's the casino began to book up-and-coming musicians for weekend dances. Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra were one of the first bands to fill the hall with packs of young fans in 1932. The next summer, the Casa Loma Orchestra, drew in the large crowds and ushered in the Big Band and Swing Era for the casino.

The live performances at the Glen Island Casino were being heard nationwide via Radio Broadcasts.  The casino's enormous ballroom was ideal for the rowdy, dancing crowd. The structure and acoustics of the performance area were perfect for the crystal-clear radio transmissions.

Glenn Miller had so many great performances at the Glen Island Casino.  Many of those remote Radio Broadcasts were turned into albums years later.

Other artists that had notable engagements at the Glen Island Casino were Larry Clinton, Les Brown, Charlie Spivak, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, Hal McIntyre and Claude Thornhill.

After the end of the Big Band Era, the Glen Island Casino was eventually converted to a restaurant and catering hall.

Glen Island Casino

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