Paul Tanner

Birth Name:
Paul O. W. Tanner
Birth Date:
October 15, 1917
Birth Place:
Skunk Hollow, Kentucky,
Death Date:
February 5, 2013
Place of Death:
Carlsbad, California
Cause of Death:
Cemetery Name:
Eternal Hills Memorial Park
Claim to Fame:
Paul Tanner (October 15, 1917 – February 5, 2013) was an American musician and a member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Tanner gained fame as a trombonist, playing with Glenn Miller and His Orchestra from 1938 to 1942, the group's entire duration. When it disbanded, Tanner joined the U.S. Army Air Force, becoming a part of the 378th Army Service Forces Band at Ft Slocum, NY. He later worked as a studio musician in Hollywood. Tanner earned three degrees at University of California, Los Angeles — a bachelor's in 1958 (graduating magna cum laude), a master's in 1961, and a doctorate in 1975. He also was influential in launching UCLA's highly regarded jazz education program in 1958. He then became a professor at UCLA and also authored or co-authored several academic and popular histories related to jazz. Tanner played an unlikely role in the history of rock ’n’ roll when, using a device he helped invent, he performed the famous electronic accompaniment on the Beach Boys’ signature recording “Good Vibrations” and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times".

Fun Facts

Several sources list Paul Tanner as the last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra when he passed away. Not true. He was the fourth-to-last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, being surpassed by bassist Trigger Alpert, who died ten months later, trombonist Nat Peck, who died in 2015, and trumpeter Ray Anthony, who as of January 2023 celebrated his 101st birthday.

When you watch old videos of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, look to the far right in the front row of trombones and you will find the tall skinny kid aka Paul Tanner.


Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Eternal Hills Memorial Park

1999 El Camino Real

Oceanside, California, 92054


North America


Map of Eternal Hills Memorial Park in Oceanside, California
Map of Eternal Hills Memorial Park in Oceanside, California

Grave Location:

Paul Tanner Memorial Statue

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery from Fire Mountain Drive, continue straight (with the offices on your right) 100 feet and park (just past the gates). Look to your left for the Paul Tanner trombone statue next to the kissing dolphin statue on the road overlooking the lake.

Grave Location GPS

33.193381261335624, -117.33001840365456



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