Paul Tanner spent 1938 until 1942 playing trombone with the Glenn Miller Band. He also authored or co-authored several academic and popular histories related to jazz, as well as helping to develop the electro-theremin, a space age-sounding instrument he played on Beach Boys songs like “Good Vibrations,” “Wild Honey,” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.”
Tanner earned three degrees at UCLA: 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 jazz education program in 1958.
When he passed away at the Sunrise Living Facility in Carlsbad on February 5, 2013, at the age of 95, he was the last surviving member of the original Glenn Miller Orchestra.