Musical Prayers

War experiences inspired Dave Brubeck's religious music

About 90 days after D-day, June 6, 1944, I was sent overseas as a rifleman in the Army. I landed in France, where we were loaded onto a train heading northeast. At Verdun, we knew that if the train veered right, we'd be at the front that night. It went right.

When we got to an area behind the front, there were some Red Cross girls who wanted to sing for the troops and asked if anyone in the G.I. audience could play the piano. An upright piano was on the back of an Army truck that had been reconstructed...

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