AKA Mitchell William Miller
Birthplace: Rochester, NY
Location of death: Manhattan, NY
Cause of death: Illness
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician, Music Producer
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Sing Along with Mitch
Mitch Miller was a talented professional oboe player who made his mark as producer of hits for Mercury and later Columbia Records, and as performer and producer of wildly popular Sing Along with Mitch albums and a long-running television program of the same name. The title was meant literally — his niche was performing well-known standards, and listeners were encouraged to sing along. His album liners included complete lyrics, and on his telecasts the lyrics were superimposed onto the screen and viewers were instructed to "follow the bouncing ball" that hovered over the lyrics one word at a time. He topped the charts in 1955 with his sing-along recording of "The Yellow Rose of Texas".
As a producer, he convinced Rosemary Clooney to record the oddball ditty "Come On-a My House", which made her a star; he matched child singer Jimmy Boyd with the holiday hit "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"; he convinced moviemakers to have Frankie Laine sing the theme for Gary Cooper's High Noon. He obtained and arranged hit singles for Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Johnnie Ray, and Jerry Vale, and discovered Aretha Franklin. He nurtured the early career of Leslie Uggams by insisting that she be a featured player alongside white singers on his Sing Along TV show, in a time when such musical integration was considered controversial. With only occasional exceptions he avoided working in rock 'n' roll, which he described as "musical illiteracy".
Wife: Frances Josephine Alexander (m. 10-Sep-1935, d. 2000, two daughters, one son)
Daughter: Margaret Miller Reuther
Son: Mitchell, Jr.
University: Eastman School of Music (1932)
Sing Along with Mitch Host (1961-65)
CBS VP Artists & Repertoire, Columbia Records (1950-65)
Mercury Records Director of Artists and Repertoire (1947-50)
CBS Radio Oboe and English horn, CBS Symphony Orchestra (1935-47)
Metropolitan Museum of Art Oboe and English horn, MMoA Orchestra (1934)
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Oboe and English horn (1930-33)
Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Oboe and English horn (1926-29)
Grammy Lifetime Achievement (2000)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
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