πŸ‘€ PROFILE: “MITCH MILLER”

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Mitch Miller was born in Rochester, New York, on July 4, 1911. He took piano lessons but soon switched to the oboe. After graduating in music, he began his career working for the CBS Symphony Orchestra.

After recording with conductors and arrangers Andre Kostelanetz and Percy Faith, Miller was hired by the Mercury Records label to serve as head of artists and repertoire. He was responsible for signing singers Frankie Laine and Patti Page to the company. Goddard Lieberson, president of the Columbia label and Miller’s college classmate, offered him to direct the company’s artists and repertoire department after the resignation of Manie Sacks.
Miller continued the formula he had employed with Mercury and continued to have extraordinary success for all the artists he worked with, except for Sinatra. Miller approached Frank about recording the kind of bland pop songs that hit the big time in the early 1950s, including the infamous “Mama Will Bark,” an absurdity in which he sings a duet with a celebrity named Dagmar. This extremely low-quality material precipitated the end of Sinatra’s career at Columbia Records and was responsible for the singer’s lifelong disdain for the producer.

Miller, however, provided hits for Guy Mitchell, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Ray. Miller himself had successful albums, such as the series “Sing Along With Mitch,” which gained such popularity that it inspired a television show. The arrival of rock and roll and the folk revival progressively ended his career. He died in Manhattan in 2010, just days after his 99th birthday.

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