Mitch Miller

Mitchell " Mitch " William Miller ( born July 4, 1911 in Rochester, New York, † July 31, 2010 in New York City ) was an American orchestra leader and classical Oboespieler, the at with great success in his activities as a repertoire of boss and producer record companies such as Mercury Records and Columbia Records ( in Germany: CBS ) had.


Miller graduated in 1932, the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester; In the same year he started in the music division of CBS. He also appeared as an oboist in the orchestra of George Gershwin, as well as on the radio as soloist with the CBS Symphony Orchestra 1936-1947. In 1948, Miller moved from CBS to Mercury Records, where he initially worked in the classical field. In the same year he became music director in pop music department, where he took Frankie Laine under contract and produced several top-selling hits such as Mule Train, That Lucky Old Sun, Cry of the Wild Goose and Jezebel with him. Here Patti Page came under contract, landed a million-seller with a cover version of the Tennessee Waltz. In February 1950 he moved back to CBS, there to serve the same function as with Mercury.

CBS belonged at that time to the big three record labels in the United States, along with RCA Victor and Decca. Among the many artists at CBS was also since 1942 Frank Sinatra, who rejected some song suggestions by Miller in 1951. Miller left them one taken from him under contract young singer with the stage name Guy Mitchell, who with My Heart Cries For You and The Roving Kind ( over two million copies sold ) enjoyed great success. The record deals with Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and the Four Lads went to his account. In 1951, he acquired Johnnie Ray, with whom he produced the million-seller Cry.

As of February 1950, Miller's own recording career began as a performer. First hit was a stormy version of the Israeli folk song Tzena, Tzena, Tzena. In this folk wave also The Yellow Rose of Texas came out, the remaining six weeks at No. 1 and advanced to Miller's first million-seller. Even greater was the success in December 1957 with the arranged by Miller and played by his orchestra medley March from the River Kwai - Colonel Bogey March by Kenneth J. Alford and Malcolm Arnold from the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai; the recording was number one in Germany and sold here alone four million times.

Millions Sellers

The trained musician Miller proved an infallible feeling for hits. Alone in 1951, he produced 11 of the top 30 hits, had four million-seller and helped to develop CBS from fourth largest top-selling label.

The Rosemary Clooney produced by Mitch Miller brought out in 1952, three million sellers, who now by Mercury Records on newly Frankie Laine two, including the theme song from the classic Western High Noon. Laine's version was recorded only a day after the original by Tex Ritter ( ie on May 15, 1952) and published on 20 June 1952. So she came out three weeks later than the original by Tex Ritter ( Capitol # 2120 ) who sings the song in the accommodated in theaters on July 30, 1952 film. The hasty production was a wise decision Millers, because the movie version of Tex Ritter came only up to rank 12 of the pop singles chart - probably helped by the reluctance of the Capitol label.

Doris Day, Percy Faith and Ray Conniff he helped by skillful repertoire and marketing strategy to break through. With his " Sing Along " albums Mitch Miller reached in July 1958 unbroken record of 23 LPs in the charts with sales of 17 million copies in the period up to December 1962. Basis of this series was a very successful television show of the same title, the ran until the early 1960s and throughout America animated by insertion of the lyrics to sing along.

Only with Frank Sinatra Mitch Miller did not understand. The singer left the end of 1952 upset the Columbia label and criticized Miller for life. Miller was not a promoter of rock ' n ' roll, which can be read in the Columbia catalog. Therefore, the experts gave him the right to have missed this genre of music with a predominantly affluent youth. The only attempt were the long negotiations with management over an Elvis Presley recording contract, but did not materialize due to high demands. Columbia was satisfied with the subsidiary label Epic and Okeh Records, where mainly appeared rhythm & blues performers.

Miller held on to lighter pop music

While the competing record labels youthful performers zuwendeten with rock & roll music, Miller remained at its previous concept. Early 1961 were Columbia LP sales still satisfactory, but decreased the total sales. The only youthful discovery was Bob Dylan, who was brought from the jazz / blues / gospel producer John Hammond to Columbia.

Miller's influence faded noticeably, as in 1964 with Paul Revere & the Raiders the first rock & roll band was acquired. In 1965, he left Columbia and devoted himself thereafter only the oboe game. Even in old age he still toured with classical orchestras. From Mitch Miller who also wrote the song Tunes of Glory, the Coca- Cola company started ( " Use your Match It" slogan ) as background music during the Football World Cup 2006 in Germany in its television advertising.