Monday, August 02, 2010

Mitch Miller

Sing Along With Mitch was my introduction to Mitch Miller, the record producer, recording artists, record label executive and TV host. He passed away at age 99.   "Follow the bouncing ball" was the catch phrase on his TV show.  The ball tracked the lyrics, so you could sing along with his orchestra.  We even had some of those records in our house.  The Yellow Rose Of Texas comes to mind as one of those songs I heard  a lot of in the early 60's. This was family entertainment in the 60's sponsored by Ballantine Beer. 

Later on I was surprised to learn that he was an executive at Columbia Records.  People like Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett credit him with starting or jump starting their career into stardom.  Mitch was not as welcoming to rock as he was to popular music.  According to Wikipedia, he signed Aretha Franklin, who left Columbia for Atlantic Records where she would score her hits.

Mitch Miller was one of my first music memories.  

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