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Another Side of Mitch Miller

Mitch Miller became known to the broader public for his aggressively mainstream commercial records of the 1950s and 1960s. As a record company executive, he took talented singers (Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney) and put them on gimmicky, deliriously overproduced records like "Mama Will Bark" (Sinatra) and "Come on-a My House" (Clooney).

Even Miller told Time magazine much of the music he crafted for pop sensibilities was dreck. "I wouldn't buy that stuff for myself," he said. "There's no real artistic satisfaction in this job. I satisfy my musical ego elsewhere."

Miller was an extremely talented musician and spent his early career making distinguished classical and jazz records. For a broader sense of his musical accomplishment, listen to his oboe playing on this piece by Sibelius and this recording by Charlie Parker.

By Adam Bernstein  |  August 2, 2010; 1:51 PM ET
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Next: The Daily Goodbye


The Post manages to find a negative side when writing about a pop music producer, but seems unable to find much negative about a dead Communist terrorist Lolita Lebron (a 'nationalist' according to the writer) in an obit that would have been at home in the fashion section ('...a striking Ms. Lebron wears a set jaw and a stylish skirt and jacket.). The writer marvels at how Lebron 'in turn inspired other nationalists to violence. '

Posted by: JackWilson | August 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If you're a celebrity, it doesn't pay to die much later than your contemporaries. Very few people know (or care) who Mitch Miller is anymore. His chief accomplishment was to produce an enormous amount of lousy music in the early 1950's which indirectly led to the rise of rock and roll and the near end of the classic pop music tradition. That's pretty bad, but at least he wasn't a communist.

Posted by: publius29 | August 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

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