Title: Mitch Miller, RIP
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bgart
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(Date Posted:08/02/2010 12:32)

Just learned about his passing via the Classic Horror Film Board, and immediately thought of the Yule Log & its fans, Chip especially. Amazing he lived as long as he did, 99 years old. RIP, Mitch!

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us%2F0_0_s_4_0_t&usg=AFQjCNEmU4rKLBOo1vreihTxCyiM2l9I6Q&sig2=mVO-qw31uJCBJi__AR-Zgg&cid=17593784373208&ei=AA9XTKCWA4iqNsnW2I8C&rt=MORE_COVERAGE&vm=STANDARD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fblogs%2Fthetwo-way%2F2010%2F08%2F02%2F128932737%2Fmitch-miller-sing-along-bandleader-dies-at-99


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Christmas Always
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RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/02/2010 16:31)

They just mentioned it on our local news.  He was 99.  All the great masters of the Christmas Music most of us grew up listening to are pretty much gone.  What a shock it was.  I found this article on The New York Times website:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/arts/music/03miller.html?src=me

I'm sure there will be a lot of websites with other links about his passing.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/03/2010 00:32)


I had great hopes that Mitch was going to make it to 100. He had less than a year to go.

Mitch Miller's influence on great classic Christmas music cannot be overstated: he not only recorded two great classic Christmas albums himself, but as the legendary A&R chief at Columbia Records, he brought to the label the man who went on to record the two greatest Christmas albums of all-time, Percy Faith.

In addition, it was Mitch Miller who brought together Percy Faith and Johnny Mathis. What happened is after Johnny's first album for Columbia Records fared poorly, Mitch brought Johnny to Percy Faith (who was Columbia's Music Director at the time) in the hopes that Percy could do something with him in the Pop Department. After several successful albums together, Johnny and Percy eventually collaborated on Johnny's Christmas LP, Merry Christmas, which I consider the fourth greatest Christmas album of all-time.

So, as you can see, Mitch Miller's influence on great classic Christmas music was quite profound and I am deeply saddened by his passing; however, I am so very gratified that I was able to honor Mitch and his Christmas music last year by awarding him a well-deserved spot on the new 4th hour of the Yule Log that I added to the program. That song, of course, was Must Be Santa.

To hear the song, as well as read the In The Spotlight tribute that I did for Mitch last year (prior to adding the new 4th hour), Click here.

Thanks Mitch, you will be missed...



                       Mitch Miller 1911-2010




(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 08/03/2010 12:58)
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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
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RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/04/2010 07:56)

Hopefully Mitch watched The WPIX Yule Log last year and got to hear his music added to the fourth hour.  I can still picture myself sitting in front of the television singing along with his TV show from 1961 - 1966.  It is so sad that his is gone now.  I haven't been able to get "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Must Be Santa" out of my head for two days now.  They are so vivid that it is as if I'm listening to them on an LP.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
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RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/04/2010 22:11)


Same for me, Susan; since the news of Mitch's death, his songs have been continually running through my head, too.

By the way, Mitch was a longtime resident of Manhattan, so there's a good chance that he did in fact know that I added one of his songs to the new fourth hour of the Yule Log last year. Let's hope.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
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RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/05/2010 07:58)

Hi Chip,

I was surprised about the number of people who thought that Mitch had passed away a long time ago.  When I posted the news about his passing on some other Christmas Groups that I belong to, there were a few on each group who mentioned that they thought he had passed away before I posted the news.

Just curious, if you don't mind my asking, did you eve get to meet Mitch in person?

It is so very sad that he is gone, but one has to remember that he was basically "our age" back when we were listening to him on the radio and then watching his "Sing Along With Mitch" on TV in the 1960's.  the same goes for all the great artists we grew up listening to.

Fortunately, we do have our own personal memories and some of us have their music on Vinyl and/or CD so we can listen to them whenever we want.  And now, Mitch is "Honored" for, hopefully generations to come, by your adding him to the fourth hour of The Yule Log.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/05/2010 22:33)


No Susan, unfortunately I never met Mitch; although, I feel like I did based on the stories that Ethel Gabriel has shared with me about him. They were competitive colleagues and good friends who intermingled mostly during the time when he was A&R chief at Columbia Records and she was A&R chief at RCA-Camden Records. And while I can't share much of what she has told me about him and their friendship, I can tell you that he was a very kind and considerate human being; a real gentleman. She also told me that she would have been just as comfortable working at Columbia for Mitch, as she was for RCA and her boss of many years, Steve Sholes (Executive A&R VP of RCA Records), who she adored.

By the way, if you've never heard of Ethel's boss Steve Sholes before, he was the legendary RCA Records executive who signed Elvis Presley to the label in 1955. In fact, Ethel accompanied Mr. Sholes on that trip to Memphis for the contract signing, which took place on November 21, 1955. Although the quality isn't very good, posted below is a photo from that day...

Pictured left to right are Elvis, Steve Sholes, and Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker:




P.S. - When I see Ethel again later this month, I'll get some good pictures of her that I can post in the future. There's a good one where she and Colonel Tom Parker are hamming it up for the camera. Ethel had a great sense of humor -- not as much with the Colonel.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
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RE:Mitch Miller, RIP
(Date Posted:08/06/2010 07:03)

Thanks Chip,

It's nice to find out these little bits of information.  Normally when they talke about Elvis, you don't hear about the people behind his career other than Colonel Tom Parker.  Though these people are influential, in a lot of cases they go unheard about for years.

I am an Elvis fan, but I don't know a lot about his career other than the general information that a lot of people would know along with listening to his music growing up and watching his movies.  But I didn't know how to find about what goes on behind the scenes, the crew, recording engineers, etc.  This isn't necessarily information that is put out to the general public.

To give everyone an idea of what I'm trying to explain.  Several years ago, I volunteered at a local college Drama group and the Drama Professor was also a Director and Actor.  I often was the Assistant to the Director, Stage Manager, Lighting Directory, Sound Director, Prop Manager, I helped with costume changes, etc and though the people coming to see the plays that we had done at the college never got to see me, or other behind the scenes people.  It takes more than just the actors to put a play on and we didn't often get recognized in the program guides, but were equally responsible in pulling off a good show.  I can't tell you how great it felt when they got a standing ovation as I had a part in it and in a way, I was getting a standing ovation too.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

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