Mitch Miller is dead at 99.
AP called him the “goateed orchestra leader who asked American’s to Sing Along With Mitch on television and records.”
Miller had a show in TV that started, I think, in 1961. Here’s a clip:
Mitch Miller made singing fun and reminded people that really anyone can sing, you don’t have to have a “singer’s voice.”
Many years ago, we belonged to a Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America congregation in Pittsburgh. One of the distinctives of that denomination is that they don’t use musical instruments in worship services or sing anything but Psalms acapella.
Going there for a decade or so, I learned to read music, and sing bass (I have a very deep voice). I also learned that the four parts of four-part harmony make it possible for everyone to sing, regardless of whether you have a very high voice or very deep.
Mitch Miller’s music sounds corny now, but it was really a lot easier and fun to sing to than just about anything you hear on the radio today. In fact, most popular music is impossible to sing to.
As he said himself of rock and roll:
Rock ‘n’ roll is musical baby food: it is the worship of mediocrity, brought about by a passion for conformity.
Mitch Miller: RIP