Mitch Miller

Host/Conductor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Mitch Miller (1911 - 2010) talks about his early musical interests in high school, where he played the oboe. He talks about his first professional jobs in Rochester, New York, and his move to New York City. He mentions working with George Gershwin and describes the orchestration of "Rhapsody in Blue." He talks about joining the CBS symphony orchestra in the mid-30s, where he appeared on radio through the 1940s. He discusses working at Mercury Records and then Columbia Records and his nurturing of musical talent (such as Johnny Mathis,) as well as his developing of hit songs (including "I Believe"). He talks about providing the song "Let Me Go Lover" to the CBS drama anthology series Studio One, which became an instant hit record for unknown Joan Weber. He briefly mentions his own hit record in "The Yellow Rose of Texas." He speaks about getting his first exposure with sing-along songs on television with the special Startime: Sing Along with Mitch. Miller then speaks in great detail about his famed 1960s television series resulting from this special, Sing Along with Mitch. B-roll consists of a shot of a "Look" magazine cover, along with shots of this issue's article and internal photos. Karen Herman conducted the interview in New York, NY on July 24, 2004.

"There never was a bouncing ball. Everyone says there was a bouncing ball, but we just had the lyrics."

Highlights
Host Mitch Miller on the "Sing Along with Mitch" TV special that aired as a production of Ford Startime, and led to his own series
02:42
Host Mitch Miller on the attention he gave to the camerawork on Sing Along with Mitch (initially for the TV special that appeared on Ford Startime)
02:08
Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller on providing Studio One with the title song for the production "Let Me Go, Lover" which became an instant hit for unknown singer Joan Weber
05:34
Host Mitch Miller on Sing Along with Mitch regular Leslie Uggams and her talent (and the negative letters he received regarding his having an African-American regular on his show)
01:56
Host Mitch Miller on his signature conducting style for Sing Along with Mitch
01:24
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on his musical education; on his work in CBS radio

Chapter 2

On Mercury Theater's famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast; on joining Columbia Records; on popular music

Chapter 3

On getting into television; on producing his own albums; on pitching his television show

Chapter 4

On Sing Along with Mitch

Chapter 5

On other shows he appeared on; on his conducting style; on his opinion of of contemporary music; on his advice to aspiring music professionals
Shows

Ford Startime

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Host Mitch Miller on the "Sing Along with Mitch" TV special that aired as a production of Ford Startime, and led to his own series
02:42
Host Mitch Miller on the attention he gave to the camerawork on Sing Along with Mitch (initially for the TV special that appeared on Ford Startime)
02:08

Sing Along with Mitch

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Mitch Miller on produing the original "Sing Along with Mitch" albums that became the basis for his later television series
05:37
Host Mitch Miller on the "Sing Along with Mitch" TV special that aired as a production of Ford Startime, and led to his own series
02:42
Host Mitch Miller on the attention he gave to the camerawork on Sing Along with Mitch (initially for the TV special that appeared on Ford Startime)
02:08
Host Mitch Miller on his signature conducting style for Sing Along with Mitch
01:24
Host Mitch Miller on Sing Along with Mitch regular Leslie Uggams and her talent (and the negative letters he received regarding his having an African-American regular on his show)
01:56
Host Mitch Miller on the mistaken belief that his Sing Along With Mitch show had a "bouncing ball," which was used in movie theaters for sing-alongs
00:37
Host Mitch Miller on using the same chorus from his "Sing Along with Mitch" records for his TV show despite the sponsor wanting "pretty boys"
00:43

Studio One

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Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller on providing Studio One with the title song for the production "Let Me Go, Lover" which became an instant hit for unknown singer Joan Weber
05:34
Topics

Minorities

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Host Mitch Miller on Sing Along with Mitch regular Leslie Uggams and her talent (and the negative letters he received regarding his having an African-American regular on his show)
01:56

Pop Culture

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Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller on providing Studio One with the title song for the production "Let Me Go, Lover" which became an instant hit for unknown singer Joan Weber
05:34
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Host Mitch Miller on the attention he gave to the camerawork on Sing Along with Mitch (initially for the TV special that appeared on Ford Startime)
02:08
People

Bernard Herrmann

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CBS Symphony Orchestra member Mitch Miller on working with Bernard Hermann on "The Mercury Theater on the Air"
00:40

Leslie Uggams

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Host Mitch Miller on Sing Along with Mitch regular Leslie Uggams and her talent (and the negative letters he received regarding his having an African-American regular on his show)
01:56

Orson Welles

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CBS Symphony Orchestra member Mitch Milleron Orson Welles and the famed "Mercury" production of "The War of the Worlds"
02:35

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