Mitch Miller, (1911-2010), is best remembered for his television series, 1961-1964, SING ALONG WITH MITCH. A chorus would sing popular songs and the lyrics would appear at the bottom of the screen. Television watchers were invited to sing along.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Miller was one of the most powerful figures in the music industry. He was the head of artists and repertoires for the Coplumbia label. This meant he signed the artists and decided what songs would be released. He was very succesful with such artists as Tony Bennett, Patti Page, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Marty Robbins, and Johnny Mathis. His major fault was he hated rock ‘n’ roll and passed on such artists as The Beatles, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley. It finally cost him his job when Columbia became a major player in signing rock and roll artists.
Considering his dislike of rock, it is ironic that his biggest hit replaced “Rock Around The Clock” as the number one song in The United States. “The Yellow Rose Of Texas” was an old Civil War era song and he had his usual chorus sing the lyrics. It sold a million copies and reached number two in England. It was the number one song on all three BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Charts.
Best Sellers In Stores Chart – 9/3/55 – 6 weeks at number one.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – 9/3/55 – 6 weeks at number one.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – 10/1/55 – 6 weeks at number one.
Miller would remain active until near the end of his life, passing away at the ripe old age of 99, in 2010.