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 Post subject: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sat 11, 2012 3:40 am 
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When you get old like me, your mind finds weird things to think about.

A lady going into assisted living gave me a stack of records this morning. I got a Perry Como record that I did not have and some other goodies. In the stack was a Mitch Miller record that I did not have. "Sentimental Sing Along With Mitch" from the early '60's on Columbia 360 Stereo. WOOOOOOOO.......

Anyway.........the Mitch Miller band on these records is pretty basic. A harmonica and, on this record, a banjo. Maybe a rythm guitar and drummer. Can any of you record affeciandos tell me who played banjo for Mitch Miller back then. Good ol' Mitch was pretty much the bomb at Columbia back then, so this banjo player was no slouch. What say ye? (Time for my nap now). Thanks...........GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2012 3:48 am 
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This must have been a pretty good trivia question. Either nobody knows, or nobody cares. Thank you for reading.............GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2012 4:21 am 
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Greg, that might be one of those things that's difficult to find out. Google it and see if you find out the members of Mitch Miller's band.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2012 4:27 am 
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Nope i did some reading on Mitch band members not mentioned just refered to as his Gang

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2012 4:33 am 
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oldmusicman wrote:
Nope i did some reading on Mitch band members not mentioned just refered to as his Gang

That's all I could find out also about his band. Bands usually change through the years anyway, and I expect his band did as well. He might have had a half dozen banjo players during his career.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2012 5:16 pm 
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I figured that finding out who Mitch Miller's banjo player might be a tad bit of a stretch, even for those on this forum. The information I have gleaned off this forum for the last several years is nothing short of amazing. Sometimes, you will run across somebody with connection to a particular entertainer, in this case Mitch Miller. Somebody who did production, or made coffee, or swept the floor even. They would likely know who the principals were.

There are no credits on record albums of the early '60's like there are on later albums. That is really unfortunate. I can usually figure out who the players are on country albums, but my familiarity with Mitch Miller is not so great. I know a man who just may have the information. He is on a radio show on Saturday mornings and studies obscure facts pertaining to music. If I get any information, I will share it. Thanks for all your replies.

BTW.....oldmusicman.........I got a record recently with AL Hirt and Ann-Margaret. Al Hirt actually sings on the album. Titled "Beauty and the Beard", on RCA from 1966. I never heard Al Hirt sing before and had no idea that Ann-Margaret ever did. Bet you don't have that one!!..........All the best..........GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 12:46 am 
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That's a tough one. Only thing I can remember was the group was called "the sing along gang"

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 3:56 am 
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[quote="electra225"]I figured that finding out who Mitch Miller's banjo player might be a tad bit of a stretch, even for those on this forum. The information I have gleaned off this forum for the last several years is nothing short of amazing. Sometimes, you will run across somebody with connection to a particular entertainer, in this case Mitch Miller. Somebody who did production, or made coffee, or swept the floor even. They would likely know who the principals were.

There are no credits on record albums of the early '60's like there are on later albums. That is really unfortunate. I can usually figure out who the players are on country albums, but my familiarity with Mitch Miller is not so great. I know a man who just may have the information. He is on a radio show on Saturday mornings and studies obscure facts pertaining to music. If I get any information, I will share it. Thanks for all your replies.

BTW.....oldmusicman.........I got a record recently with AL Hirt and Ann-Margaret. Al Hirt actually sings on the album. Titled "Beauty and the Beard", on RCA from 1966. I never heard Al Hirt sing before and had no idea that Ann-Margaret ever did. Bet you don't have that one!!..........All the best..........GREG
[/quote]


Watch for the movie "Bye Bye Birdie" when it comes around on TV. Ann-Margaret Does well singing in that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 4:08 am 
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In some cases there is discographical data on the net. You might try googling "Discography: Mitch Miller.

I have a lot of discograpies in a whole bookcase of volumes. Unfortunately, they stop either immediately before or after nWW II.

On the Bye Bye Birdie..... It was the first disc I'd played on the 6HF1 that I have. Boy, did it ever sound wonderful.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 4:09 am 
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Ann Margret, a sexpot if ever there was one and no i had no idea she could sing.
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Attachment:
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220px-Ann_Margret-publicity2.jpg [ 12.4 KiB | Viewed 4083 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 4:24 am 
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Here's a cinemascope video from a movie with Ann Margret singing "Next Time." Better voice than you imagined, eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV5cFr5LhEE


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2012 8:29 pm 
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I misquoted the year as 1966. It actually reads 1964. Good old RCA and their dated record albums.

There are three additional Ann-Margaret albums listed under the "other RCA Victor albums you will enjoy" tag....."And Here She Is" LPM/LSP 2399, "On The Way Up" LPM/LSP 2453, and finally, last but not least "The Vivacious One" LPM/LSP2551. Who knew. And to say that Ann-Margaret could sing may have been a stretch. She looked good standing at the mic, RCA got her to stand there, and the rest, as they say, is recording history. Go figure.

The album that I mentioned with Ann-Margaret and Al Hirt reminds me of Louis Prima and Keely Smith. That kind of sound. Not great, but pleasant. Connie Francis has no competition from Ann-Margaret Olson. Cheers...........GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 12:47 am 
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IIRC Ann-Margret first appeared as a singer-dancer, and her first professional success was as a singer on RCA Victor.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 1:12 am 
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Location: Haledon NJ USA
The banjo player was probably just some poor slob that only got paid scale. Mitch may have been a nice guy, but he was the enemy to the art of popular music. Note that he single-handidly almost ended Sinatra's carreer 3 decades early, and Rosemany Clooney couldn't wait to get the hell away from Columbia records and Mitch with this miserable novelty song garbage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUZmqlLCQEo

Ken D.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 2:05 am 
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Just watched her on utube doing the title song to the "The Swinger" not a bad voice at all and she is so damn pretty.
Im going to go on the hunt see if i can turn up an LP of hers or failing that a CD.
I just found a 1961 screen test on utube for "It might as well be spring" she can certainly sing that song :) "
Greg your a bad man you found me another female lol thanks
Thanks guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 5:21 am 
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Seriously, go rent a copy of "Bye Bye, Birdie." You won't regret it.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 3:47 pm 
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I think of her as a cross between Julie London and Marilyn Monroe...

She appeared on the Dean Martin show quite a few times, starred with Elvis in "Viva Las Vegas" and had quite an affair with him as well...


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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 9:11 pm 
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I watched "Bye Bye Birdie" way back when, and always thought that Ann-Margarets voice was dubbed in when she sang. Like was done in singing westerns and all those silly beach movies, in the '50's and '60's. Call me sheltered, but I honestly did not have a clue that Ann-Margaret ever did any singing, let alone make a record album for a heavy hitter like RCA.

The comment about Mitch's banjo player being a studio musician is probably going to be the closest to what took place. It is too bad that these studio musicians did not receive the recognition (and probably the pay scale) that they deserve. Warts and all, ol' Mitch made some good music with a basic band on his "Sing Along" albums. An accordian, harmonica, banjo, ukelele, mandolin, rythm guitar, bass, and drums with brushes were about it. The recordings were not about the accompaniment, but the vocals. Mitch made a few guys sound like 50 people.

Mitch Miller appeared to prefer songs written in the 1800's and early 1900's over more modern fare. And his dislike for "popular" music is legendary. I hadn't heard how Miller nearly ended the career of Sinatra. That would be an interesting story. Rosie Clooney hated "Come-on-a-my-house" with a passion, yet it was one of her bigger hits. Mitch had his style and was in charge. Like it or not, his success with "Sing Along With Mitch" probably made lots of money for Columbia Records.

Another question for you trivia buffs. Wonder why there was never a "country" version of "Sing Along With Mitch"? It seems, based on the records I have collected, that most everyone who made records cut a country album in the 1963 time period. Just about the time that the "Nashville sound" craze started. All the usual country artists, of course, but also Rosie Clooney, Al Martino, Nat King Cole, even Anita Bryant. And nary a dud in the lot! Is it safe to assume that perhaps Mitch Miller disliked country music as well?

Thanks for all your input on this. I am a trivia buff, and stuff nobody thinks or cares about is interesting to me. All the best............GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Oldmusicman......If you would like a CD of "Beauty and The Beard", referenced above, PM me your address and you've got it. I just put that album on my computer last evening and squeezed the frau off a copy....................GREG

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 Post subject: Re: Mitch Miller's Banjo Player
PostPosted: Aug Tue 14, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Location: Haledon NJ USA
I will give Mitch credit for his excellent oboe playing on the Charlie Parker & strings records.

Ken D.


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