Mitch Miller, Conducting, NYC, 1961
Photographed By: Vernon Smith
Born on the 4th of July in 1911, Mitch Miller -- musician, producer, record executive -- became one of the most influential personalities in American popular music during the 1950s and early 1960s. As a Columbia Records A&R man, he signed Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray, Ray Conniff, Percy Faith, and more. As leader of "Mitch Miller & the Gang," he had a string of hits of his own including "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" "The Yellow Rose of Texas," and two popular marches from "The Bridge on the River Kwai." He became an indelible pop culture legend with his interactive television program "Sing Along With Mitch." The Vernon Smith portrait is classic vintage Mitch, exuding unbridled enthusiasm and exuberance, a psyche liberated by boundless good cheer. Mitch Miller received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.