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Mitch Miller

February 24, 1983 OHC189 55 min.


Music industry executive and producer. Born July 4, 1911. Served as a record producer for Mercury Records, then became head of pop recording for Columbia Records, 1950-1961. Covered many country songs for the pop market, including Hank Williams’s “Cold, Cold Heart” (recorded by Tony Bennett), Stuart Hamblen’s “This Ole House” (recorded by Rosemary Clooney), and Melvin Endsley’s “Singing the Blues” (recorded by Guy Mitchell).

Interview Summary

1983 February 24
(55 minutes)
Mitch Miller, producer for Columbia Records, talks about his decision to cover country songs for the pop field during the 1950s. Discussion includes the development of his work with Nashville; working with Fred Rose and Wesley Rose; covering Hank Williams’s songs; the story behind recording “A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation”; the quality of country songs during the 1950s; promoting pop versions of country songs; his role as head of pop production for Columbia Records during the 1950s; and comments on changes in the music industry since the 1950s.

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