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November 09, 2008

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Listener James from Westwood

During my youth in Bergen County, I happened to sit three rows behind Bob McGrath at the Rt. 4 Tenplex (which, for those who live outside the 91.1 listening area, was in Paramus, right near Bob's town of Teaneck). My mother spotted him before I did, and whispered in my ear, "That man is Bob from Sesame Street." He happened to turn around at that point, and I nearly plotzed. This was my first encounter with a TV star.

Dale

Mitch Miller and Raveen. Separated at birth?

Ray Brazen

I used to see Bob McGrath walking around at street fairs around North Jersey from time to time in my youth. Nice guy.

That said, he looks like Phranc in this episode!

I used to love Mitch, and apparently still do, though not enough to listen to his records. Which reminds me, if anyone outside (or even inside) the greater Albany to Tangiers area is interested in completing their MM collection, I can help. I realize this isn't generally thought of as a place to move vinyl, and yet I recently found myself sitting on what could easily be termed the mother lode of all MM records - most are unplayed M/M condition! The problem is (forgive me Mitch) I don't want 'em, but I'd be glad to send them to anyone who does. If interested you can reach me at [email protected]

Smith

"arguably the whitest man in television history":

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Bob_McGrath_Sesame_Place_headshot.jpg

--Look at that face-pretty fucking jewy, almost as jewy as Miller himself and that is one hebrew profile!

Jeff Trexler

As square as Sing Along with Mitch may have been, it was also way ahead of its time. On TV & in his LPs, Mitch Miller worked from the assumption that electronic media is fundamentally participatory and communal. His genius lay in seeing television and records not as a bunch of people passively sitting in a theater, but gathered around the piano making songs their own, a la McLuhan's metaphor of the TV as the campfire of our age.

Mac

Saying Mitch was square is not totally accurate. He was a
He sat in on a Screw Magazine editorial session in the late 70s (I was there).
He also carried a nasty switchblade which he said was only used for picking pubic hairs out from between his teeth.

Ralphine

Is this not the look that Station Manager Ken appears to be going for?

illlich

I'm curious . . . did ANYONE ever actually "sing along" with those albums?

Anyone remember your folks putting those on when you were a kid and having a sing along at a dinner party or something?

Jim Mulroney

My parents watched Mitch Miller all the time and though it was spectacularly white bread entertainment (even I thought so, and I was a Bobby Rydell fan at the time) he was a fine musician who recorded with Charlie Parker and many other jazz artists, and his politics were on the progressive side. I once attended a Lyndon Johnson campaign rally at the Bergen Mall in Paramus—this was when Johnson was finishing JFK’s term, before he escalated Vietnam. When Johnson appeared Mitch led an amazing collection of celebrities (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Maureen Stapleton, Roddy McDowall, Tony Perkins, Shelley Winters and many others) in a rousing rendition of “Hello Dolly” performed as “Hello Lyndon.” A few years later most of those people, myself included, wanted nothing more to do with Johnson and Mitch Miller began appearing at Moratorium rallies. Considering Mitch’s fan base, it took courage to take that stand. He and “The Gang” actually recorded a jaw-dropping version of Give Peace A Chance!

Bren C.

Square? I dunno if I can argue with that. But 10 hours after watching these video clips, I began to have nightmares of Mitch - specifically, with Mitch taking on that Kubrick-esque pose in front of the camera, leering and leaning ever so slightly forward toward the lens hovering somewhere above and in front of his forehead.

Creeeepy!

karen

we lost a sing along during hurricane katrina
can any mitch miller fans/bloggers help us find it again, please!

it was a christmas sing along golden records kids album
lp/g record
it had a very special story
towards the night before Christmas on it
but this was a special version, this story had a fairy in it that tried to take you to dream world as the story played.
i have been looking and everytime i think i find it it's the wrong version
please help
karen

Marvin

Catch Mitch's oboe solo on Charlie Parker's "Just Friends" and then tell me he's a square! Also, regarding the idea that Mitch's show was white-bread, do remember that Leslie Uggams appeared on his show regularly and she was a rare black voice and face on early 60s TV.

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