John Hammond's reputation is safe.I'd like to know more about his time at
Mercury's classical division.There seems to be little,if any, information out
there on this.
What is this chamber music record he recorded for Mercury?
I was not aware of his involvement with any of the Charlie Parker strings
recordings.He is not credited either on the Mercury,or the early
From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tue, August 3, 2010 11:58:50 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Mitch Miller RIP
In the (few) obits I've read for Mitch Miller, I didn't see any mention of his
early role in Mercury Records, which was important for the young independent
company. Miller was an oboe player, Eastman School trained. He was hired at
Mercury by John Hammond and he, Hammond and David Hall comprised the company's
earliest classical-music staff. Miller recorded an album of oboe/chamber
orchestra music for Mercury, as well as worked on the "Charlie Parker with
Strings" sessions for Norman Granz. At that time, Granz was affiliated with
After Miller went to Columbia and, among many other things, founded the famous
30th Street studio, he continued to moonlight with other projects. One on-going
thing for him in the 50's and 60's was conducting, arranging and producing
sessions for Little Golden Book kiddie records. He did some of these sessions at
Fine Sound and then Fine Recording.
Some of the obits and tributes struck me as very ironic. Miller was portrayed as
this old fuddy-duddy of suburbia in the age of rock and roll with his sing-along
show. The goatee should have slain that myth. Both Miller and Hammond were
cutting-edge dudes in their time, very much on the forefront of music and
intellectual thought, and far left of the mainstream in their social and
political views. They were progressives before there was such a term.
Mitch Miller did much for the music business, and for Mercury and then Columbia
Records. May he rest in peace.
-- Tom Fine