Recording artist and TV host Mitch Miller has passed away. He died on Saturday at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 99 years old.
Miller was an accomplished oboe player and recording artist when he came up with the idea for his “sing-along” records. The Sing Along with Mitch albums debuted in 1958 and became an immediate success. Featuring old standards that were sung by two dozen male voices, the albums included song lyrics and invited listeners to sing along to the old standards.
The concept was soon adapted to television, with song lyrics often appearing at the bottom of the screen to help audiences follow along. Sing Along with Mitch began as a TV special and was successful enough to return as a biweekly and then weekly TV series. First-run episodes were produced until 1964. Reruns were played during the summer of 1966.
The sing-along era eventually passed and Miller continued to produce music but he didn’t like rock ‘n roll. In later years, he led crowds in sing-alongs while making personal appearances. He hosted some PBS specials and conducted regional orchestras, including the Boston Pops.