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The Mills Brothers have always been my favorite group of all time!

The Mills Brothers TodayThe Mills Brothers Today

The Mills Brothers Today

Click play button below to enjoy the 1/9/11 interview with John Mills.

Over 2 hours!  

What began over 75 years ago as an astonishingly original vocal group has grown into one of the most long-lasting and beloved acts in American popular music.  The magic of The Mills Brothers continues today under the leadership of John Mills -- the son, grandson and nephew of the original group’s members.   

The new generation of The Mills Brothers also features the vocal prowess and compelling stage presence of Elmer Hopper, who spent nearly two decades as a member of The Platters.  Together, the duo captures the inimitable sound of the original group as they recreate hit songs like “Cab Driver,” “Glow Worm,” “Lazy River,” “Yellow Bird,” “Basin Street Blues,” “Opus One,” “Paper Doll,” “You Always Hurt the One You Love,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and more.    
 
The Mills Brothers began as a novelty act, debuting at the Mays Opera House in Piqua, Ohio. Thanks to their distinctive harmonies, the group went on to sell tens of millions of recordings, and posted a hit each year between 1935 and 1947.  They received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998. 
    
The Mills Brothers’ eloquent musicianship lives on, and continues to pack performing arts centers worldwide. 
 
My personal and special meeting with The Mills Brothers! 
 
I had the opportunity to see them live in 1981 when I was 17. Only because I was able to push my way into backstage at the Westbury Music Fair because I was lucky to have a radio show with WGBB 1240AM Freeport Long Island, NY at that time. 
 
I got to see them and Harry Mills gave me an interview! 
 
This was a special night for me as I couldn't believe I was somehow being allowed backstage access at this famous place. I made sure I had my 78's with me so I can have them autographed! 
 
Unfortunately, I either forgot or lost my white grease pensil for the 78 autographs. I went nuts. But somehow, by the grace of God, I found a small piece of chalk on the floor backstage which had to suffice. That night was one of the most magical nights for me! 
 
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I now know who I met that evening after recently reading the inscription on my signed 78 and remembering how that night went. 
 
I now remember who I met that night who was enjoying a cig out the back door from the dressing rooms who was gracious enough to autograph the 78. It was Donald Mills!  
 
I was 17 so I lit one up too! I couldn't believe where I was. This was so magical. I stood there frozen hoping I can be okay and not be asked to leave for some reason. 
 
For lack of a better description... this was the man with the velvet voice! How else can you decribe it. Amazing! My idol. No one can copy or match it. Yet I stood there not knowing anything else except knowing I was standing there with one of The Mills Brothers. 
 
But this guy was so cool and so wonderful, just as I envisioned he would be. I was speechless. A very special moment in my life to say the least. 
 
I remember this wonderful man asking me if it would be okay if he signed his brother Harrys name on the record since he was having sight problems at the time. Wow! 
 
What could I say except of course and he did just that. What a great guy! 
 
He then directed me to make sure I go back into the dressing room and tell Herbert that they all signed the record, and when he gets a chance to also sign it. 
 
I was terrified! How could I... a17 year old, go into a room and give orders to a Mills Brother who was one of my idols. It was very tough to say the least. 
 
And when I got there he was sitting on a couch talking to people. Am I supposed to be rude and break into a conversation with one of The Mills Brothers? 
 
The best I was able to do was try to interrupt the conversation he was having and place the record in front of him on a table and mention that everyone signed it and if he can also sign it we'd apprecite it. Then I stepped back into the hallway. 
 
I kept looking every few seconds to see if he leaned over to sign it but he never did. 
 
About about 20 minutes later Donald walked by in the hallway and asked if his brother signed it and I said I'm not sure and that he probably didn't. 
 
He walked in and picked the record up and handed it to Herbert and he signed it and this is the record that has been with me ever since. 
 
Obviously I will never forget this. These guys are great! 
 
Once again I am sorry it is in chalk, but the chalk that night was my savior. 
 
Here is the now the famous autographed 78 of The Mills Brothers that I have spoken about for over 30 years. 
 
Let me write below the inscription as it might be tough to read on the scan, or even in person... 
Sincere Regards 
  
The Mills Brothers 
  
Donald Herbert 
  
Harry 
The 78 !!! 
One of my prize possessions! 
 
 
Mills Brothers Concert Ticket 
 
Myself with The Mills Brothers 
 
Myself with The Mills Brothers at The Lyric Theater 
 
1/13/11 they performed at The Lyric Theater in Stuart, FL and they were magnificent! The love for these guys was overwhelming. John Mills also gives an oral tribute and history of The Mills Brothers that is outstanding. 
 
Between the amazing Mills Brothers vocal arrangements and the full orchestral backdrop, a special evening will always be in store. They are and always will be the best! The Mills Brothers... gotta love 'em! 
 
Watch The Mills Brothers Sing Paper Doll with Dean Martin 
 
   
 
 

       

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