When Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records promised her artistic freedom to create records outside the pop mainstream in a more rhythm-and-blues-driven direction, she left Columbia after five years.
Miller disapproved of rock 'n' roll  —one of his contemporaries described his denunciation of it as "The Gettysburg Address of Music"—and passed not only on Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly , who became stars on RCA and Coral respectively, but on The Beatles , too, creating a fortune in revenue for rival Capitol. Previously, Miller had offered Presley a contract, but balked at the amount Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker , was asking.
According to former Newsweek music critic Karen Schoemer, Miller's refusal to record in the genre was also owed to his fear that the label, and its corporate parent CBS , would be implicated in the scandal surrounding payola if he did so, remarking:.
I knew what was going on—everybody in the business knew what was going on. You had to pay to play. In defense of his anti-rock stance, he once told NME in January "Rock 'n' roll is musical baby food: it is the worship of mediocrity, brought about by a passion for conformity.
Producer Bob Stanley had found the group during a series of early "Mexican civil rights concerts" in East Los Angeles. Although Mitch had once referred to the group as just "four arrogant little bastards," Miller softened his position regarding them when Paley's estimate of their record sales in Mexico proved to be highly accurate. It was because of his recommendation and a letter of reference to William Schuman that Aken's parents sent the young musician and future Hall of Fame guitarist to the Juilliard School of Music.
Despite his distaste for rock 'n' roll, Miller emphasized emotional expression over vocal perfection  and often produced records for Columbia artists that were rockish in nature. As a record producer, Miller gained a reputation for both innovation and gimmickry. Miller exemplified the worst in American pop. At the same time, Friedwald acknowledges Miller's great influence on later popular music production:. Miller established the primacy of the producer, proving that even more than the artist, the accompaniment , or the material, it was the responsibility of the man in the recording booth whether a record flew or flopped.
Miller also conceived the idea of the pop record "sound" per se: not so much an arrangement or a tune, but an aural texture usually replete with extramusical gimmicks that could be created in the studio and then replicated in live performance, instead of the other way around. Miller was hardly a rock 'n' roller, yet without these ideas there could never have been rock 'n' roll. The similarities between it and, say, " Leader of the Pack ", need hardly be outlined here.
While some of Columbia's performers, including Harry James ,  Frank Sinatra , and Rosemary Clooney ,  resented Miller's methods, the label maintained a high hit-to-release ratio during the s. Sinatra particularly blamed his temporary fall from popularity while at Columbia on Miller; the crooner felt that he was forced by Miller to record material like "Mama Will Bark" and "The Hucklebuck".
He also recorded a string of successful albums and singles, featuring a male chorale and his own arrangements, under the name "Mitch Miller and the Gang" beginning in In , Miller's orchestra and chorus recorded " U. He and his orchestra also recorded children's music for the Golden Records label. A choral group called The Sandpiper Singers provided the vocals for these recordings, including an album of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. In , Miller also provided two choral tracks set to Dimitri Tiomkin 's title music on the soundtrack to The Guns of Navarone.
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