Mitch Miller, whose Sing-Along with Mitch television show on NBC in the early 1960s was the karaoke of its day, has died at age 99. As a producer at Columbia Records in the 1950s, Miller was responsible for the stardom of such singers as Patti Page, Vic Damone, Frankie Laine, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, and Rosemary Clooney. But he was also one of the staunchest opponents of the recording industry's embrace of rock-and-roll, calling it "musical illiteracy" and insiSting that kids like it because their parents don't. In a 1985 interview with Audio magazine, he railed against payola and its influence on popular music in the '60s and "British-accented youths ripping off black American artists and, because they're white, being accepted by the American audience."

03/08/2010