Mills Brothers

1936-57 photo signed by the fabulous Mills Brothers

Price: $110.00

Description:
(John Sr., baritone, 1882-1967; Herbert, tenor, 1912-89; Harry, baritone, 1913-82; Donald, lead tenor, 1915-99, a/k/a “The Four Mills Brothers/Four Boys and a Guitar”) African-American 20th century jazz -pop vocal quartet, made over 2,000 recordings that combined sold over 50 million copies, earned 36 Gold Records. Vocal Group Hall of Fame 1998. Parents owned Piqua, Ohio barber shop, forming barbershop quartet, the "Four Kings of Harmony", singing in church choirs and at the barber shop. Entertained on Midwest theater circuit, tent shows, music halls and supper clubs, well known for close harmonies, mastery of scat singing, and ability to imitate musical instruments with their voices. Became local radio stars 1928 and got major break when Duke Ellington played Cincinnati. He called Okeh Records who signed them and brought them to New York. In Sept. 1930, Wm. S. Paley of CBS Radio in NYC heard them, immediately put them on air, next day signed them to 3-year contract, 1st African-Americans with a network radio show. First recording for Brunswick Records, "Tiger Rag", a nationwide hit, followed by "Goodbye Blues" (their theme song), "You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now", "Ole Rockin' Chair", "Lazy River", "How'm I Doin'", etc. Remained with Brunswick to late 1934, then with Decca through 1950s. CBS hit 1930-31, particularly after co-starring on “The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour” with Rudy Vallee, had their own popular radio series 1932-33, sponsored by some of largest advertisers in early radio; Standard Oil, Procter & Gamble, Crisco, & Crosley Radio. First film “The Big Broadcast” (Paramount, 1932), made 3 "bouncing ball" cartoon shorts for Fleischer Brothers. In 1934, starred with Crosby for Woodbury Soap, and recorded "Lazy Bones", "Sweet Sue", "Lulu's Back in Town", "Bye-Bye Blackbird", "Sleepy Head", and "Shoe Shine Boy"; film appearances included “Twenty Million Sweethearts” and “Broadway Gondolier”, (Warner Bros., 1934 & 1935). In 1934, became 1st African-Americans to give command performance before King George V & Queen Mary. John Jr. died early 1936, and father John Sr. replaced him as baritone and “tuba”, Norman Brown joined as guitarist. They re-recorded "Lazy River", and "Someday You'll Want Me to Want You," "Swing Is the Thing," "Long About Midnight", "Organ Grinder's Swing", "The Song is Ended", swing version of Ellington’s "Caravan”, "South of the Border", "Ain't Misbehavin'", "It Don’t Mean a Thing", "Jeepers Creepers", "Three Little Fishies", and "Basin Street Blues". They recorded "I'll be Around" 1943 and Donald chose "Paper Doll" as record’s B-side; recorded in 15 minutes, sold 6 million copies, their biggest hit. "Glow Worm" jumped to #1 on 1952 pop charts, followed by "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", "The Jones Boy", "Yellow Bird", "Standing on the Corner", and "If I Had My Way". In 1957, John Sr. stopped touring with the group. As a trio, frequent guests on “The Jack Benny Show”, “The Perry Como Show”, “The Tonight Show” and “The Hollywood Palace”. 50th anniversary in show business celebrated 1976 with LA tribute hosted by Bing Crosby. After Harry's death, Herbert & Donald continued until Herbert's death. Contributions to popular music recognized with 1998 Grammy for Lifetime Achievement presented to Donald, sole surviving member. ISP, 10 x 8 James J. Kriegsmann of NY studio publicity portrait for General Artists Corporation, signed by all, inscribed by Donald with sentiment at lower right.

Condition: Very good, 4 small surface scuffs have been shaded in pencil, of little consequence
Type:Photograph






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