Emmett Miller


Emmett Miller

Emmett Miller (1900 - 1962) was an American minstrel show performer and recording artist known for his falsetto, yodel-like voice. Little-known today, Miller was a major influence on many country music singers, including Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Milton Brown, Tommy Duncan and Merle Haggard.

Miller was born February 2, 1900 in Macon, Georgia. Though his early life is largely undocumented, it is generally acknowledged that he was performing in minstrel shows by his early twenties [http://www.takecountryback.com/features/blues2.htm. Accessed November 1, 2007.] . In 1924, his first recordings appeared on the Okeh label. His backup group - The Georgia Crackers - included noted jazz musicians Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, and Eddie Lang. He continued to perform in minstrel shows well into his fifties, long after they fell out of fashion. Finally returning to Macon, he died there in 1962 and was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7989649. Accessed November 1, 2007.] .

Miller's influence on early country is most apparent in Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues," and Bob Wills' recording of "I Ain't Got Nobody," which closely resemble Miller's versions. Merle Haggard, Leon Redbone, Louis Prima, Van Halen and Van Halen's frontman David Lee Roth have all recorded Emmett Miller songs.

External links

* [http://www.music.us/biography/artist/24833/emmett_miller.html Biography of Emmett Miller]
* [http://redhotjazz.com/georgiacrackers.html Profile on Red Hot Jazz] (includes numerous audio files)
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:faogtq3ztu48~T1 Emmett Miller entry on All Music Guide]

Further reading

*Tosches, Nick (1979)."Country:The Biggest Music In America", Dell Publishing Co.
*Tosches, Nick (2002)."Where Dead Voices Gather", Back Bay Books.

References


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