"Sing Along with Mitch" anyone remember this show?

For some unknown reason, a memory of the family sitting around the black and white Zenith and watching this television show, is haunting me. Does anyone remember this show? It must have been on in the late 60’s.

Sure. “Mitch” was Mitch Miller, a record producer in the 50s and 60s who put out an album of traditional songs along with a lyric sheet (they had a hit with “The Yellow Rose of Texas”). It was massively popular and spawned a long list of albums and eventually a TV show.

The “Sing Along Gang” would sing the songs straight – no attempt at harmony or anything like that. The words to the songs would be shown at the bottom of the TV screen for the audience to sing along.

Miller introduced the songs and conducted them. I remember how he held his hands – about waist high – and moved them back and forth to conduct.

The show ran from 1961-1966.

I kind of remember it. Yeah it was in the 60’s, but I would say early 60’s. About all I remember is Mitch was a goateed, mostly bald guy, and he would conduct an orchestra and/or choir. He would say … “and a one and a two and a” … and pump his arms a few times like he was conducting, then disappear. :slight_smile:

I remember hating the show. The one good thing that came out of it that I can recall was Leslie Uggams, a singer. She later gave credible performances in Roots and a movie about the White House that may have been called Backstairs at the White House.

Wasn’t Mitch Miller married to someone famous?

~Grinch for a day~

My parents loved this show, and so I had to watch it many times. It grew more and more irritating as I grew into my teens in the Beatles age.

Every comic and sketch artist used to mock, ape, or satirize the show. Or confuse it with Lawrence Welk’s not-too-dissimilar weekly saccharine bath. Mitch hated, hated, hated rock and roll, of course. He was the A&R manager at Columbia records in the early 60s and did his darnedest to squash the incipient music revolution under his odious toe until he was tossed out on his ear for costing the company millions. Didn’t hear as much out of him after that.

The obligatory IMDb link.

Mitch Miller also took over as temporary director of the Boston Pops after Arthur Fiedler died circa 1979. I was surprised that he was still arund, and looked pretty much the same, although grayer.

I don’t remember the show, but I remember the commercial for the album commemorating the show. I also remember a Flintstones with Mitch.

. . . Amazingly, Mitch Miller is still alive at the age of 92!

I remember seeing it on TV in the mornings when I was a kid. It must have been reruns, since I wasn’t born until '71. I remember the bouncing ball that would help those of us in the home audience follow along where we were in the lyrics.

A strange story: Mitch Miller publicly called (or calls) himself “the living repudiation of rock and roll.” However…

There used to be a weekly radio show called “Curtain Up” on the NPR station in Athens, GA, that would play all kinds of obscure recordings, from novelty songs to show tunes to Leonard Nimoy’s album of soul covers. And once, the DJ played a recording of Mitch Miller’s baritone chorus singing “Give Peace a Chance.” Yeah, the John Lennon song.

It was bizarre, and horrible. I have no idea where he came across that gem, but it was truly amazing to hear these “square as a prison meal and proud of it” musicians and singers going, “Everybody’s talkin’ bout bagism! Shagism!” and so on. Anyone know anything else about this?

(FWIW, I feel fairly confident that it was really Mitch Miller’s band and not some random group that the DJ claimed was them.)

(sigh!) Leslie Uggams! Bad reception, excessive stage lighting, and preposterously pale makeup caused this conversation in 1961:

Me: I love Leslie Uggams!

Brother: You realize she’s a Negro, don’t you?

(a moment of reflection as my worldview shifted)

Me: I love Leslie Uggams!

It was out of Sing Along With Mitch that my theory that sex is the cure to race problems sprang.

I also liked (in a platonic way) the bass who looked like a smiling monster. Yeah, the songs and show were corny but I like corny.

(looking at Exapno’s link) I KNEW I had seen Bob McGrath somewhere before Sesame Street! I figured it had been on Hootenanny.

I was raised on the Mitch Miller Christmas Album.

It was a sing-a-long record and I just listened to it last weekend when my wife and I put up the Christmas tree.

I am 27 and it is my favorite Christmas album. It is cheesy, but very sentimential too me.

I’d say most of the music I remember from the show was of the barbershop quartet genre. Hmm, let me see if I have any barbershop quartet music in my CD library. Nope. ;j

Mitch Miller had several other Top 40 hits: Lisbon Antigua (1956), Theme Song (from “Song for a Summer Night”) (1956), March From The River Kwai and Colonel Bogey (1958), and The Children’s Marching Song (Nick Nack Paddy Whack) (1959).

In the recent mockumentary feature A Mighty Wind, the New Main Street Singers are a Mitch Miller-type parody.

Leslie Uggams’ album with the Mitch Miller Sing Along Chorus.

Bob McGrath, of “Sesame Street” fame (at least from the time I watched the show in the early 1970s) was part of Mitch Miller’s chorus as well.

My father had most of the “Sing Along With Mitch” albums. I learned many popular, yet somewhat sappy songs from them.

Yes, dropzone wrote that four messages ago.

No one (that I see, but it is early morning as I write so I could easily have missed it) has mentioned the lyrics at the bottom of the television screen that Mitch used to urge the watching public to avail themselves of so they could “sing-along”.

As the OP stated it was like an official task on (I believe) Friday evening at our house for family members to gather in front of the set and follow the lyrics at the bottom of the screen and sing the variety of standards that he brought to his audience each show.

Looking back it was a warm fuzzy moment. At the time it was incredibly embarrassing and I took up bowling and joined a bowling league rather than be in the house for the family sing-along.

Speaking about Leslie Uggams - I agree with Dropzone. She broke down a bunch of color barriers among males.


Quite often, maybe every show, a celebrity would come on and lead one of the songs. I remember seeing the show but judging from when it aired, I must have seen reruns.

They actually were a parody of The New Christy Minstrals with a little bit of The Boardwalk Singers thrown in.

QUOTE]*Originally posted by Big Girl *
. I don’t remember the show, but I remember the commercial for the album commemorating the show. I also remember a Flintstones with Mitch.

Oh yeah. “Hum Along with Herman.”


I know I used to get him confused with the other goateed bandleader of that era, Skitch Henderson.

I can top that. My family had almost all of Mitch Miller’s albums, and we used to play them and sing along on nights when we weren’t watching TV.

I seem to recall reading that his taste in song selection and arrangement helped hold Aretha Franklin’s career back by a decade, and that he also had a role in the chintzification of Rosemary Clooney’s career.