03 August 2010

Let me hear a little melody

I learned today that Mitch Miller just died at the ripe old age of 99. He is known as the Father of Karaoke. Those of you who are under the age of 55 probably won't remember him but when I was a kid he was very popular in the early 1960's. He had a television show on NBC called "Sing Along with Mitch" and it was a great favorite with my family, especially the older generation. Each week we would tune in and sing along with Mitch and his gang. The program would generally start out with a theme song about a melody. It went something like this:

Let me hear a little melody,
A simple singing song
And I sing along.
Get me here a melody
A simple singing song
And I'll sing along
Loud and strong,
I want to sing along.
Get me here a singing song
And I'll sing along.

I wrote the words to the song from memory so someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I've had that bottled up inside me like a lost fart for almost fifty years.

Mitch Miller's sign-off theme that always ended abruptly just before the credits was an adaptation of the chorus of a song recorded in 1954 by Henry D. Haynes and Kenneth C. Burns who were otherwise known as "Homer & Jethro". Their song was called "The Crazy Mixed-Up Song" and it was sung to the music of John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever". The Mitch Miller version went like this:

Be kind to your web-footed friends
For a duck may be somebody's mother
Be kind to your friends in the swamp
Where the weather is very, very damp
("damp" rhymes with "swamp")
Now, you may think that this is the end...

I think that either knowingly or unwittingly Mitch Miller encapsulated the last two lines as his epitaph:

Now you may think that this is the end...

When he got to Heaven I am sure that everyone was "all smiles", as Mitch used to say, and ready for a sing-along.


GlorV1 said...

Hi Bob. I enjoyed watching these two videos. May Mitch Miller rest in peace. I'm not sure what I was thinking while watching Mitch Miller's video. I looked at the people and they were happy singing and dancing and then it dawned on me that most of those people are now also resting in peace. I then felt saddened. I then felt better because as you said they are all singing and dancing on the other side. Thanks Bob. I think I've been here about 15 minutes or so. I better leave now. Que te vaya bien amigo.

Anonymous said...

I've been living in Switzerland for the past six years and was saddened to read on your blog that Mitch Miller had died.
When I was a child we use to play his records and "Sing Along With Mitch" just about every Friday night, except for my father who coudn't carry a tune in a bucket. When I was in my mid to late 30's I was visiting my parents. As I was leaving my mother pointed to a box next to the door and asked me if I wanted what was in it. Upon opening the top of the box I discovered it was full of all of their old records. Of course I wanted it! For a few years I would play those records almost every night. Then, along came CD's. Once I learned to copy the music over onto them I was set. Carried them with me every time I went on a trip. Moving overseas I was limited on what I could take but those CD's came with me. Haven't played them much since being here but this week I came across them and decided to put them on my computer and into my iTunes. That's how I came across your post on Mitch, looking up the titles to make sure I was typing them in correctly.
Thanks for your post. You've returned some great childhood memories.

Bob Mrotek said...

I am very happy for you. Thanks for the feedback! Never stop smiling and never stop singing along. The voice that you hear faintly in the background will be mine :)

Anonymous said...

I just read your Post on Mitch Miller! I met him once in the 1970's in New York City and told him that he had a great impact on me and my family.

Here are the words to Let Me Hear a Melody....

Let me hear a melody
I'd like to sing along
Loud and Strong
I'd love to sing along

Let me hear a melody
A simple singing song
As I sing
Yes I sing
Let me sing a-long


Anonymous said...

These are lyrics I found elsewhere online:

Let me hear a melody
I start to sing along
Loud and strong
I love to sing along
Get me near a melody
A simple singin’ song
And I sing along

La-dee-da-dee-da, doo-dee-doo-dee-doo
I hear a tune begins
La-dee-da-dee-da, dum-dee-dum-dee-dum
And before I know it I join in

Let me hear a melody
I start to sing along
Loud and strong
I love to sing along
Get me near a melody,
A simple singin’ song
And I sing along

Those match what I remember!

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.