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Jimmy Miller (born James Miller March 23, 1942, died October 22, 1994) was an American record producer and musician. While he produced albums for dozens of different bands and artists, he is most closely associated for his work with several key musical acts of the 1960s and 1970s. He rose to prominence working with the various bands of vocalist Steve Winwood (including Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith). His best acclaimed work was his late 1960s-early 1970s work with the Rolling Stones for whom he produced a string of singles and albums that rank among the most critically and financially successful works of the band's career: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973).[1] In the late 1970s, he began working with the band Motörhead, and continued to produce until his death in 1994.[2]

Jimmy Miller
Born(1942-03-23)March 23, 1942
DiedOctober 22, 1994(1994-10-22) (aged 52)
Denver, Colorado, United States
OccupationRecord producer, musician
Spouse(s)Gayle Shepherd (divorced)
Geri Miller (1970 to 1991)
Children2, 1 stepson
Parent(s)Anne Wingate
Bill Miller
FamilyJudith Miller (half-sister)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Miller was the son of Anne Wingate and Bill Miller, a Las Vegas entertainment director and the man who booked Elvis Presley into the International Hotel for his 1969 return to live performance.[3]

CareerEdit

Prior to working with the Rolling Stones, Miller had trained and worked as the protege of Stanley Borden (RKO, Artia, After Hours Unique). Borden, the original backer of Island Records, suggested Miller to Chris Blackwell, who brought him to the United Kingdom where he rose to fame producing successful releases for the Spencer Davis Group including their breakthrough hit "Gimme Some Lovin'" and its follow-up "I'm A Man," which Miller co-wrote with the band's singer-keyboardist, Steve Winwood. In addition to his production work for Winwood's band Traffic, Miller also contributed the lyrics to the Traffic song "Medicated Goo,". During this period Miller also produced the first two albums by Spooky Tooth as well as the sole album by the Clapton/Winwood supergroup Blind Faith.

Following his work with Blind Faith, Miller co-produced (with Delaney Bramlett) the hit Delaney & Bonnie album On Tour with Eric Clapton, recorded live at Croydon, United Kingdom, on December 7, 1969. He went on to produce albums for Delaney & Bonnie keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, Kracker, the Plasmatics, Motörhead and the UK band Primal Scream.

A drummer himself, Miller created a distinctive drum sound for his productions, especially with the Rolling Stones, on whose recordings he occasionally played from time to time. Among his contributions include the opening cowbell on "Honky Tonk Women", and he served as the main drummer on tracks such as "You Can't Always Get What You Want," (where regular Stones drummer Charlie Watts was unable to play the correct "groove"),[4] "Tumbling Dice" (where Watts was similarly troubled by the ending of the song), and songs where Watts was absent from the recording sessions for various reasons, such as "Happy," and "Shine a Light."

In the 1980s, Miller produced some acts including Johnny Thunders,[5] Matrix and Jo Jo Laine (wife of Denny Laine, on "Moody Blues & Wings"). In 1990 he co-produced (along with Phil Greene) "What's in A Name" for Florida band Walk the Chalk.

Miller went on to work with Primal Scream on their breakthrough album Screamadelica and William Topley's band the Blessing (Miller appears on their DVD Sugar Train during the song "Soul Love").

Among Miller's last productions were three tracks on the 1992 Wedding Present project, Hit Parade 2. Miller also produced four tracks on the World Bank's "In Debt Interview" which featured artists such as Billy Preston and Bobby Keys, a rare musical sideline from author Hunter S. Thompson. Miller traveled to Woody Creek, Colorado in 1994 to meet with Thompson for a memorable weekend in May. Miller died on October 22, 1994, of liver failure.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

His daughter, rock singer Deena Miller, is from his marriage to Gayle Shepherd, a member of the singing group the Shepherd Sisters. Miller and his second wife Geraldine had a son, Michael, who died at the age of 32. Jimmy Miller had a stepson, Steven Miller, a news photographer who spent 25 years working for The New York Times and lives in Connecticut who is the surviving biological son of Geraldine Miller. Geraldine (known as Geri) died of breast cancer in 1991, three years before Jimmy Miller's own death in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 52, from liver failure.[3]

His half-sister was Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times who was imprisoned for not revealing her sources in the Plame-Wilson CIA affair.

Discography (incomplete)Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sunday Morning Playlist: Top Twenty Record Producers of the Rock Era – Page 5 Archived 8 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Jimmy Miller Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Jimmy Miller, 52, Recording Producer". New York Times. The Associated Press. 24 October 1994. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ Loewenstein, Dora; Dodd, Philip (2003). According to the Rolling Stones. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 125. ISBN 0-8118-4060-3.
  5. ^ "ROIR". Roir-usa.com. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  6. ^ Obituary: Jimmy Miller, 52, Recording Producer Published: October 24, 1994. The New York Times.
  7. ^ a b Sky: A look back at Doug Fieger before The Knack - National Rock Review