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Artist Band Biography: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Emmett Miller - Music Artist Band Bio


Born USA. A major but unrecognised influence on the development of country music and by inference rock 'n' roll, Emmett Miller was widely known as "the Minstrel man". Part of the reason for the lack of acknowledgement accorded his legacy can be ascribed to the dubious nature of minstrel-singing: in more enlightened times the sight of white actors "blacked-up" as negroes, using accentuated singing voices, is hardly likely to be considered acceptable. Despite this, Miller deserves to be accredited as a fine singer whose innovations were adopted by much better-known figures including Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. Though the voice was decidedly country, Miller's minstrel act stemmed from the jazz tradition. So too did his band, the Georgia Crackers, featuring Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden and Gene Krupa. Sadly, much of his career took place before suitable equipment was available to record his songs. However, his was the first recorded version of "Lovesick Blues" in 1925, though this tape has subsequently been "lost'. However, it was recut in 1929, and archivists have noted that Hank Williams" later version of the song is almost note-for-note identical. Others inspired by Miller included Jimmie Rodgers (who, like Miller, yodelled) and Tommy Duncan. Bob Wills, meanwhile, cited Miller as his favourite singer. By the 30s Miller's career was effectively over, and it was not until 1996 that anybody thought it noteworthy enough to prepare a compilation. However, when they did they were rewarded with glowing reviews, many offering the observation that Miller has been the missing link in country music's early development. This fascinating story was brought to life by Nick Tosches in his remarkable biography, Where Dead Voices Gather.

The Minstrel Man From Georgia (Sony/Legacy 1996)***.

Where Dead Voices Gather, Nick Tosches.

Source: Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Music Albums

The Minstrel Man From Georgia
Legacy Recordings

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