Irving Mills (January 16, 1894–April 21, 1985) was a jazz music publisher. Events 27 BC - The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate. Year 1894 ( MDCCCXCIV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 753 BC - Romulus and Remus found Rome ( traditional date) Year 1985 ( MCMLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar) Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States This article deals with contemporary Popular music publishing
Mills was born in New York City. The City of New York He founded Mills Music with his brother Jack in 1919. Between 1919 and 1965, when they sold Mills Music, Inc. , they built and became the largest independent music publisher in the world.
Irving and Jack discovered a number of great songwriters, among them Sammy Fain, Harry Barris, Gene Austin, Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy McHugh, and Dorothy Fields. A songwriter is someone who writes the Lyrics to songs the Musical composition (chords or Melody to songs or both Harry Barris ( November 24, 1905 – December 13, 1962) was an American popular singer Gene Austin ( June 24, 1900 &ndash January 24, 1972) was an American Singer and Songwriter who is considered Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22 1899 – December 27 1981 was an American Composer, Pianist, singer actor and bandleader James Francis McHugh ( July 10 1894 - May 23 1969) was a US Composer. Dorothy Fields ( July 15, 1905 &ndash March 28, 1974) was an American librettist and lyricist. He either discovered or greatly advanced the careers of Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ben Pollack, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Will Hudson, Raymond Scott and many others. Cabell "Cab" Calloway III ( December 25, 1907 &ndash November 18, 1994) was a famous American Jazz Singer Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29 1899 &ndash May 24 1974 was an American Composer, Pianist, and Bandleader. Ben Pollack ( June 22, 1903 – June 7, 1971) was a Drummer and Bandleader from the mid 1920s through the swing Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden ( August 20, 1905 &ndash January 15, 1964) was an influential Jazz Trombonist and Raymond Scott (born Harry Warnow, 10 September 1908 &mdash 8 February 1994) was an American composer band leader pianist engineer
Although not a musician himself (he did sing, however), Irving decided to put together his own studio recording group. In Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang he had for sidemen: Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Arnold Brillhardt, Arthur Schutt, and Manny Klein. Tommy Dorsey ( November 19 1905 &ndash November 26 1956) was an American Jazz Trombonist, Trumpeter James "Jimmy" Dorsey ( February 29, 1904 &ndash June 12, 1957) was a prominent American Jazz Clarinetist Giuseppe (Joe Venuti ( September 16 1903 &ndash August 14, 1978) was a U Eddie Lang ( October 25, 1902 &ndash March 26, 1933) was an American Jazz Guitarist, considered by many to be the finest Arthur Schutt (November 21 1902 - January 28 1965 was an American Jazz pianist and arranger Manny Klein (born as Emmanuel Klein on February 4, 1908; died May 31, 1994) was a jazz Trumpeter most associated with swing Other variations of his bands featured Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Red Nichols (Irving gave Red Nichols the tag "and his Five Pennies"). Alton Glenn Miller ( March 1 1904 &ndash presumably December 15 1944) was an American Jazz musician and Ernest Loring "Red" Nichols ( May 8, 1905 &ndash June 28, 1965) was an American Jazz Cornettist
One night he went down to a little club on West 49th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway called the Kentucky Club. Seventh Avenue / Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard is a thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Broadway, as the name implies is a wide avenue in New York City. The owner had brought in a little band from Washington, D.C. and wanted to know what Irving thought of them. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Instead of going out and making the rounds he found himself sitting there all night listening to the orchestra. That was Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra, whom he signed the very next day. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29 1899 &ndash May 24 1974 was an American Composer, Pianist, and Bandleader. They made a lot of records together, not only under the name of Duke Ellington, but built groups around Duke's side men who were great instrumentalists in their own right.
Ellington and Mills collaborated on quite a number of tunes that became popular standards: "Mood Indigo", "Solitude", "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", "Sophisticated Lady", "Black and Tan Fantasy", and many others that you'll find listed on ASCAP's website. " Mood Indigo " is a Jazz composition and Song, with music by Duke Ellington and Barney Bigard with lyrics by " It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing " is a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a In spite of a limited vocabulary, Irving had a poetic sense of beauty and knew how to create a lyric, sometimes using a ghost writer to complete his idea, and sometimes building on the idea of the ghost writer. He put Duke Ellington into the Cotton Club.
Mills was one of the first to record black and white musicians together, using twelve white musicians and the Duke Ellington Orchestra on a 12" 78 rpm disc performing St. A gramophone Louis Blues on one side and a medley of songs called "Gems from Blackbirds of 1928" on the other side, himself singing with the Ellington Orchestra. Victor Records first hedged on releasing the record, but when Mills threatened to take his artists off the roster, he won out. Victrola redirects here For other uses see Victrola (disambiguation The Victor Talking Machine Company ( 1901 – 1929
He also discovered and signed Blanche Calloway and her brother Cab Calloway. Blanche Calloway ( February 9, 1904 - December 16, 1978) was a Jazz Singer, Bandleader, and Composer Cabell "Cab" Calloway III ( December 25, 1907 &ndash November 18, 1994) was a famous American Jazz Singer
Irving thought that he should ensure that the Ellington Orchestra always had top musicians and protected himself by forming the Mills Blue Rhythm Band using them as a sort of relief band at the Cotton Club. The Mills Blue Rhythm Band was an American Big band of the 1930s Calloway and the band went into the Cotton Club with a new tune Irving wrote with Calloway and Clarence Gaskill called "Minnie the Moocher". " Minnie the Moocher " is a Jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra selling over 1 million copies
One of his innovations was the "band within a band," recording small groups (he started this in 1928 by arranging for member of Ben Pollack's band to record hot small group sides for the various dime store labels, while Pollack had an exclusive contract with Victor) out of the main orchestra and printing "small orchestrations" transcribed off the record, so that non-professional musicians could see how great solos were constructed. Ben Pollack ( June 22, 1903 – June 7, 1971) was a Drummer and Bandleader from the mid 1920s through the swing Victrola redirects here For other uses see Victrola (disambiguation The Victor Talking Machine Company ( 1901 – 1929 This was later done by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and many other bands.
Irving also formed Mills Artists Booking Company. It was then that he formed an all-girl orchestra, headed by Ina Ray. Ina Ray Hutton ( March 13 1916 &ndash February 19 1984) was an American female leader during the Big band era and half-sister He added the name Hutton and it became the popular Ina Ray Hutton and her Orchestra.
In late 1936 with involvement by Herbert Yates of Consolidated Film, Irving started the Master and Variety labels, which for their short life span were distributed by ARC through their Brunswick and Vocalion label sales staff. Brunswick Records is a United States based Record label. The label is currently distributed by Koch Entertainment. Vocalion Records was a Record label historically active in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Irving signed Helen Oakley Dance to supervise the small group records for the Variety label (35 cents or 3 for $1. Helen Margaret Oakley Dance, née Oakley ( February 15, 1913 — May 27, 2001) was a jazz journalist producer historian and musician 00). The Master label sold for 75 cents. From December, 1936 through about September, 1937, an amazing amount of records were issued on these labels (40 were issued on Master and 170 on Variety). Master's best selling artists were Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott, as well as Hudson-De Lange Orchestra, Casper Reardon and Adrian Rollini. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29 1899 &ndash May 24 1974 was an American Composer, Pianist, and Bandleader. Raymond Scott (born Harry Warnow, 10 September 1908 &mdash 8 February 1994) was an American composer band leader pianist engineer Casper Reardon ( April 15, 1907 – March 9, 1941) was a classical and later jazz harpist Adrian Francis Rollini ( June 28 1903 - May 15 1956) was a multi-instrumentalist best known for his Jazz music. Variety's roster included Cab Calloway, Red Nichols, the small groups from Ellington's band led by Barney Bigard, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, and Johnny Hodges, as well as Noble Sissle, Frankie Newton, The Three Peppers, Chu Berry, Billy Kyle, and other major and minor jazz and pop performers around New York. Cabell "Cab" Calloway III ( December 25, 1907 &ndash November 18, 1994) was a famous American Jazz Singer Ernest Loring "Red" Nichols ( May 8, 1905 &ndash June 28, 1965) was an American Jazz Cornettist Albany Leon Bigard ( March 3, 1906 &ndash June 27, 1980) aka Barney Bigard, was an American Jazz Clarinetist Charles Melvin ("Cootie" Williams (b July 24, 1910, Mobile Alabama - d September 15, 1985, New York New York Rex Stewart ( 22 February 1907 &ndash 7 September 1967) was an American Jazz Cornetist best known for his work John Cornelius "Johnny" Hodges ( 25 July, 1906 in Cambridge, Massachusetts – 11 May, 1970) was an American Noble Sissle (b July 10 1889, Indianapolis Indiana - d December 17, 1975, Tampa Florida) was an American William Frank Newton (Frankie Newton ( January 4, 1906 &ndash March 11, 1954) was a trumpeter from Emory, Virginia. Leon "Chu" Berry ( September 13, 1908 – October 30, 1941) was an American swing tenor saxophonist William Osborne "Billy" Kyle ( July 14, 1914 - February 23, 1966) was an American Jazz Pianist. In such a short time, an amazing amount of fine music was recorded for these labels.
By late 1937, a number of problems caused the collapse of these labels. The Brunswick and Vocalion sales staff had problems of their own, with competition from Victor and Decca, and it wasn't easy to get this new venture off the ground. Victrola redirects here For other uses see Victrola (disambiguation The Victor Talking Machine Company ( 1901 – 1929 Decca Records is a British Record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Mills tried, but was unsuccessful in arranging for distribution overseas to get his music issued in Europe. Also, it's quite likely that these records simply weren't selling as well as hoped for.
After the collapse of the labels, those titles that were still selling on Master were reissued on Brunswick and those still selling on Variety were reissued on Vocalion. Mills continued his M-100 recording series after the labels were taken over by ARC, and after cutting back recording to just the better selling artists, new recordings made from about January 1938 by Master were issued on Brunswick (and later Columbia) and Vocalion (later the revived Okeh) until May 7, 1940. Columbia Records is an American Record label founded in 1888 Columbia is the oldest surviving Brand name in pre-recorded sound being the first record company Okeh Records began as an Independent record label based in the United States of America in The last recording was number WM-1150. . . . 1055 recordings in total.
Irving was recording all the time and became the head of the American Recording Company, which is now Columbia Records. Once radio blossomed Irving was singing at six radio stations seven days a week plugging Mills tunes. Jimmy McHugh, Sammy Fain, and Gene Austin took turns being his pianist. James Francis McHugh ( July 10 1894 - May 23 1969) was a US Composer. Gene Austin ( June 24, 1900 &ndash January 24, 1972) was an American Singer and Songwriter who is considered
He produced one picture, Stormy Weather, for Twentieth Century Fox in 1943, which starred jazz greats Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Zutty Singleton, and Fats Waller and the legendary dancers the Nicholas Brothers and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Stormy Weather is the title of an American musical Motion picture produced and released by 20th Century Fox in 1943 Arthur James "Zutty" Singleton ( 14 May, 1898 - 14 July, 1975) was an influential American early Jazz Drummer Fats Waller (born Thomas Wright Waller on May 21, 1904 &mdash December 15, 1943) was an American jazz pianist The Nicholas Brothers were a famous African-American team of dancing brothers Fayard ( 1914 &ndash 2006) and Harold Nicholas ( 1921 Bill "Bojangles" Robinson ( May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) was a pre-eminent African-American tap dancer He had a contract to do other movies but found it "too slow" so he continued finding, recording and plugging music.
Irving lived to be over 91 years old. In spite of his limited formal education Irving Mills was comfortable in any company. His place in the history of jazz is founded primarily on his business skills rather than his singing and songwriting abilities (which were considerable), but it was his management skills and publishing empire that were central to the history and financial success of jazz. Because of his promotion of black entertainers a leading black newspaper referred to him as the Abraham Lincoln of music.
Among the artists Mills personally recorded were