Sing along with Mitch

Your public radio stations' recent drive ended with a bang!   Our spring membership campaign raised more than $150,244 to sustain WXXI’s services.  1,345 public radio listeners made contributions over a few short days.  If you are a contributing and sustaining member, thank you.  There’s not enough ink in the ocean (Okay, is there any ink in the ocean? You know what I mean!) to express how happy we are to serve you day in and day out, offering the best performances we can our lay hands on.


 During the drive, WXXI-FM Program Director Ruth Phinney and I pulled out an old Mitch Miller recording that sparked this wonderful e-mailed memory from John Robortella.


Thanks for playing the Mitch Miller selections this morning. It brought back memories of how much my mom (and my dad, but he didn't always admit it) was a huge fan of Mitch. And the selections reminded me of a Saturday morning in the 1960’s. Mitch had the following and reputation of a rock star and his show, “Sing Along With Mitch,” was one of most popular programs on television.

Mitch returned to Rochester often in those days, and he was scheduled to fly in one Saturday for an appearance with possibly the RPO. He was so popular that they announced his motorcade route from the airport into downtown. My mom just had to see him in person, so she dragged my dad and me into the car that Saturday morning to be in place on Brooks Avenue near the bridge over the canal to see Mitch pass by.

My dad thought we'd be the only ones there, but Brooks Avenue was lined with cars from the airport entrance all the way into the city at Genesee Park Blvd. The motorcade consisted of a police car in the lead, and a convertible with its top down, with Mitch sitting in the back seat waving to the crowd.

As he passed by, my mom yelled, “Hi, Mitch!” and he looked over and yelled back “hi Mrs. Rochester!” She was thrilled. You thought she had just seen the president and the pope rolled into one.

That’s the impact that Mitch had on Rochester in those days.



Not familiar with Mitch Miller?   Enjoy!