It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

The Mills Brothers

An astonishing vocal group that grew into one of the longest-lasting oldies acts in American popular music, the Mills Brothers quickly moved from novelty wonders to pop successes and continued amazing audiences for decades. Originally billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar," the group's early records came complete with a note assuring listeners that the only musical instrument they were hearing was a guitar. The caution was understandable, since the Mills Brothers were so proficient at re-creating trumpets, trombones, and saxophones with only their voices that early singles like "Tiger Rag" and "St. Louis Blues" sounded closer to a hot Dixieland combo than a vocal group. And even after the novelty wore off, the group's intricate harmonies continued charming audiences for decades.

The four brothers were all born in Piqua, OH -- John, Jr. in 1910, Herbert in 1912, Harry in 1913, and Donald in 1915. Their father owned a barber shop and founded a barbershop quartet as well, called the Four Kings of Harmony. His sons obviously learned their close harmonies first-hand, and began performing around the area. At one show, Harry Mills forgot his kazoo -- the group's usual accompaniment -- and ended up trying to emulate the instrument by cupping his hand over his mouth. The brothers were surprised to hear the sound of a trumpet proceeding from Harry's mouth, so they began to work the novelty into their act, with John taking tuba, Donald trombone, and Herbert a second trumpet. The act was perfect for vaudeville, and the Mills Brothers also began broadcasting over a Cincinnati radio station during the late '20s.

After moving to New York, the group became a sensation and hit it big during 1931 and early 1932 with the singles "Tiger Rag" and "Dinah" (the latter a duet with Bing Crosby). Dumbfounded listeners hardly believed the notice accompanying the records: "No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one guitar." Though the primitive audio of the era lent them a bit of latitude, the Mills Brothers indeed sounded exactly like they'd been backed by a small studio band. (It was, in essence, the flipside of early material by Duke Ellington's Orchestra, on which the plunger mutes of Bubber Miley and Tricky Sam Nanton resulted in horns sounding exactly like voices.)

The exposure continued during 1932, with appearances in the film The Big Broadcast and more hits including "St. Louis Blues" and "Bugle Call Rag." John, Jr.'s sudden death in 1936 was a huge blow to the group, but father John, Sr. took over as bass singer and Bernard Addison became the group's guitarist. Still, the novelty appeared to wear off by the late '30s; despite duets with Ella Fitzgerald ("Dedicated to You") and Louis Armstrong ("Darling Nelly Gray"), the Mills Brothers' records weren't performing as well as they had earlier in the decade. All that changed in 1943 with the release of "Paper Doll," a sweet, intimate ballad that became one of the biggest hits of the decade -- 12 weeks on the top of the charts, and six million records sold (plus sheet music). The group made appearances in several movies during the early '40s, and hit number one again in 1944 with "You'll Always Hurt the One You Love."

The influence of middle of the road pop slowly crept into their material from the '40s; by the end of the decade, the Mills Brothers began recording with traditional orchestras (usually conducted by Sy Oliver, Hal McIntyre, or Sonny Burke). In 1952, "The Glow Worm" became their last number one hit. The group soldiered on during the '50s, though John, Sr. semi-permanently retired from the group in 1956. A move from Decca to Dot brought a moderate 1958 hit, a cover of the Silhouettes' "Get a Job" that made explicit the considerable influence on doo wop exerted by early Mills Brothers records. As a trio, Herbert, Harry and Donald continued performing on the oldies circuit until Harry's death in 1982, and Herbert's in 1988. The last surviving sibling, Donald, began performing with the third generation of the family -- his son, John II -- until his own death in 1999. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Best quartet ever
Water I need
These guys are the great
My all time favorite group....wha t Fabulous blended voices....ho p e my folks are enjoying their fabulous singing in Heaven
I have loved their music sense the 1930's
kodor
These guys are great.
looking for the song cab driver by mills brothers
no one sings like this group...then or now...
If there is a tighter vocal group than these fabulous artists, then I'd love to know of it. Always swinging in inimitable style. Great charts too!
curitiba4lif e 5 0
You really like the credit to the bio on Pandora as much as the music ?? That doesn't say much about the music. Hahaha
norman_myr32
REALLY LIKE THE PURE HARMONY AND STYLE .
cred91
This is music
Don't know which I like better, these guys or The Ink Spots
nice. i think this song was in Bioshock 2 also.
i noticed something this evening, that Not one person has credited the writer of the bio, John Bush. Great job. I look foward to that as much as the music
Mills Brothers are my favorite band and first heard them about a year ago when I was fifteen and the y have been my favorite ever since. Their song opus one, you always hurt the ones you love, and the paper doll rendition are my favorites!!! ! !
edwardwellin g t o n w e b b
Saw them in Vegas, late 60's playing across th street from Caesars Palace. Sat through two shows. They were one of a kind!
suekbakies
smooth, gentle voices no one can imitate
love these guys
theres nothing as sweet as their voices
Top-ranked for generations. Still listen to their great stuff.
rustup2000
Wonderful memories.... . . . . . . . . . . .
Love them. Reminds me of my Mom. We sang these all the time when I was little and we would clean the house.
atamai2
great
Love 'em! They were on the Ed Sullivan show numerous times,always terrific!
mooyoo.77
harmony just can`t get to much closer than this,them being brothers and all.
Wonderful!
im from piqua...ther e house was torn down awhile ago..
iamanantique m a n 2
still enjoy The Mills Brothers
IS there anything better than listening to this fabulous harmony? This music brings back wonderful memories of a childhood celebrated in a much kinder, slower world.
great music
lgonzales175
Nice music :)
mmmluvsae
Love them
I used to listen to the Mills Brothers in high school in the '70s. My friends thought I was crazy, but I love the old stuff from my parents' and grandparents ' time. Timeless!
jadavis1025
I grew up with not much more than rap, hip/hop, rock, and pop. But I must say that I am favoring this above all other types of music. The 40's and 50's had some great music. Classy stuff!
sporty59059
Nothing but FANTASTIC
TOPS and ALWAYS WILL BE..jfa
"Paper Doll" was popular when I joined the Navy during WWII. Brings back a flood of memories.
l_griggs
My grams sang in gay bars in the 1930's and early 1940's. This music makes me feel like she is around.
Plus my sister and I were named for Nat King Cole songs.
foggylady99
I grew up in the early 50's hearing these guys on my Grandmother' s 78s.
Still like the "old timey " music.
Had # 1 Hit in 1967--Cab Driver!!
paulkleinsr
At 68 these sounds take me on a memory trip......

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[79, 93, 97, 93, 70, 121, 121, 103, 103, 87, 105, 127, 66, 103, 114, 112, 100, 114, 114, 76, 80, 78, 70, 76, 67, 78, 73, 83, 69, 71, 81, 117, 83, 96, 82, 122, 73, 116, 83, 123, 100, 83, 112, 84, 121, 107, 112, 115, 103, 116, 125, 82, 124, 90, 122, 96, 109, 101, 107, 66, 115, 100, 125, 121, 91, 108, 115, 67, 119, 116, 112, 101, 95, 108, 102, 89, 72, 79, 119, 111, 78, 101, 114, 93, 74, 85, 85, 71, 98, 107, 87, 114, 112, 84, 97, 79, 100, 75, 84, 100, 90, 66, 67, 95, 94, 71, 87, 119, 82, 66, 118, 116, 76, 86, 75, 120, 83, 85, 101, 121, 102, 121, 117, 73, 111, 64, 108, 108, 94, 66, 109, 80, 92, 68, 120, 114, 112, 91, 121, 99, 113, 69, 117, 114, 97, 119, 72, 72, 125, 125, 87, 67, 118, 68, 89, 71, 67, 126, 108, 112, 92, 97, 104, 103, 121, 69, 83, 99, 84, 93, 85, 90, 70, 126, 99, 125, 79, 92, 104, 121, 99, 64, 90, 75, 117, 107, 75, 94, 106, 95, 65, 96, 91, 89, 77, 73, 99, 94, 79, 72, 108, 99, 100, 71, 121, 110, 110, 108, 106, 99, 102, 108, 122, 107, 121, 103, 118, 99, 72, 71, 81, 101, 96, 83, 99, 101, 85, 82, 114, 64, 71, 118, 104, 123, 76, 104, 87, 85, 118, 117, 102, 113, 91, 101, 85, 75, 105, 72, 77, 85, 65, 107, 70, 71, 126, 96, 65, 127, 102, 86, 69, 103, 103, 96, 64, 118, 92, 103, 96, 119, 66, 98, 119, 85, 97, 121, 105, 86, 86, 120, 124, 78, 88, 70, 114, 93, 84, 69, 98, 93, 100, 115, 109, 98, 106, 78, 101, 106, 91, 110, 108, 83, 86, 65, 115, 66, 95, 119, 107, 119, 101, 109, 103, 106, 86, 93, 115, 80, 81, 76, 123, 68, 126, 113, 76, 68, 85, 66, 124, 107, 96, 104, 72, 126, 70, 118, 77, 105, 82, 86, 113, 89, 110, 102, 105, 82, 93, 114, 65, 123, 89, 102, 95, 96, 67, 114, 123, 117, 76, 112, 84, 112, 126, 75, 104, 108, 110, 122, 69, 108, 68, 95, 111, 88, 107, 109, 109, 106, 92, 73, 120, 80, 121, 71, 86, 115, 118, 106, 103, 104, 89, 110, 104, 65, 105, 70, 82, 90, 104, 72, 118, 120, 64, 86, 114, 104, 107, 91, 100, 93, 119, 102, 103, 104, 102, 120, 107, 127, 116, 117, 116, 99, 81, 115, 88, 126, 69, 117, 91, 109, 96, 114, 99, 110, 107, 98, 123, 109, 107, 121, 69, 90, 114, 100, 69, 91, 117, 109, 118, 91, 71, 109, 81, 66, 110, 77, 109, 121, 98, 67, 93, 109, 106, 99, 84, 122, 100, 120, 81, 69, 125, 109, 100, 101, 85, 64, 113, 69, 84, 72, 93, 114, 86, 91, 96, 127, 69, 100, 90, 107, 92, 73, 67, 116, 123, 77, 116, 115, 72, 127, 66, 65, 78, 72, 92, 94, 75, 67, 83, 80, 71, 102]