The Mills Brothers. The Mills Brothers. Pickwick SPC-3556, 1976. (on vinyl, from a thrift store)
I picked up a little stack of 1970s Mills Brothers records recently. I had no idea what to expect; the only Mills Brothers recordings I’d previously heard were from the 1930s. These didn’t seem to be compilations, but original recordings, 40 years later. I was intrigued.
Well, luckily this isn’t The Mills Brothers with a 1970s sound. Oddly, it’s got a quite distinct 1950s sound. They’ve still got their 1930s tight harmony (although they take long breaks from it to feature soloists, and their voices have gotten sleepy over the years – kind of Hoagy Carmichael-y), and every song is an old standard, but their accompaniment is a jazz quintet, with (reasonably unobtrusive) violins layered on top of most tracks.
And it’s definitely not a compilation. It’s a very short record (about 23 minutes long), and what’s there all contributes to a surprisingly cohesive album. Solid stuff if you like old-timey Pop. Only two of the nine songs use the ol’ Throat Tromnet, but hey, that’s more than you get from most people.