Alan Mills (music)

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Alan Mills
Born Albert Miller
September 7, 1913
Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Died June 14, 1977(1977-06-14) (aged 63)
in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation folksinger, writer, and actor
Known for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Alan Mills, CM, (born Albert Miller September 7, 1912 or 1913 – June 14, 1977 )[1] was a Canadian folksinger,[2] writer, and actor. He was best known for popularizing Canadian folk music,[3][4] and for his original song, I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. He appeared on several radio and television programs and in movies.

Career[edit]

As a young man, Mills worked as a newspaperman. He left this work in about 1940 and took a job in radio.[5] He hosted a show for CBC radio on which he played Canadian folk music.

Mills began singing and recording traditional music from Canada, accompanying himself on guitar.[6][7] His first album, Let's Sing a Little, was released by RCA Victor.[5][8] He composed the classic folk song I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (with lyrics by Rose Bonne)[9][10] which was later recorded by Burl Ives, Peter Paul and Mary and many others. He published a book, The Alan Mills Book of Folk Songs and Ballads, in 1949.[11] His recordings of authentic traditional music were reviewed by Oscar Brand in the Saturday Review of Music,[12] and included in a number of folk music compilation albums.[13]

Mills was signed to take part in tour of the United States in 1960,[14] and that year performed at the Newport Folk Festival.[15]

He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1974 for his contributions to Canadian folklore.[16] Mills has also released several albums on Folkways Records of Canadian and French folk songs.

Discography[edit]

Release Date Album Title Label
1972 14 Numbers, Letters, and Animal Songs Folkways Records
1962 Jewish Folk Songs (with Raasche) Folkways Records
1961 Alan Mills and Jean Carignan: Songs, Fiddle Tunes and a Folk-Tale from Canada Folkways Records
1961 Chantons en Francais, Vol. 2 Folkways Records
1961 Chantons en Francais, Vol. 1 Folkways Records
1960 Canada's Story in Song Folkways Records
1959 Songs of the Maritimes: Lumberman Songs and Songs of the Sea Folkways Records
1958 We'll Rant and We'll Roar: Songs of Newfoundland Folkways Records
1957 French Folk Songs for Children in English Folkways Records
1957 Christmas Songs from Many Lands Folkways Records
1957 Songs of the Sea: Sung by Alan Mills Folkways Records
1956 Animals, Vol. 1 Folkways Records
1956 Chansons d'Acadie Folkways Records
1956 More Animals, Vol. 2 Folkways Records
1956 O' Canada: A History in Song Folkways Records
1955 Songs of French Canada (with Hélène Baillargeon) Folkways Records
1954 More Songs to Grow On Folkways Records
1953 Folk Songs of Newfoundland[17] Folkways Records
1953 French Folk Songs for Children Folkways Records
1952 Folk Songs of French Canada Folkways Records

n.d. "Chansons a Boire' [Venus VL 301]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/alan-mills/ The Canadian Encyclopedia: Mills, Alan
  2. ^ Glenn David Colton (March 2014). Newfoundland Rhapsody: Frederick R. Emerson and the Musical Culture of the Island. MQUP. pp. 10, 387. ISBN 978-0-7735-8937-7. 
  3. ^ Pauline Greenhill; Diane Tye (1997). Undisciplined Women: Tradition and Culture in Canada. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 41–. ISBN 978-0-7735-1615-1. 
  4. ^ Ruth M. McVeigh (19 July 2006). Shifting Ground. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-1-4628-2859-3. 
  5. ^ a b Ray McKinley Lawless (1960). Folksingers and folksongs in America: a handbook of biography, bibliography, and discography. Illustrated from paintings by Thomas Hart Benton and others, and from designs in Steuben glass. 1st ed. Sloan and Pearce. pp. 161–162. 
  6. ^ Justin Williams; Katherine Williams (23 February 2017). The Singer-Songwriter Handbook. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-1-62892-031-4. 
  7. ^ Bertha E. Mahony Miller (1958). The Horn Book Magazine. Volume 34. Horn Book, Incorporated. p. 406. 
  8. ^ Anna Kearney Guigné; Memorial University of Newfoundland. Institute of Social and Economic Research (2008). Folksongs and folk revival: the cultural politics of Kenneth Peacock's Songs of the Newfoundland outports. ISER, Institute of Social and Economic Research. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-894725-06-4. 
  9. ^ "Songs with Pictures" by M.B.K., Chicago Daily Tribune, November 12, 1961, page E34. (Reviewing a children's picture book of the music and lyrics of the song.)
  10. ^ Michael Hill (6 May 2017). The Mariposa Folk Festival: A History. Dundurn. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-1-4597-3774-7. 
  11. ^ Edith Fowke; Carole Henderson-Carpenter (15 December 1982). A Bibliography of Canadian Folklore in English. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-1-4875-9717-7. 
  12. ^ Ronald D. Cohen (2002). Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970. Univ of Massachusetts Press. pp. 89–. ISBN 1-55849-348-4. 
  13. ^ Larry Sandberg; Dick Weissman (1976). The Folk Music Sourcebook. Knopf. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-394-49684-9. 
  14. ^ Izzy Young (2013). The Conscience of the Folk Revival: The Writings of Israel "Izzy" Young. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-8108-8308-6. 
  15. ^ Ronald D. Cohen (2008). A History of Folk Music Festivals in the United States: Feasts of Musical Celebration. Scarecrow Press. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6202-9. 
  16. ^ "Alan Mills, CM". Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Retrieved 2008-07-07. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Anna Kearney Guigné (12 December 2016). The Forgotten Songs of the Newfoundland Outports: As Taken from Kenneth Peacock’s Newfoundland Field Collection, 1951–1961. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-0-7766-2385-6. 

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