Jimmy Miller

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Jimmy Miller
Born(1942-03-23)March 23, 1942
DiedOctober 22, 1994(1994-10-22) (aged 52)
  • Record producer
  • musician
  • Gayle Shepherd (divorced)
Geri Miller
(m. 1970⁠–⁠1991)
Children2, 1 stepson
FamilyJudith Miller (half-sister)

James Miller (March 23, 1942 – October 22, 1994) was an American record producer and musician. While he produced albums for dozens of different bands and artists, he is known primarily for his work with several key musical acts of the 1960s and 1970s.

Miller rose to prominence working with the various bands of vocalist Steve Winwood (including Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith). His best acclaimed work was his late 1960s-early 1970s work with the Rolling Stones for whom he produced a string of singles and albums that rank among the most critically and financially successful works of the band's career: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973).[1] In the late 1970s, he began working with Motörhead and continued to produce until his death in 1994.[2]

Early life[edit]

Miller was the son of Anne Wingate and Bill Miller, a Las Vegas entertainment director and the man who booked Elvis Presley into the International Hotel for his 1969 return to live performance.[3] Jimmy's half-sister Judith recalled that "Jimmy’s musical life had started at age 8 playing the drums, writing music, and crooning."[4]


Miller first trained and worked as the protege of Stanley Borden (RKO, Artia, After Hours Unique). Borden, the original backer of Island Records, suggested Miller to Chris Blackwell, who brought him to the United Kingdom.

Miller's first job in the UK was to remix a single from the Spencer Davis Group which had done well in the UK charts, "Gimme Some Lovin'".[5] Blackwell recalled that Miller introduced "a kind of wild magic" and "turns up the heat, threatens some kind of chaos", which resulted in "a new sound." Miller's remix entered the US top ten and broke the band in the country. He then co-wrote its follow-up "I'm A Man" with the band's singer-keyboardist, Steve Winwood.

After Winwood left the band in 1967, Miller continued to work with Winwood by producing Winwood's band Traffic as well as the sole album by the Eric Clapton–Winwood supergroup Blind Faith. During this period, Miller also produced the first two albums by Spooky Tooth and co-produced (with Delaney Bramlett) the hit Delaney & Bonnie album from 1969, On Tour with Eric Clapton.

In addition to producing five of their albums, Miller notably added instrumentation to several songs by the Rolling Stones. His contributions include the opening cowbell on "Honky Tonk Women" and drumming on "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Tumbling Dice," "Happy," and "Shine a Light."

In the late 70s, Miller collaborated with Motörhead and produced two of their albums, Overkill and Bomber. In 1983, Miller produced Johnny Thunders's In Cold Blood.[6] In 1991, Miller helped produce Primal Scream's breakthrough album Screamadelica. Miller also produced three tracks for the Wedding Present's 1992 compilation Hit Parade 2.

Personal life[edit]

Miller's marriage to Gayle Shepherd, a member of the singing group the Shepherd Sisters, produced a daughter, singer Deena Miller.

Miller and his second wife Geraldine had a son, Michael, who died at the age of 32. Through Geraldine, Jimmy Miller had a stepson, Steven Miller, a news photographer who spent 25 years working for The New York Times. Geraldine died of breast cancer in 1991, three years before Jimmy Miller's own death in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 52, from liver failure.[3]

His half-sister was Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times who was imprisoned for not revealing her sources in the Plame–Wilson CIA affair.[7]


Year Artist Album details
1967 Traffic Mr. Fantasy
1968 Spooky Tooth It's All About
1968 Traffic Traffic
1968 The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet
1969 Spooky Tooth Spooky Two
1969 Traffic Last Exit
1969 The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed
1969 Blind Faith Blind Faith
1970 Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour with Eric Clapton
1970 Ginger Baker's Air Force Ginger Baker's Air Force
1970 Sky Don't Hold Back[8]
1970 Sky Sailor's Delight[8]
1971 The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
1972 The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St.
1972 Kracker La Familia
1972 Bobby Whitlock Raw Velvet
1973 The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup
1973 Kracker Kracker Brand
1974 Locomotiv GT Locomotiv GT
1979 Trapeze Hold On
1979 Motörhead Overkill
1979 Motörhead Bomber
1980 Plasmatics New Hope for the Wretched
1991 Primal Scream Screamadelica


  1. ^ Sunday Morning Playlist: Top Twenty Record Producers of the Rock Era – Page 5 Archived June 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Jimmy Miller Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Jimmy Miller, 52, Recording Producer". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 24, 1994. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  4. ^ Miller, Judith (October 23, 2019). "Mr Jimmy". Tablet.
  5. ^ Blackwell, Chris (2022). The Islander: My Life in Music and Beyond (1st ed.). New York: Hodder.
  6. ^ "Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2023.
  7. ^ Miller, Judith (October 23, 2019). "Mr. Jimmy". Tablet. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Sky: A look back at Doug Fieger before The Knack - National Rock Review

External links[edit]