Jimmy Miller

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Jimmy Miller
Born (1942-03-23)March 23, 1942
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Died October 22, 1994(1994-10-22) (aged 52)
Denver, Colorado, United States
Occupation Record producer, musician
Spouse(s) Gayle Shepherd
Geri Miller (????–1991)
Children 2, 1 stepson

James "Jimmy" Miller (March 23, 1942 – October 22, 1994) was an American record producer and musician who produced dozens of albums between the mid-1960s and early 1990s, including landmark recordings for Blind Faith, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, Motörhead, the Plasmatics, and Primal Scream.[1] He was best known for his lengthy association with The Rolling Stones,[2] for whom he produced a string of singles and albums that all 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).

Professional life[edit]

Prior to working with the Rolling Stones, Miller had been trained and was widely known as the protege of Stanley Borden (RKO, ARTIA, AFTER HOURS UNIQUE). Borden, the original backer of Island Records, suggested Miller to Chris Blackwell, who in turn brought him to the United Kingdom where he rose to fame by producing successful releases for the Spencer Davis Group including their breakthrough hit "Gimme Some Lovin'" and the follow-up smash "I'm A Man," which Miller co-wrote with the band's singer-keyboardist, Steve Winwood. In addition to his production work for yet another Winwood band, Traffic, Miller also contributed the lyrics to the Traffic song "Medicated Goo." During this period Miller also produced the first two albums by Spooky Tooth as well as the only album by the Clapton/Winwood supergroup Blind Faith.

Following his work with Blind Faith, Miller co-produced (with Delaney Bramlett) the hit Delaney & Bonnie album On Tour with Eric Clapton, recorded live at Croydon, United Kingdom, on December 7, 1969. He went on to produce albums for Delaney & Bonnie keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, Kracker, the Plasmatics, Motörhead and the UK band Primal Scream.

A drummer himself, Miller was known for the distinctive drum sound that characterized his productions, especially his work with the Rolling Stones, on whose recordings he occasionally played percussion parts such as the famous opening cowbell on "Honky Tonk Women" and the full drum kit on "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Happy," "Tumbling Dice" and "Shine a Light."

In the 1980s, Miller produced some acts including Johnny Thunders,[3] Matrix and Jo Jo Laine (wife of Denny Laine, on "Moody Blues & Wings"). In 1990 he co-produced (along with Phil Greene) "What's in A Name" for Florida band Walk the Chalk.

Miller went on to work with Primal Scream on their breakthrough album Screamadelica and William Topley's band the Blessing (Miller appears on their DVD Sugar Train during the song "Soul Love").

Among Miller's last productions were three tracks on the 1992 Wedding Present project, Hit Parade 2. Miller also produced four tracks on the World Bank's "In Debt Interview" which featured artists such as Billy Preston and Bobby Keys, a rare musical sideline from author Hunter S. Thompson. Miller traveled to Woody Creek, Colorado in 1994 to meet with Thompson for a memorable weekend in May. Miller died on October 22, 1994, of liver failure.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Miller's father, Bill, was a Las Vegas entertainment director and the man who booked Elvis Presley into the International Hotel for his 1969 return to live performance.

Jimmy Miller had a daughter, rock singer Deena Miller, with Gayle Shepherd, a member of the singing group the Shepherd Sisters. Miller and his second wife Geri had a son, Michael, who died at the age of 33.

Jimmy Miller had a stepson, Steven Miller, a news photographer living in Connecticut who is the surviving biological son of Geri Miller. Geri 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 [5].

Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times who spent time in jail for not revealing her sources in the infamous Plame-Wilson CIA affair, was Jimmy Miller's half-sister.

Miller was also previously married to Australian television personality, Kerri-Anne (Wright) Kennerley, who has accused him of severe domestic violence [6].

Discography (incomplete)[edit]

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[7]
1970 Sky Sailor's Delight[7]
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
1975 Locomotiv GT All aboard
1979 Trapeze Hold On
1979 Motörhead Overkill
1979 Motörhead Bomber
1980 Plasmatics New Hope for the Wretched
1991 Primal Scream Screamadelica


  1. ^ "Jimmy Miller Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  2. ^ Sunday Morning Playlist: Top Twenty Record Producers of the Rock Era – Page 5 Archived 8 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "ROIR". Roir-usa.com. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  4. ^ Obituary: Jimmy Miller, 52, Recording Producer Published: October 24, 1994. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Obituary
  6. ^ Kerri Anne Kennerley reveals past domestic abuse
  7. ^ a b Sky: A look back at Doug Fieger before The Knack - National Rock Review