Ron Miller (songwriter)
Ronald Norman Miller (October 5, 1932 – July 23, 2007) was an American popular songwriter and record producer, who attained many Top 10 hits with ballads written for Motown artists in the 1960s and 1970s.
Life and career
Miller was born in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Marines and then sold washing machines, before he was discovered by Motown founder Berry Gordy while playing in a bar. Gordy invited him to write songs for his new company, Motown, and Miller responded by writing the lyrics to "For Once in My Life", to music by Orlando Murden. The song was written the night his daughter Angel was born, and was first recorded at Motown by Barbara McNair before being covered in a more upbeat style by Stevie Wonder. It is one of the most covered songs in pop history with more than 270 recorded versions. A version recorded by Tony Bennett and Wonder won a Grammy Award in 2007.
Miller co-wrote several other hit songs for Stevie Wonder, including "A Place in the Sun", "Heaven Help Us All", and "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday". A version of "Heaven Help Us All" by Ray Charles and Gladys Knight won a Grammy Award for best gospel performance in 2005. He also co-wrote Diana Ross' 1973 hit "Touch Me in the Morning", and Charlene's "I've Never Been To Me". During the 1970s, Miller wrote lyrics for several Broadway musicals, including Daddy Goodness and Cheery.
Miller was the grandfather of the singer and actor Oliver Richman.
Selected list of Miller songs
- "A Place in the Sun" (Ron Miller, Bryan Wells) – Stevie Wonder, 1966, US #9, UK #20
- "For Once in My Life" (Ron Miller, Orlando Murden) – Stevie Wonder, 1968, US #2, UK #3
- "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" (Ron Miller, Bryan Wells) – Stevie Wonder, 1969, US #7, UK #2
- "Heaven Help Us All" (Ron Miller) – Stevie Wonder, 1970, US #9, UK #29
- "Someday at Christmas" (with Bryan Wells) -Stevie Wonder 1967
- "Touch Me in the Morning" (Ron Miller, Michael Masser) – Diana Ross, 1973, US #1, UK #9
- "Don't Burn Down the Bridge" (Ron Miller) - Gladys Knight & the Pips, 1973
- "I've Never Been to Me" (Ron Miller, Ken Hirsch) – Charlene, 1982, US #3, UK #1, Canada #1, Australia #1
- "You Moved A Mountain" (Denzil A. Miller, Jr., Jermaine Jackson, Ron Miller) - Jermaine Jackson, 1982. From the album Let Me Tickle Your Fancy reached #9 in the US R&B chart and #46 in the US Pop chart.
- "Put Me On" (Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Bertram Reid, W.Cunningham, N. Durham, Ronald Miller, Alicia Keys) - Mario, 2002. The album peaked at US #9.
- "If I Could" (Ron Miller, Ken Hirsch, Marti Sharron) – Celine Dion, 2004. The album Miracle peaked at US #4.