Sunday, May 23, 2010

In Memory of Dan Miller

Dan Miller died last year on April 8, 2009, after suffering a heart attack while walking in Augusta, Georgia, with longtime friend and WSMV sports director Rudy Kalis. He had returned to his hometown to attend The Masters golf tournament with Kalis and another friend and colleague, Terry Bulger.

I wrote at the time – I will never forget the moment I first met Dan Miller. It was over thirty years ago in the late 1970s. I was leaving the old H. G. Hill grocery store on West End Avenue across from the Bell Meade Theater. As I approached the door with my arms full of groceries suddenly a large figure rushed by me. A very tall, strikingly handsome man who I immediately recognized opened the door for me. It was Dan Miller. I thanked him. I don’t remember much of what we talked about as we walked to our cars, only the impression he left with me – that I had just met an authentically kind, southern gentleman.

According to those who knew him best, the man who for nearly forty years we nightly invited into our homes was truly what he appeared to be on air – a genuinely nice guy. There was no pretense about him.

For those who knew him and those of us who devotedly read his Blog we also knew him to be a lover of a good story and good laugh. He not only appreciated a good story, he knew how to tell one. Read his Blog.

I’m sure he would (more than most of us) appreciate the story of his death – that he would die in his hometown, walking the streets of his boyhood in April in Augusta during the week of the Masters with two of his best friends, Rudy Kalis and Terry Bulger, though sad, is satisfyingly sweet.

According to Dan the best recording of any song is "Nat King Cole's understated, dreamy rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's 1927 composition Stardust."

It was recorded at Capitol Records for inclusion in Nat King Cole's 1957 album "Love Is The Thing."

It was arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins.

If you're not familiar with this particular recording, or if you haven't heard it in a while, there are several offerings on YouTube. Here is one:

As Dan said, "If you know of any recording that's better, let me know, I'd like to hear it."

Dan, though we dream in vain, in our hearts you will remain, our stardust melody, the memory of loves refrain.

1 comment:

mythopolis said...

Nice tribute. I never met him, but I always thought he had a nice easy-going way about him