Jimmy Miller (James Miller)

Jimmy Miller

Prior to working with the Rolling Stones, Jimmy 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 UK 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, Jimmy 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.” 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”). In the 1980s, Miller produced some acts including Johnny Thunders, 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. Among Miller’s last productions were three tracks on the 1992 Wedding Present project, Hit Parade 2. Jimmy 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. Jimmy traveled to Woody Creek, Colorado in 1994 to meet with Hunter S. Thompson for a memorable weekend in May. Miller died on October 22, 1994 of liver failure.

 

Born

  • March, 23, 1942
  • USA
  • Brooklyn, New York

Died

  • October, 22, 1994
  • USA
  • Denver, Colorado

Cause of Death

  • liver failure

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