musician, music producer and TV host -- via the New York Times. He was hopelessly corny, hated rock and roll, tried to get Sinatra to record novelty records. Yet he was immensely successful in music in the period between the Swing Era and rock and roll -- a time of syrupy ballads and overwrought crooning. He created and hosted "Sing Along with Mitch" in the early 1960s -- this hokey concept epitomized the suffocating whiteness we all yearned to escape from as kids. Still, I have the albums at home, and they did teach me the American song literture that predated the American Song Book. Follow the bouncing ball!