For more than uninterrupted 75 years, the magical appeal of the eloquent music of The Mills Brothers has attracted adoring audiences worldwide.
The magic continues unabated today under the leadership of John Mills - son, grandson and nephew of the original group?s members - who recreates the inimitable sounds of The Mills Brothers while vocalizing the multitude of hit songs that made them famous.
John Mills had performed with his father, Donald Mills -- the last surviving original-- since 1982, and now brings to stage the newest generation of The Mills Brothers. The new duo includes and highlights the beautiful voice and compelling stage presence of the talented Elmer Hopper, who spent 21 years with the renowned Platters.
With their impeccable musicology and the priceless charts of The Mills Brothers discography of smash recordings, John and Elmer present a singular recreation of music that has been universally embraced by audiences since 1922.
From the first time The Mills Brothers stepped onto a stage at the Mays Opera House in Piqua, Ohio, more than two generations ago, their distinctive sound captured the fancy of audiences, a mystique that continues today.
Honored with a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1998, The Mills Brothers harmonies and unmistakable repertoire of hits still symbolize a legendary tradition to a new millennium of audiences.
Among the memorable portfolio of recordings that John and Elmer dramatically present are Tiger Rag, the original groups first hit from 1928, Cab Driver, Glow Worm, Lazy River, Yellow Bird, Basin Street Blues, Opus One,Paper Doll and many others.
The parade of Mills Brothers recordings continued into the 1990s, when John and his father released their own CD, Still Theres You, a compilation of some of the original groups greatest songs and new material composed by John.
The number of Mills Brothers records sold is uncountable, certainly well into the many tens of millions. They had a certifiable hit each year between 1935 and 1947, and they kept coming through the mid-1960s with Cab Driver.
Paper Doll alone sold six million copies in its first release and it was just one of more than 2,000 recordings that produced at least three dozen legitimate hits.
Elmer Hopper spent 21 years with The Platters. In 1974, at the age of nineteen, Elmer was trained personally by Paul Robi, (the baritone of the original group.) He accompanied Paul on an international tour spanning the globe from Japan and China, to Canada and Australia in what was said to be the best ensemble of The Platters since the groups inception.
Elmer Hopper and Paul Robi were best of friends for more than 15 years until Paul succumbed to cancer in February of 1989. Paul did not leave Elmer without a final message of inspiration. During a visit, just a few days before Paul passed away, he asked Elmer to Please continue keeping The Platters legacy alive! Not long after losing his dear friend and mourning the loss of a great team member, Elmer hit the stage with renewed vigor touring the world with The Platters for the next several years
Upon the hospitalization of Donald F. Mills, Sr. of the Mills Brothers, Elmer joined forces with Donald?s son John H. Mills, II, in June of 1999. Forming this newest generation of The Mills Brothers, John and Elmer present a singular recreation of music that has been universally embraced by audiences since 1922.
On tour, John Mills and Elmer Hopper, have combined their unique talents to present the incomparable music of The Mills Brothers in the original keys and with the original scores, embracing an artistic opportunity unparalleled, demanding a high level of vocal musicality and integrity that is rare in this day and age.
Elmer Hopper is a truly gifted singer who says that performing in this show has been extremely gratifying, as there are few endeavors that compare with his prior, illustrious musical achievements.