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Episode 121

Vocal Harmonies & Legends of Classic Pop with Bruce Belland and John H. Mills II


In 1951, 15-year-old Bruce Belland sneaked into a backstage door at Ciro’s Nightclub to get a glimpse of his idols, The Mills Brothers. That fateful night inspired Bruce to form The Four Preps and forge a vocal harmony career that brought us the hits, “26 Miles” and “Big Man.”

Bruce has spent 70 years loaded with questions for his musical heroes and, at long last, he gets to pose them to John H. Mills II, the son of original Mills Brother Donald Mills. Jon toured with his father for 17 years and he’s got answers!

We hand our fanboy the reins and these two harmony kings go deep into shop talk, discussing style, phrasing, timing, technique and arrangements. They share road stories, talk about John’s childhood with his trailblazing father and uncles and explore how each of them related to their larger-than-life fathers.

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