By Clark Collis
August 02, 2010 at 07:02 PM EDT
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Image Credit: GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty ImagesLegendary Columbia Records executive and orchestra leader Mitch Miller died on Saturday at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, according to the AP. He was 99.

Miller began his career as a classical oboist and in 1936 joined the CBS Symphony Orchestra. By the end of the ’40s he was working as an A&R man and in 1950 was appointed head of Columbia’s pop music department, where he oversaw the careers of Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and Rosemary Clooney amongst others.

In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Miller himself became a bestselling artist with a string of “sing along” albums which featured recordings of musical standards. He also hosted a hugely successful TV show, Sing Along with Mitch, on which Miller would encourage viewers to “follow the bouncing ball” on the screen as it tracked a song’s lyrics.

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