May 1, 2011



THE MILLS BROTHERS are still fantastic performers. They were the best way back then, and they still bring us the harmonies that continue to fascinate in 2011. It sure is a remarkable show for both young and old. Tonight (Sun. May 1st -- the last chance to catch them at the Rrazz Room).  The huge audience response to last nights show is an indication that they will most likely be booked again.

The Fun audience just adored John Mills (the 2nd) and Elmer Hopper (of the Platters fame) as they took us down memory lane with riveting versions of “You Always Hurt The One You Love” – “Don’t Blame Me” – “Bye, Bye Blackbird” – “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” (Russ Morgan). Then there was the magical “Paper Doll”.  Mills said: “Most of these songs were debuted by the Mills Brothers. Many others have made a fortune doing a retake of them – but I know one thing – we were the first to record Paper Doll.”

Elmer Hopper has been with Mills for a decade. His version of “Only You” was the biggest number one hit ever when he was with the Platters. And you know what? Not only can Hopper sing – he knocks it out of the ballpark. What a voice. Now every time I step into the Rrazz, I will remember that song. The richness of the lyrics is really powerful. It’s truly amazing how Hopper can go from a “Platter” to blend into the Mills Bros. smooth sounds.

In the audience were the “Red Hat” ladies. I would say there were 20 or so Red Hats (all different) in the Audience. The group is international – and the Ladies knew every song and every lyric.

One of the big hits (The Glow Worm) was a favorite on opening night. Everyone one of us, including the Red Hat Ladies was absolutely glowing. And afterward the Mills Brothers were out in the Lobby selling memorabilia and C.D.s. Boy, was there ever a mob out there! This is a Gem of a show that you won’t want to miss.

TODAY: AT THE RRAZZ ROOM 3pm, 7pm. Tix and information:

(Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

John Mills (the 2nd) and Elmer Hopper  -Courtesy Photo

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