But Miller, to quote Donald Sutherland's description of John Milton in Animal House, does not speak well to our generation. That's not just because the vaudeville arrangements of his 1920s recordings will strike most modern-day listeners as quaint. It's also because the blackface minstrel tradition -- which was just part of the scene in Miller's heyday -- strikes as somewhat distasteful in the post-segregation era in its perpetuation of some disagreeable black stereotypes.
Miller began recording for OKeh in the mid-'20s and made his most important singles for the label at the end of the decade with accompaniment by the Georgia Crackers
, which included both Tommy
and Jimmy Dorsey
. The minstrel tradition faded drastically in popularity after 1930, although Miller did record for Bluebird in 1936 and continued to perform in minstrel shows to dwindling crowds through the early '50s. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi