July 14, 2006

So long, Suntan Charley

picture from SinatraFamily.com

Thanks to an anonymous commenter for notifying me of the passing of Frank Sinatra's longtime pianist, Bill Miller. He died on July 11. He was 91, and still playing gigs with Frank Sinatra, Jr., up until the week he died. Miller was born in the same month and year as Sinatra, February 1915. He began working with the crooner in 1952, during Sinatra's last days with Columbia Records. The singer nicknamed him "Suntan Charley" due to his overall pallor and inclination to stay indoors, as opposed to Frank, who was a diehard sunworshiper (for one thing, he didn't have to wear much, if any, makeup when on TV or in movies). If you go to SinatraFamily.com, you'll hear the song he is probably best known for having played with Sinatra.

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