Black Inspirations: Emily King on The Mills Brothers
For the month of February, in celebration of Black History Month on XPN, we’re presenting a new series called Black Inspirations. We’ve asked contemporary Black artists to share some of their influences from the Black music vanguard. The series continues today with a testimonial from Emily King.
New York singer-songwriter Emily King looked back over seven decades to find the artist she wanted to celebrate for Black Inspirations. Piqua, Ohio four-piece The Mills Brothers released their first album in 1946, and were originally known by the vivid name Four Kings of Harmony; they worked in jazz, barbershop, and pop vocal songwriting. Here’s what King had to say about them.
“I LOVE the The Mills Brothers so much. They are my go to listen for any time of day. Such soulful singers with the most beautiful 4 part harmonies. They were actually brothers and you can really hear it by how effortlessly they blend. They often sing with just a guitar or ukulele but their arrangements make you think there’s a full band present the way they divvy up the bass and background parts. I love singing along with them, trying to pick apart a different harmony each time. Such great classic songs too! Highly recommend the “Best Of The Mills Brothers” album to start.”
Below, listen to Emily King’s favorite songs by The Mills Brothers, chosen for Black Inspirations on WXPN.