Friday, July 10, 2009
Bob Mitchell R.I.P.
I just returned from Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where funeral services were held for Bob Mitchell. It was nice to see a full house in attendance for this magnificent musician.
For those not aware, Bob Mitchell had a musical career that spanned eleven decades, beginning in 1924 (at age 12) as an organist playing for silent films at the Strand Theater in Pasadena. He later formed the Bob Mitchell Boy’s Choir, which made many film appearances in the 1940’s (most notably with Bing Crosby in Going My Way, and Cary Grant in The Bishop’s Wife). The Choir also made records with Crosby, Frank Sinatra, et. al. When Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, it was Mitchell behind the organ keys, playing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.
Music was Bob’s life for 92 years, and his involvement with church was his first and foremost occupation, training generations of choir singers (over 600) for seventy years. At one point he was musical director for six churches and also a synagogue all at the same time. He was completely selfless in his generosity as a teacher, musician and human being . I’ll never forget his radiant smile and beaming soulful eyes, as he accompanied Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, The Keystone Cops and so many other legends of the silver screen at The Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax Ave. Mr. Mitchell was indeed a Hollywood institution and a great role model for many. He passed away Wednesday July 1, at age 96.