TIN-PAN ALLEY: The Sing-Alongs

Enrico Caruso and the phonograph drove the parlor tenor to the bathtub. Now Columbia Records' Mitch Miller is trying to lure him out from behind his shower curtain. Miller, a now inaudible oboist who is nonplaying captain of Columbia's pop musicians, worked up a gimmick just corny enough to click: a chorus of 28 men singing simple, slow arrangements of the old, golden songs, and an album-jacket invitation to listeners to join in the schmalz.

The first album, Sing Along with Mitch, was a rousing bestseller when it came out 15 months ago....

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