picture of Alfred Miller
Alfred Miller
Reverend Dr. Alfred Miller (*1927) grew up in New Jersey. He was training to be a classical musician when he began playing for Madame Ernestine B. Washington, then stationed in Montclair, NJ. He made his recording debut at 16, playing piano on her first recordings (1943). He continued to accompany her on both piano and organ; they also recorded duets.
He performed a similar role with another COGIC grande dame, Madame Marie Knight, and recorded a hit duet with her of the 19th century hymn "Whispering Hope". He also played organ on classics by Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson. For many years, Alfred led his own gospel group, The Milleraires. For a while, that group's male lead was Archie Dennis, later recruited by the Roberta Martin Singers, the Baptist group that spent much of their time at Washington Temple COGIC.
Alfred served as musical director of TV Gospel Time and frequently accompanied the great COGIC ladies. The audio-video collection How Sweet It Was shows him accompanying Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Madame Emily Bram on piano, and even singing in a trio with Rosetta and Delois Barrett Campbell.
During the 1960s, Alfred was involved with several gospel musicals that were produced off Broadway. After many years of devotion, he finally left Washington Temple COGIC and spent perhaps his most lucrative years working for Reverend Ike. In his last years, Miller became a practitioner of New Thought theology. Alfred passed away in 2015.
by Anthony Heilbut


Great Gettin' Up Morning
Columbia CL 1343

Mahalia Jackson, vocals
Jimmy Raney, guitar
Mildred Falls, piano
Alfred Miller, organ
Harold Smith, organ
Addison Farmer, bass
John Simmons, bass
Osie Johnson, percussion

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