Donald Mills was the last surviving member of venerable singing group the Mills Brothers when he died on November 13, 1999. The singer was given a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998 for a musical career that spanned 70 years.
At age seven, Donald Mills began performing with his brothers John, Jr., Herbert, and Harry in Piqua, OH, where they developed their unique style that included entertaining mimicry of musical instruments. It's said that the group sold over 50 million records beginning with their number one million-selling pop hit "Tiger Rag." The Mills Brothers made history when the CBS Radio Network tapped them to host a nationally aired radio show. They appeared in several movies during the '30s and '40s.
The group had four more number one pop hits: "Dinah," "Paper Doll," "You Always Hurt the One You Love," and "The Glow-Worm." John Mills Jr. died in 1936; John Mills Sr., who replaced his late son in the group, died in 1967; Herbert and Harry retired in 1982; that same year, Harry died. Herbert passed away in 1989.
Donald Mills began performing with his son John as John and Donald Mills of the Mills Brothers in 1982. On November 13, 1999, Donald Mills died from complications from pneumonia in a Los Angeles hospital.
There are several CDs available on the group: The Mills Brothers: The Anthology (1931-1968), 22 Great Hits, The Best of the Decca Years, All Time Greatest Hits, Paper Dolls, 16 Great Performances, V-Disc Recordings, The Essential Mills Brothers: Four Boys and a Guitar, Cab Driver, The Best of the Mills Brothers (Decca), Merry Christmas, Two on One, Close Harmony, Guy Lombardo's Christmas, Inspiration, and the VHS home video releases The Mills Brothers Story, Jazzball, and Best of Big Bands, Vol. 4.