Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bob Mitchell Dies at Age 96

Bob Mitchell, photo (C) Eric Richardson
The legendary silent film organist Bob Mitchell died this past weekend. He was 96 years old. I mainly knew Mitchell for his weekly performances at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Mitchell would create the soundtrack for the silent films, anything from Charlie Chaplin to Valentino pictures, using the theater's organ. However, I didn't realize how fascinating the rest of Mitchell's life was until after reading his obituary in the Los Angeles Times. Mitchell was the first house organist for the Dodgers, he started the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir which appeared in over 100 films, including Going My Way with Bing Crosby, and he was also an organist for the Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats, a series that presents classic films. Read the Los Angeles Times obituary here.
Here is a short video of Bob Mitchell playing at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles.

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