Sidney Miller, Who Championed Black Music, Dies at 89

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“Black radio is becoming colorless,” he warned in a 1988 interview with The Los Angeles Daily News. “They are trying to reverse the crossover trend, and that’s just not smart. It won’t stop until we say, ‘Wait a minute; we’re the trendsetters’ and stop being led by the tail and be the leaders we are.”

“We’re encouraging the mainstay of Black artists to stop cutting soft, watered-down Black records,” he added.

That article called Mr. Miller “Moses to a nation of radio programmers and executives.”

Sidney August Anthony Miller II was born on Dec. 13, 1932, in Pensacola, Fla., to Sidney and Evelyn (Maddox) Miller. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, he enrolled at Florida A&M as a pre-med student. But he was also a musician, playing trumpet in the university band, and he worked up a side business booking music acts, including the jazz musicians Nat and Cannonball Adderley, his fellow students.

After college, where he had been in R.O.T.C., Mr. Miller joined the Army, serving in Texas and continuing to book acts on the side. In the 1960s he joined Capitol Records, first in Atlanta, where he headed its Fame subsidiary, and then in Los Angeles. One day in 1970 while walking from the Capitol Records tower toward Hollywood Boulevard, he was intrigued by the Florida license plate on a parked car. Inside were two young women, Susan Marie Enzor and her sister, Dottie, who were on a cross-country adventure.

Soon he and Susan were married, and she became his business partner when he founded Black Radio Exclusive in 1976. The magazine continued publishing for some 40 years.

During that time its conventions were both a showcase for new talent and a forum for serious discussion. The 1988 conference, for instance, featured a panel on whether rap music was reinforcing negative stereotypes of Black people. Ice-T was one of those who spoke to the issue.


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