Knoxville, TN – Robert E. (Bobby) Miller transitioned to his final destination, Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at his home in the company of his loving wife.
Bobby was born, March 10, 1934, in Knoxville, Tennessee, as the only son of Willia Beatrice Moore Miller. He graduated from Austin East High School in Knoxville in 1951. After graduation, he joined the Armed Forces of the United States from 1951 – 1953. After an honorable discharge, Bobby moved to Chicago, Illinois, and pursued various occupations until he embraced his God-given talent and embarked on a storied musical career.
In the late ’60s, Bobby was a songwriter and record producer with the Chess Cadet Label in Chicago and helmed several hits for the Chicago singing group “The Dells.” He co-wrote “Stay in My Corner,” a dual-decade hit, and wrote several other numbers for various artists on the Chess Cadet Label. After the death of Leonard Chess in the fall of 1969, Bobby left the Chess Cadet Label for Motown Records.
(A multi-instrumentalist, Miller began playing piano at the age of 8 and later studied trumpet and drums at the Lyon and Healy’s school of music. With roots stemming from the church, Miller’s resume includes working with such well-known musicians and songwriters as Marvin Yancy, Raynard Miner (Fontella Bass “Rescue Me”), Clarence Satchell and Marshall Jones of the Ohio Players and he was the drummer for former Roger Troutman and Zapp vocalist Wanda Rash.
An active member of both ASCAP and NARAS, Miller’s debut solo album was recorded on the Chi-Town Ballin’ label in 1992 and he produced several solo albums on the Dafont Records label out of Chicago. Most of Miller’s productions include collaborations with engineer and guitarist Jerry Soto. With his flair for flashy musical productions, Miller is credited with scoring sound effects for the 2004 Steve T. Berry horror film The Embalmer.)
He was preceded in death by his mother Willia Beatrice Moore Miller, his aunt Sarah Moore Greene of Knoxville, and his uncles James and Henry Moore.
Survived by his spouse, Lesley Robinson; daughters Valerie Miller-Jordan, Maria Watkins-Miller (Stephen); sons, Ronald Eugene (Dina) Miller, Dell Lawrence (Coco) Miller, and Dorian Marcel (Winnetka) Miller; 13 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Family will receive friends, 11-11:30 a.m., Monday, January 6, 2020 at Jarnigan’s Chapel; funeral service, 11:30 a.m., Rev. Dr. Johnnie Skinner, Officiating.
Interment, Park City Cemetery, Madisonville, TN. Arrangements by JARNIGAN & SON MORTUARY. www.jarnigansmortuary.com