Walter Miller

Born: Feb. 7, 1907 Birmingham, AL

Jazz Trumpet

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Territory bands couldn't count on recording then, and Alabama's top musicians didn't make it onto wax unless they moved to Chicago or New York. So those of us who weren't around then have no direct evidence of what the Sonny Blount band sounded like. There's just one surviving publicity photo of the band, and Sunny had only a Xerox of that in his possession. And though Sunny would rattle off the names of Alabama musicians in later interviews, it's hard to tell from what he said who was actually in his band. We do have some idea, though, who played in the last Sonny Blount Orchestra, a 12 piece aggregration. Walter Miller, trumpet; Nat Atkins, trombone; George "Jarhead" Woodruff, alto sax; Frank Adams, alto sax; Joe Alexander, tenor sax; Warren Parham, also in the sax section; Ivory Williams, bass; and Fletcher Myatt, drums and vocals. Most of these musicians are now in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame......

Source: FROM SONNY BLOUNT TO SUN RA: The Birmingham and Chicago Years


Walter B. Miller, anthropologist, was one of the America's foremost authorities on youth gangs.

Born February 7, 1920, in Philadelphia, Walter Benson Miller was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago with an M.A. in Anthropology, and of Harvard University with a Ph.D. in Social relations. He lived and studied with the Fox Indians of Iowa as part of the University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology, Fox Indian Applied Anthropology Project from 1948-1953 under Clyde Kluckholm. Dr. Miller worked with James Q. Wilson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies in the 1960s.


Dr. Miller was director of Boston's Roxbury Gang Delinquency Research Project for the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's National Institute of Mental Health from 1957 to 1964. Miller, a jazz, blues and bluegrass musician, found that his knowledge of and interest in music helped him establish rapport with gang youth.

He published numerous papers from that project, including his major theoretical contribution, one of the most frequently cited papers in criminological literature, "Lower Class Subculture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency.” Unlike other theories of youth gangs, Miller saw gang members as essentially normal youth who were trying to achieve belonging and status according to the criteria of their own lower and working class, as opposed to middle class, communities.

From 1974 to 1980, Dr. Miller served as Project Director of the National Youth Gang Survey, the first national survey of violence by youth gangs and groups for the National Institute of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention based at Harvard Law School’s Center for Criminal Justice. He was instrumental in founding the National Youth Gang Center. Until his death, he served as an Adjunct Research Consultant for the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) in Tallahassee, FL, overseeing research for the National Youth Gang Center Project of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.


Miller was known in the Boston area as a traditional jazz trumpet player, vocalist, and member of the Blue Horizon Jazz Band. Dr. Miller died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 28, 2004.

Sun Ra and the Arkestra played eleven concerts over a week at this Detroit location, culminating in three complete shows on New Years Eve 1980/1 during which nearly 100 Sun Ra compositions were performed in a single night!
Sun Ra (organ, synthesizer, piano, vocals); Marshall Allen (alto sax, flute, kora); John Gilmore (tenor sax, vocals); Michael Ray (trumpet, vocals); Walter Miller (trumpet); Tony Bethel (trombone); Vincent Chancey (french horn); Danny Ray Thompson (bass, flute); James Jacson (bassoon, ancient Egyptian infinity drum, vocals); Skeeter McFarland (electric guitar); Taylor Richardson (electric guitar); Richard Williams (bass); Lugman Ali (drums); June Tyson (vocals, dance)
Jazz In Silhouette, Sun RaOther Planes of There, Sun Ra



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