The song Downtown was recorded many years ago by a rich American woman with a terrible voice so she paid to produce the record. I heard it many years ago. I don’t remember her name. Can you help me find out?

  • A Dr. Demento collection, would be the place I'd look first. Also The Annoying Music Show may have clues.
    – Duston
    Oct 21, 2021 at 13:30
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1 Answer 1


This is "Downtown" by Mrs. Miller, a novelty act popular in the 1960s.

Like Florence Foster Jenkins before her, and William Hung after her, Mrs. Miller was beloved by audiences for her cheerful and indominable obliviousness to the wretchedness of her singing.

You may be conflating her a bit in your mind with Jenkins, the wealthy dilettante who was the subject of a recent Meryl Streep movie. Miller wasn't particularly wealthy, she was a middle-class housewife whose love of singing was hijacked by a producer with a wicked sense of humor. He convinced her to bring her distinctive warble and older-generation sensibility to a series of inappropriately youthful then-current pop hits --global stardom was the unexpected result.

This particular song was a Top 100 hit, with fans particular appreciating Mrs. Miller's heroic attempts to finish the song despite falling completely out of sync with the backing track (she later complained that the producer had chosen the worst of all the takes for the release). I discovered her many years ago in the vinyl collection of a professor a friend was house-sitting for. Playing her "Greatest Hits" became the highlight of the evening for us --as it surely would have been for anyone.

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