SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
National Life & Accident Insurance Company, Tree Music Publishing, Legendary Background Vocalist
Millie Kirkham is a Nashville native whose first taste of music was taking piano lessons as a child. Although she would later be revered as one of the most sought-after background singers in
Nashville's studio history, she began her career in the music industry as a secretary to WSM Program
Director Jack Stapp, booking all the talent for WSM shows. When Jack Stapp founded Tree Publishing she automatically became Tree's secretary. While still working for Tree, she began singing with the Anita Kerr Singers on radio shows and on some recording sessions. Eventually she left the
executive office for the studio fulltime. Her clear soprano graced Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry," Roy Orbison's "It's Over," Patsy Cline's "Back In Baby's Arms," George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," and many others. Among numerous Elvis Presley classics on which she appears are "Blue Christmas," "How Great Thou Art," "Just Pretend," "Devil in Disguise," and "Surrender". She sang with Elvis on many of his movie soundtracks and performed with him on stage in the 1970
documentary movie That's The Way It Is in Las Vegas. In 1998 and 1999 she toured through the U.S. and Europe with "Elvis the Concert" which reunited many of Elvis' original musicians. Well into her 80's, Millie has continued to perform across the Jordanaires and Ronnie McDowell paying country with the homage to the classic songs which helped define the Nashville sound.
Millie Kirkham died December 14, 2014