Walter C. Miller, Longtime Producer for the CMA Awards, Dies at 94

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Walter C. Miller, a former executive producer for the Country Music Association Awards, died on Nov. 13, the organization revealed on Saturday (Nov. 14). He was 94.

Miller worked for the CMAs for four decades in various producing capacities. “Walter was an absolute television legend,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer. “When you worked with him, you instantly knew you were in the presence of greatness. He brought so much innovation and brilliance to the CMA Awards over the 40 years he worked with the organization.”

He was born in 1926 and began his television career in the ’40s as a lighting director for variety series The Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour on NBC. Among his other early credits, Miller worked on Startime, The Bell Telephone Hour and Sing Along With Mitch.

Later in his career, Miller directed television events including New Orleans Jazz Festival 1969, Johnny Cash and Friends, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and the Barbra Streisand special The Belle of 14th Street. Miller worked with numerous musicians throughout his career, among them Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra.

“Walter Miller was my friend and mentor,” says Robert Deaton, CMA Awards executive producer. “Everything I know about producing great television I learned from Walter Miller. Walter had a long list of accomplishments and credits and working with the biggest names in entertainment. However, I know that working in Nashville and with the CMA Awards was closest to his heart. He loved our artists, and in return we counted Walter as one of our own. Today we say thank you, you will be missed and rest in peace dear friend.”

He was nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, winning five trophies in the years between 1972 and 1999. In 2007, Miller received the CMA Presidents Award, followed later by the Irving Waugh award for his lifelong service to the organization.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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