It's not every day that someone is spurred to greatness by bad breath. But that is exactly what got acclaimed producer Mitch Miller started on his path to musical success.
Miller, who died this past weekend at the age of 99 following a brief illness, was famous for his work with big band icons like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. However, it was an encounter with a halitosis-plagued piano teacher in his youth that helped get his musical career started.
Miller said in a 1978 interview that he began playing the oboe, the instrument he initially found musical success with, because the woman he was taking piano lessons from had significant bad breath and he wanted to escape her, according to National Public Radio.
"This teacher was a very good teacher, but every time she leaned over and said, 'Now Mitchell, you must do it this way…', her breath just bowled me over," he said, according to the news source.
One can only speculate as to how the career trajectory of the famed producer - not to mention the mega-stars he worked with - may have been altered had his childhood piano teacher been aware of specialty breath freshening products.