Remembering J. McCarthy ‘Mac’ Miller, Jr.

Born September 14, 1914
Died July 29, 2018

Jazz Pensacola members, especially native Pensacolians, will likely remember our longtime member Mac Miller. He was owner of radio station WCOA for many years and was active in the community. It was only when I read his obituary that I learned that he was involved in building a cable TV station which subsequently became Cox Cable.

Mac was a graduate of the Naval Academy and was a highly decorated Marine fighter pilot in the South Pacific during WWII. He was selected as Don Tristan de Luna 42 as well as being active in many civic organizations.

During his later years, he was a widower and was a resident of Azalea Trace but continued his Jazz Society membership until the end.

Allow me one jazz anecdote here. In 1988, the New Jersey Jazz Society decided to hold a 50th anniversary of the Benny Goodman jazz concert at Carnegie Hall. In learning about it, I contacted Mac and his wife June and Holiday Veal and his wife Mary about this concert. I purchased tickets for Betty and me and the other two couples. Prior to the concert, Mrs. Miller was diagnosed with a malignancy, so that trip was cancelled for them. Also, there were complications which prevented the Veals from traveling. The concert was a sell-out so the Miller tickets were returned and re-sold. Holliday’s brother who was a NYC resident received the Veal’s tickets. At one point during the concert, the announcer asked those to stand who had attended the original, 1938 concert. The gentleman next to me stood—that is, the one who received the Miller’s tickets—and I learned that he was radio broadcaster Edmund Anderson, lyricist for 1940 popular song Flamingo. Anderson reported that he was sitting the box seats with Duke Ellington during the first concert.

Mac’s memorial service will be 12 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at All Saints Anglican Church in Warrington with graveside service to follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.