OBITUARY: Music Publisher Stanley Mills (“Chicken Dance”, Former NMPA, Harry Fox Agency Board Member) Passes Away at Age 91

OBITUARY: Music Publisher Stanley Mills (“Chicken Dance”, Former NMPA, Harry Fox Agency Board Member) Passes Away at Age 91


Independent Music Publisher and Son of Legendary Mills Music Publisher  Jack Mills’ Catalog Included “Cara Mia”, “Hands Up, “My Melody of Love”& the World’s Most Beloved Party Song


LOS ANGELES, CA, (FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2022) – Stanley Mills, former National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Harry Fox Agency board member for 30 years and music publisher of the world’s most beloved party song, the “Chicken Dance,” died yesterday at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. at age 91.

Born February 18, 1931, Stanley Mills was the son of legendary music publisher, Jack Mills of Mills Music. He founded September Music (ASCAP) and Galahad Music (BMI) in 1968 and represented some of the most influential songs of their time including “Cara Mia”, “Hands Up”,
“My Melody of Love” and the “Chicken Dance”, which continues to be a beloved party favorite.

The obscure 1950s polka song became so popular over the years that by the 1990s it was being featured in commercials, television shows and various artist compilations. By 2001, the song became so popular that the Wall Street Journal wrote a front page cover story on Stanley Mills and the origins and success of the song he tirelessly promoted through the decades. The song has become so popular, that each March 14 is now celebrated as National Dance Like a Chicken Day.

As the son of a prominent music publisher, Stanley started his career working for his father at Mills Music. When Mills Music was sold to EMI Music Publishing in 1964, Stanley stayed at the company until 1966 when he left to work for E.B. Marks, now Carlin-America.  In 1968, upon the urging of many of his songwriter friends, Stanley decided to venture out on his own and started September Music and Galahad Music.

Mills built his catalog from scratch, one song at a time, via relationships with songwriters he’d worked with over the years like Paul Evans and Paul Parnes (“Happiness Is”) and Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee (“End Of The World”).  Back then songwriters used to walk from publisher to publisher, literally across the hall from each other, trying to score a deal.  Focusing on MOR (Middle-Of-The-Road) and later county music songs, Stanley found success with hits like Bobby Vinton’s “My Melody Of Love” and “Darlin” recorded by David Rogers, Tom Jones, and Bonnie Raitt.  Perhaps his most famous contribution to popular music in America and the world was his introduction years ago of what is arguably the most popular party song of all-time, “The Chicken Dance”.

Mills sold both September Music and Galahad Music to Memory Lane Music in 2015.

Stanley Mills is survived by sons Kenneth Mills of Plantation, FL. Mitchell Mills of Woodmere, N.Y., nephews Joshua Mills of Los Angeles, CA, Peter Alpert of Long Island, N.Y., Trish Alpert of Long Island, N.Y. and five grandchildren. Services will be private.


For More Information, Please Contact Joshua Mills, It’s Alive! Media, 323-464-6314,,