Miller’s daughter and Oliver’s mother, singer/songwriter/producer Lisa Dawn Miller, discovered the song in an old box of cassette tapes. Her father had written the song for a show that he was working on about the life of Louis Armstrong entitled, “Satchmo,” which wasn’t completed before he passed away.
Lisa’s husband, Sandy Hackett (son of late legendary comedian Buddy Hackett), loved the song and wanted to add it to the hit show the husband and wife team produce together, the critically acclaimed touring production, “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show.” Performed by the character of Sammy Davis, Jr. at the end act one, “Will I Still Be Me” quickly became a fan favorite, bringing down the house at every performance.
“Everyone is just blown away by this song. They have never heard it before and it moves them. People will come up after the show in tears because they are so impacted by the profound lyric – it touches them deeply in so many ways they can relate to in their own lives,” Lisa said. “My dad would be so proud to hear his grandson perform and interpret this song so sensitively and with an unparalleled depth of understanding,” Lisa added.
“I believe ‘Will I Still Be Me’ is a reflection of my father’s own life. When I hear the lyric, ‘with the world at my feet or holes in my shoes, I’ll take either way but don’t let me lose, that kid with a dream, who laughed at the wind – when I have seen everything that a man’s supposed to see, will I still be me,” it always makes me cry because I can’t tell you how many times my dad had holes in his shoes while at the same time, his songs were making millions at the top of the charts for others,” Lisa added. “The song needed a singer with the pathos and sensitivity to convey the meaning of my father’s lyric. It’s hard to believe that a 16-year-old could have that kind of depth, but Oliver never ceases to amaze me. He is a once-in-a-lifetime, rare and unique talent. Grandpa Ron is definitely smiling down on Oliver with great pride,” Miller said.
At 9 years old, Oliver’s video of “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked,” went viral. At 10 years of age, Oliver Richman was personally invited by Stevie Wonder to share the stage with him at the Nokia Theatre L.A. where the young singer performed his grandfather’s classic, “One Little Christmas Tree” to a standing ovation from over 7,500 people. Written by Ron Miller, the song was originally recorded by Wonder in 1967 for his one and only Christmas album, “Someday at Christmas” (also written by Miller). The same year, Richman was featured on Byron Allen’s “Young Icons,” a national TV show about young people changing the world. Oliver first appeared in “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show” as “Young Frank Sinatra” when he was 5 years old.
During this past holiday season, Oliver released the holiday classic, originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, written in the 1960s by Ron Miller and Oliver’s late grandmother, Aurora Miller, “Everyone’s a Kid at Christmas Time” (performed along with his mother, Lisa Dawn Miller, and younger sister, Ashleigh Hackett), as well as, “Celebrate Me Home” – the title track to Kenny Loggins’ 1977 debut album. The multi-talented teen singer’s version of the track was praised by Rob Lester on Talkin’ Broadway: www.talkinbroadway.com/page/sound/december2116.html. Oliver also released “Today,” a song about letting go, performed in duet with his mother, Lisa Dawn Miller, who co-wrote the song with Matson.
Lisa also wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music and book for the new musical comedy, “Mandropause,” along with Hackett and Matson. The show is set to premiere in 2017. She is currently developing a musical about her father entitled, “For Once in My Life.”