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Gary Miller

b. Neville Williams, 1924, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, d. 15 June 1968, London, England. Miller was a popular singer in the UK during the 50s and early 60s, with a smooth and polished style. As a young man, he was a talented soccer player and played for Blackpool Football Club as an amateur. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and, on release, enrolled as a student at London University with the intention of becoming a teacher of languages. After performing in college concerts, and with the experience of singing at a Welsh Eisteddfod festival as a schoolboy, Miller embarked on the learning process of small-time cabaret and concert tours, and made his first radio broadcast on Beginners, Please. As well as singing, he also included dancing in his act, and was involved in negotiations for a small part in the Ray Bolger movie Where’s Charley?, when it was being made in England, but nothing materialized. His first real break came when he was discovered by record executive and songwriter Norman Newell during a Variety appearance at Northampton, which led to him making a few tracks for Columbia Records. He also made regular appearances, singing and dancing, on television in Shop Window, and appeared on the fortnightly Kaleidoscope series.

By 1954, Miller was headlining in variety on the Moss Empires circuit. After a spell with Newell at the newly formed Philips Records in 1953, during which he released mostly romantic ballads, Miller switched to another new label, Pye Nixa, and started recording more up-tempo material. His first hit, ‘The Yellow Rose Of Texas’, in 1955, was overtaken by the US Mitch Miller version, but ‘Robin Hood’ made the Top 10 despite opposition from Dick James, who benefited by having his version played over the titles during the weekly television show. During that era it was commonplace for several versions of the same song to jostle each other in the singles chart. This was the case with Miller’s ‘Garden Of Eden’, which lost out to Frankie Vaughan. There was also strong competition on ‘Wonderful! Wonderful!’ from Ronnie Hilton, and on ‘The Story Of My Life’ from Michael Holliday. Miller’s record of the latter song is said to have suffered in popularity because he was touring North Africa at the time of its release. Perhaps in an effort to avoid the competition, Miller reached back to 1945 for his final chart entry, ‘I’ve Heard That Song Before’ (1961); it proved to be one of his best vocal performances. His first album, Meet Mister Miller, contained standards such as ‘Manhattan’, ‘April Showers’ and ‘Stella By Starlight’. This was followed by Gary On The Ball, with the Kenny Ball Jazz Band. In 1964, Miller appeared in the West End production of She Loves Me, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s musical based on the Hungarian play Perfumerie. Miller returned to the London stage in 1966 to play the role of the crooning Agent VO3 in Bryan Blackburn’s comedy musical, Come Spy With Me, starring female impersonator Danny La Rue, at London’s ‘home of farce’, the Whitehall Theatre. Two years later he died of a heart attack at his south London home.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Joe Meek: Portrait Of A Genius - The RGM Legacy

Disc 1

2. Yellow Rose Of Texas

3. The Next Train Out Of Town

4. It Feels So Good

5. Robin Hood

6. No Other Love

7. Bad Penny Blues

8. Lullabye

9. Lay Down Your Arms

10. Jailhouse Blues

11. Green Door

12. Petite Fleur

13. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O

14. Garden Of Eden

15. Rock And Roll King Cole

16. Putting On The Style

17. Last Train To San Fernando

18. Sizzling Hot

21. A House A Car And A Wedding Ring

23. Rock Around The Mailbag

24. Blackout

25. Sea Of Love

26. Mr. Blue

27. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For

Disc 2

4. Just Too Late

6. Heart Of A Teenage Girl

7. Angela Jones

8. North Wind

9. My Baby Doll

10. Once Upon A Time

11. My Baby's Gone Away

14. Johnny Remember Me

15. Sweet Little Sixteen

18. The Outlaws

19. Orbit Around The Moon

20. Husky Team

21. Entry Of The Globbots

22. Tune For Short Cowboys

24. Crazy Man Crazy

26. Dance Legless Russian

Disc 3

2. Telstar

4. Telstar

11. Globetrotter

12. There's Lots More Where This Came From

16. A Fool In Love

20. Just Like Eddie

23. Big Breaker

24. Sky Men

27. Please Let It Happen To Me

Disc 4

8. Have I The Right

12. I'm In Love With You

15. Little Baby

17. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

23. Movin' In

x

Track List: Twangy Guitars, Reverb And Heavenly Choirs: The RGM Sound

Disc 1

1. Burn My Candle

2. Lost John

3. Moby Dick

5. Lay Down Your Arms

6. Green Door

7. Garden Of Eden

8. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O

9. Petite Fleur

10. Puttin On The Style

11. Last Train To San Fernando

12. Wild Eyes And Tender Lips

13. Footprints In The Snow

14. The Story Of My Life

15. A House, A Car, And A Wedding Ring

16. Venus

17. Where Do I Go From Here?

18. Hold Back Tomorrow

19. Golden Cage

20. One More Sunrise (Morgen)

21. Sea Of Love

22. Mr Blue

23. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?

24. Summer Set

25. Bad Boy

26. Be Mine

27. The Point Of No Return

28. Green Jeans

30. Heart Of A Teenage Girl

Disc 2

1. Angela Jones

2. Tell Laura I Love Her

3. Sunday Date

5. Along Came Caroline

6. Can't You Hear My Heart

7. Time Will Tell

8. I'm Waiting For Tomorrow

9. No More Tomorrows

10. My Baby Doll

11. Teenage Love

12. Swingin Low

13. My Baby's Gone Away

14. Ambush

15. You Got What I Like

16. Lone Rider

17. Johnny Remember Me

18. Sweet Little Sixteen

19. Tribute To Buddy Holly

20. Night Of The Vampire

21. Wild Wind

22. Valley Of The Sioux

23. Girl Bride

24. Seventeen Come Sunday

25. When I Get Paid

26. Oh Lover

28. Husky Team

29. Til The Following Night

30. Son This Is She

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