Hayley Mills is known more for her acting skills and her Disney film role as Pollyanna than as a singer who made it into the Top Ten. She managed that feat once, however, and almost repeated it when she was still a child star back in the '60s. "Let's Get Together," a song she originally sang in her second Disney movie, The Parent Trap, rose to number eight in 1961. In Hawaii, it went all the way to the top of the charts. Her next release, "Johnny Jingo," hit number 21 the following year. Buena Vista issued both singles.
Thanks to the success of "Let's Get Together," Walt Disney Productions deemed it feasible that an album by Mills should go on the market. Titled Let's Get Together With Hayley Mills, the release from Buena Vista, a Disney company, hit stores in 1962 with a dozen tracks, among them her pair of hit singles. The album was reissued in CD format in the late '90s. Also in 1962, Mills released another single, "Ding Ding Ding," which was backed by "Side by Side." That same year, Mills' role in In Search of the Castaways launched a few more singles, including the ballad "Castaway" and "Let's Climb," a song that paired her with Maurice Chevalier in a duet. All of the year's singles were released by Buena Vista. In 1963, Mills sang four numbers out of seven on Alcoa Wrap Presents Music From Walt Disney's Summer Magic. The release was issued by Wonderland Music. Three years later, to tie in with Mills' appearance in the film Gypsy Girl, Mainstream released a single that shared the film's title. Its flip side featured "Younger Than 17."
The actress/singer's full name is Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills. A native of London, she hails from an acting family. Her father, John Mills, won an Oscar for his work in the 1970 film Ryan's Daughter. Her sister, Juliet Mills, is an Emmy Award-winning actress. Mother Mary Hayley Bell is a playwright and novelist, and son Crispian Mills had a successful British trad rock band, Kula Shaker, during the late '90s. For her role in Pollyanna, Mills won her own Oscar, a special juvenile award. Her parents, however, did not take her to the ceremony and only informed her of the award many months later in an effort to keeping their little girl modest.
In later life, Mills appeared in television's Saved By the Bell, which was formerly titled Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Other television work includes The Flame Trees of Thika for the BBC in 1981 and a trio of made-for-TV movies based on The Parent Trap. She later moved on to theater work, appearing in New York in Suite in 2 Keys, a play by Noel Coward, and touring with a production of The King and I during the 1990s. Despite her Top Ten hit decades earlier, critics were quick to point out her weaknesses as a singer. Mills, aware that her acting skills are mightier than her singing skills, took voice instruction. ~ Linda Seida