Garry Mills was born on 13 October 1941 in West Wickham, Kent, and – encouraged by his father who was a former semi-professional singer himself – developed an interest in music when skiffle became the big rage.
He taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica and his father later persuaded him to visit the famous 2i’s coffee bar in London’s Soho, where many young stars started their careers. There he used to sit in with Adam Faith and The Worried Men.
His first solo professional appearance was at a church service in St. Barnabas Church, Manette Street, Soho, where he was booked by the Reverend Geoffrey Beaumont whose modern approach to religious services on TV, Radio and in churches earned him the name of The Rock n Roll Bishop.
Garry gained a recording contract with the Top Rank company and by the age of nineteen, he had made a number of records, such as Running Bear and Seven Little Girls – and sang for Jess Conrad in the film Friends and Neighbours (1959) starring Arthur Askey – but hits eluded him. Then a lucky break came his way . . .
A horror film had been made titled Circus of Horrors (1960), and the producers were looking for a singer to record the film’s title song which was to be heard over the credit titles. Garry was their man.
He sang the song entitled Look For a Star, and the subsequent release of the record in America (to coincide with the showing of the picture) proved at last that Garry possessed that quality which made hit records. In the UK, the single reached the Top Ten.