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Garnet Mimms Biography

Home > Music > G > Garnet Mimms > Biography

Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap/Hip Hop, Soul/R&B, Vocals, World

Garnet Mimms was born Garrett Mimms on November 16, 1933 in Ashland, West Virginia and is an American R&B/soul singer. He is probably best remembered for his rendition of the hit "Cry Baby,” which was later recorded by Janis Joplin. He is also known for his hit, "A Quiet Place," a popular song in the Carolina Beach Music community. Mimms' singing style earned him comparisons to Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson from soul fans and critics alike.

Mimms grew up in Philadelphia, where he began singing gospel music as a boy in church, and later in his teens sang in gospel groups, the Evening Stars, the Harmonizing Four, and the group with which he would record his first record in 1953, the Norfolk Four. Mimms' musical career took a break while he served time in the military, when he was released he returned to Philadelphia and formed doo-wop group, the Gainors in 1958. While the Gainors recorded a number of records with various labels over a three year period they failed to produce a hit.

In 1961, Mimms and Sam Bell left the group to form a new group, Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters, with Zola Pearnell and Charles Boyer; the group moved to New York City and landed a record deal with United Artists, who wrote the hit, "Cry Baby" for them. The song topped the R&B chart and went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Mimms followed-up with a double sided hit, "For Your Precious Love" and "Baby Don't You Weep,” both tracks entering the Billboard Top 30.

The band parted ways in 1964 and Mimms went on to work with Jimi Hendrix in the U.K. a few years later. He did some recording on the MGM and Verve labels, and In 1969, Led Zeppelin performed an extended version of Mimms' "As Long As I have You" on their U.S. tour. Despite Mimms efforts he was unable to find the same success he had amassed during the early '60's. The 1970's saw Mimms release a few funk songs as Garnet Mimms and the Truckin' Co. He had his only hit in the United Kingdom at this time, when "What It Is" reached #44 for one week on the U.K. Singles Chart in June, 1977.

In the 1980s, Mimms became a born-again Christian and found his calling ministering to lost souls in prison. While he retired from music he was awarded a Pioneer Award in 1999 by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2007, at the age seventy-four, Mimms returned to the recording studio and released a new gospel album, β€œIs Anybody Out There?” (2008) on the Evidence label.