Garnet Mimms (born Garrett Mimms, 16 November 1933, Ashland, West Virginia) is an American singer influential in soul music and rhythm and blues.
He was brought up in Philadelphia, and began singing in church as a child. As a teenager, he was a former member of the Philadelphia-based gospel groups, the Evening Stars, the Harmonizing Four and the Norfolk Four. The latter he recorded his first record for in 1953.
Garnett served several years in the military, and upon his release, he returned to Philadelphia in 1958 and formed a doo wop quintet called the Gainors. The line-up included Sam Bell, Willie Combo, John Jefferson and Howard Tate. The Gainors recorded singles for several labels over the following three years, including 'Red Top' (later picked up by the Cameo label), Mercury (from 1959-1960), and Tally Ho (in 1961).
The group subsequently evolved into Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters, where the singer and Sam Bell were joined by Charles Boyer and Zola Pearnell. They met songwriter / producer Bert Berns, who signed them to United Artists, in 1963, and Bert teamed them up with another songwriter / producer, Jerry Ragovoy. Jerry's work helped create some of R & B's finest moments. The song 'Cry Baby' was an immediate U.S. hit, while 'Baby Don't You Weep' and 'For Your Precious Love' consolidated their arrival. The group split in 1964, when Garnett embarked on a solo career.
Although the Enchanters found a new vocalist and continued to record, they were overshadowed by their former leader. Garnett' subsequent releases, 'Look Away', 'It Was Easier To Hurt Her' and 'I'll Take Good Care Of You' (the latter Garnett's last Top 40 hit in 1966), were well received, highlighting the singer's church roots against Ragovoy's musical backdrop. Such excellent records were not always well received, and in 1967, Garnett was sidelined to United Artists' subsidiary Veep.
'My Baby' and 'Roll With The Punches' followed, but the singer's precarious artistic standing was confirmed when the latter was only released in Britain. Ragovoy then took Garnett to Verve Records (where he was also producing Howard Tate), but the four singles that appeared, although good, did not do as well as expected.
It was not until 1977 that the singer returned to the chart. Credited to Garnet Mimms And The Truckin' Company, 'What It Is' was a minor R & B hit and even reached the UK chart at number 44. The track was produced by Randy Muller of Brass Construction fame.In the 1980s, Garnet became a born-again Christian and found his calling ministering to lost souls in prison. In 1999 Mimms was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. He didn't record anything else until 2007 and a year later released a new gospel album Is Anybody Out There? on the Evidence label, produced and (primarily) written by Jon Tiven. (info mainly soulwalking.co.uk)