George Millar (singer)
|Born||1947 (age 71–72)|
Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, lambeg drum|
|Years active||Early 1960s-present|
|Associated acts||The Irish Rovers|
George Millar is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as co-founder and leader of the Irish folk group The Irish Rovers.
George was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, ca. 1947, the brother of Will Millar and Sandra Beech. As children, Will, Sandra performed as "The Millar Kids" (George sometimes joined them on spoons) in Ireland before the family emigrated to Canada. While in his teens, George met Jimmy Ferguson at an Irish function in Toronto in 1963. They began playing as The Irish Rovers and were soon joined by George's cousin Joe Millar who also emigrated to Canada. After touring around Ontario playing in cafe's, clubs and hotels, George, Jim and Joe left Toronto for Calgary where they joined brother Will Millar who was performing on "Just 4 Fun", a children's TV show. With the addition of Will, The Irish Rovers became four and played at The Depression Coffee House in Calgary. Later headed to California where they made a name for themselves at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. They were later joined by Wilcil McDowell.
George's lead vocal is heard on most of their recordings, including the original 1967 recording of "The Black Velvet Band". He is also heard on "Lord of the Dance", "No More Bread and Butter", "The Lass With The Bonny Brown Hair", "Home To Bantry Bay", and the ballad which we wrote after the death of his wife Betsy, "And The Sun It Still Rises".
George has performed on television throughout the 1970s and 1980s on three international Irish Rovers television series and more recently on three Irish Rovers television specials in the last few years.
As of 2019, George is still touring with the Irish Rovers and with Wilcil McDowell's retirement in 2018, is the last original member.
Millar is a prolific composer/songwriter. The Irish Rovers concert performances and album releases are full of his compositions. In the early days of the band he wrote many songs with his brother, Will Millar.
His waterfront home in Nanoose, British Columbia, Canada, where he's lived for 20 years, is a source of inspiration for his songwriting, while producer, Rick Salt's studio in downtown Nanaimo is the place to record the results.
George Millar's numerous compositions include "No More Bread and Butter" which appeared in the film, "Dudley Do-Right", the title track from their album/cd, "Gracehill Fair", as well as "Bells Over Belfast", "The Girls of Derry", "The Boys of Belfast", "Rambling Boys of Pleasure", "And The Sun It Still Rises". His more recent songs "The Titanic", "The Dublin Pub Crawl", and "Whores and Hounds" have gained popularity and become some of the Rovers' most requested songs.
He has also written several Children's songs for The Irish Rovers album, "Songs for the Wee Folk", and more for The Irish Rovers "The Irish Rovers, 50 Years", including "The Rovers Farewell", and the humorous, "Her Wonderful Ass".
George Millar has produced all of The Irish Rovers albums since 1993 for Rover Records. He has also produced albums for his brother, Will Millar and sister, Sandra Beech.
Awards and recognition
- 1982: winner, Producer, Juno Award for Best Children's Album, Inch By Inch
- 2011: winner, Producer/Songwriter, Vancouver Island Music Awards, SOCAN - Song of the Year, Gracehill Fair
- He was 16 in 1963, according to official web site.
- 'The Irish Rovers', Canadian Music Magazine, 1979