Mrs Mills was catapulted to stardom late in 1961 and soon became a staple figure on British television's variety and entertainment shows, her popularity lasting into the 1970s. In fact, the last of her many albums - "All Time Party Dances" - was released in 1978, the year of her death.
A wide range of songs - popular and classical, standards and swing, songs from musicals and from music halls - were given the Mrs Mills treatment and she became famous for her medleys in which several songs were strung together in an extended number; there are a couple of those included here but most of the tracks are individual pieces. It's a great shame that none of her albums are available but this generously filled compilation makes for a pretty good introduction to her work.
I remember most of her albums being in my grandparents' wooden record player cabinet and listened to them over and again as a child; my granddad was a pub pianist in the 40s and 50s and, though he stopped playing publically long before I was even a twinkle in my parents' eyes, he could still bang out the old tunes at home for me well into his old age. One of our treasured photos of my granddad is of him sitting playing in shirt and braces, his pint on top of the pub piano and a gaggle of stout and Northern elderly relatives gathered around him with their ports and lemonade in hand.
You just don't get the chance to hear repertoire like this anymore, sadly. For me, this disc has been a glorious trip down memory lane but even if you haven't heard Mrs Mills before, I think you'll find this good-hearted, sunny music-making hard to resist - so get this CD and get yourself a bottle of milk stout, roll up your sleeves, sit back and prepare to tap your feet!