Wayne Mills, who hails from the rural town of Arab, Alabama, was raised on values of a working man. His father, Jack Mills, instilled many honorable qualities and traits during Wayne’s upbringing. One of those lessons being that Anything Worth Having Is Worth Working For.
Wayne Mills took heed to the wisdom his late father bestowed upon him. In the early 90’s and against all odds, Wayne Mills earned a walk-on position on the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team. The two years prior to his walk-on, Wayne played baseball at Wallace State College in Hanceville, Alabama. Although he loved the fast-pitch sport, Mills only had two years of eligibility left to play college sports. Thus, the decision was made to follow his dream of playing football.
Many wondered how could it be possible to earn a spot and play on a Division I National Championship football team in only two years? Leaning back on the values that his father taught him, Wayne took the attitude of “Where there’s a will there’s a way!” With Coach Gene Stallings at the helm, if you were not a top high school recruit, you had to well-exceed the expectations of physical endurance to assure a spot on his squad.” Wayne recalls, “That’s when I truly learned the meaning of mind over matter. They did everything they could to run me off…. and my body wanted to go, but I wasn’t going anywhere!” Wayne did make the team and he did play. Of the seventy-six players in that season’s walk-on group, only three made the team with Wayne being the only one to receive playing time.
Wayne Mills took that same goal oriented determination to heart when it came to his music. The early days of the Wayne Mills Band were also very difficult. Wayne recalls, “Nobody would give us the time of day. I was told that there wasn’t an audience for my kind (country) of music.” Just like the days of playing football on that one-hundred-and-fifteen degree football field in Tuscaloosa, the Wayne Mills Band took some hard hits! Wayne continues, “We stuck to our guns and NEVER let a setback compromise the sound, style or integrity of our music.”
Upon graduation from the University of Alabama, Wayne moved to Nashville, Tennessee with his future wife, Carol, to begin pursuing that Nashville Dream. Although his time was well spent and Wayne befriended some of Nashville’s newest up-and-coming artists, Wayne decided the time wasn’t right and moved back to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to play his music.
Constant touring throughout the southeast, as well as a weekly Tuesday night gig at Harry’s Bar in Tuscaloosa, his fan base grew exponentially. WMB began receiving acclaim from the larger clubs around his home state of Alabama, which resulted in the band laying musical claim to the surrounding states. As the band’s popularity continued to grow, so did the venues.
The new Century was approaching and Wayne Mills Band sold out almost every venue they performed throughout the south. This caught the attention of many big names in Country music and Wayne Mills was invited to play with some of his musical heroes (Willie Nelson, Travis Tritt and Charlie Daniels.) A solid fan base had been established, and the Midwest was inevitably open territory.
14 years on the road will put a lot of life’s experience under your belt. During that time, Wayne Mills Band established a sturdy grass roots following in the United States, and in 2007, WMB’s music began showing up on the international music charts (ECMA.)
Now with 5 CD’s to his credit, a hit music video in Australia (CMC,) and more loyal fans than you can shake a stick at, Wayne Mills & WMB have built a solid foundation and are proving to be a Country Music force to be dealt with.