George A. Miller Jr., Ogden, a civilian worker at Hill Air Force Base, is becoming a popular country/Western singer.
Miller, 37, is an Air Force Reserve technician, which means he spends one weekend a month and two weeks a year on active duty with the Air Force Reserve. The rest of the time, he is a civilian equipment specialist with his reserve unit, the 419th Tactical Fighter Wing's Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.For the past three years, Miller has been spending most of his Friday and Saturday nights singing at night spots, restaurants, dances, parties and weddings in Ogden and Salt Lake City.
Booked three to six months in advance, Miller has entertained from Alaska to Las Vegas, in Denmark and often returns to his hometown of Butler, Pa., to sing.
Miller graduated from Butler, Pa., High School in 1973 and joined the U.S. Air Force a year later, at the age of 19. He was sent to Hill AFB in 1974 as a munitions maintenance specialist and assigned to the 2849th Air Base Group.
He left the Air Force in 1978 and decided to settle in Utah. He became a civilian security policeman at Hill AFB and joined the Air Force Reserves in 1978. Over the next few years, Miller served with several reserve units at Hill AFB and became an air reserve technician in November 1987.
Miller started singing and playing the guitar when he was 12, but he didn't perform for an audience until he was in the Air Force Reserve and in Alaska on a two-week training tour in 1984.
His first paid engagement was three years ago when he played at the Shed in Ogden. Since then, he has been busy entertaining on weekends and has returned to the Shed many times.
Miller discovered that if he recorded musical numbers without the vocalization he could play the songs during his shows and sing to the music. "That way I don't need to worry about playing an instrument and can concentrate on my singing. And I don't need a big band. I have one recorded."
Miller won a singing contest in September at the Westerner Club in Salt Lake City sponsored by KSOP Radio disc jockey Country Joe. He will compete again Jan. 24 in the contest finals for a trip to Nashville.
He doesn't plan to leave the Air Force Reserve, however, and says his singing will probably always be a hobby and not a full-time job.