Garnett was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and moved to Canada with her family when she was 11. She made her public singing debut in 1960, while at the same time pursuing an acting career making guest appearances on television shows such as 77 Sunset Strip. She made her New York nightclub debut in 1963 and was signed by RCA Records that same year. In the fall of 1964, Garnett scored a number four pop hit  with her original composition "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" (also #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary singles chart for seven weeks and a Top 50 country hit), and recorded her debut album, My Kind of Folk Songs, for RCA Victor. Riding the success of "We'll Sing in the Sunshine", which won a 1965 Grammy for Best Folk Recording, Garnett continued to record through the rest of the 1960s with her backing band the Gentle Reign. Her follow-up to "We'll Sing in the Sunshine", "Lovin' Place", was her only other single to chart in America. Garnett appeared twice on ABC's Shindig! and The Lloyd Thaxton Show at the height of her singing fame in the mid-1960s.
Garnett delivered a notable performance in the Rankin-Bass feature Mad Monster Party in the late 1960s, with the memorable tunes Our Time to Shine and Never Was a Love Like Mine. At this period she had begun to be more influenced by the counter-culture and had embraced psychedelic themes to some extent. In the late 1960s she recorded several albums of psychedelic-inflected music with the Gentle Reign.
Although Garnett had retired from the music business by the 1980s, she continued appearing in feature films (including the 2002 sleeper hitMy Big Fat Greek Wedding) and on television shows, usually in supporting roles. In subsequent years, she also branched out into journalism, writing essays, columns, and book reviews for various newspapers and magazines. She also wrote and performed two one-person theater pieces, Gale Garnett & Company and Life After Latex.
Books by Garnett
Garnett published her first novel, a romance titled Visible Amazement, in 1999. She followed with Transient Dancing in 2003, the novella Room Tone in 2007, and Savage Adoration, her latest release, in 2009.
Track listing: I Know You Rider / Take This Hammer / Oh Brandy Leave Me Alone / Malaika / Little Man, Nine Years Old / I Came To The City / Pretty Boy / Wanderin' / Prism Song / We'll Sing In The Sunshine / Sleep You Now / Fly Bird
1997 CD reissue additional tracks: Lovin' Place / St. James Infirmary / God Bless The Child / Excuse Me Mister / We'll Sing In The Sunshine (alternate version)
Lovin' Place (1965)
Track listing: Lovin' Place / You Are My Sunshine / You've Been Talkin' 'Bout Me Baby / Where Do You Go To Go Away / Big Grey City / Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out / What-cha Gonna Do / I Used To Live Here / The Sunny Song / St. Louis Is A Long Way Away / Little Poppa / O Freedom
The Many Faces of Gale Garnett (1965)
Track listing: Won't You Be My Lover / Excuse Me Mister / As Much As I Can / Marionette / Ain't Gonna Stay In Love Alone / God Bless The Child / Settle Down / The Question Song / Long Time Blues / Forget It / I Wish You Were Here / St. James Infirmary
Variety Is the Spice of Gale Garnett (1965)
Track listing: Why Am I Standing At The Window / A Little Bit Of Rain / Has Anyone Here Seen Me? / Small Potatoes / The Same Game / Carrick Fergus / The Other Side Of This Life / Love Games / I'm Gonna Be Myself By Myself / If You Go Away Again / People Come And Go / Sometime You Gotta Let Somebody Down
New Adventures (1966)
Track listing: Oh There'll Be Laughter / Calm And Collected / Where Did You Go? / Angle Song / Scarlett Ribbons (For Her Hair) / That Was Me You Ran Over / So Long / Let The Lonely Go / Followin' The Rain / Back With Me / It Ain't Necessarily So
Gale Garnett Sings About Flying and Rainbows and Love and Other Groovy Things (1967)
Track listing: I Make Him Fly / Don't Hurt Him / You're Gone Now / Just Wait And See / No Other Name / This Child / Over The Rainbow / Lie To Me Easy / You're Doing Me No Good / The Sun Is Gray / Look Who's Here / I Am Shining
An Audience with the King of Wands (1968; with The Gentle Reign)
Track listing: Breaking Through / Fall In Love Again / Mini-Song #1: Ophelia Song / Ballad For F. Scott Fitzgerald / Big Sur / Mini-Song #2: Tropicana High / That's Not The Way / A Word Of Advice / Believe Me / Mini-Song #3: Lament For The Self-Sufficient / You Could Have Been Anyone / Bad News / Dolphins / Mini-Song #4: Tropicana Low
Sausalito Heliport (1969; with The Gentle Reign)
Track listing: Freddy Mahoney / Peace Comes Slowly To The Trashing Fish / The Pretty Is Gone / This Year's Child / Berkeley Barb Want Ad / Deer In The City / Water Your Mind / My Mind's Own Morning / The Trip Note Song / Man In The Middle / Freely Speaking