Born on 13th June 1947, to a middle class family in rural Sri Lanka, Annesley moved from his rural hometown of Weralupe, Ratnapura to the capital of Colombo in order to pursue higher education. He was boarded at his uncle’s house in the Colombo suburb of Nawala from where he attended St. Joseph’s College in Colombo.
Annesley’s love for music was inspired by radio (which was the only electronic media in Sri Lanka at the time). His musical life can be traced back to harmony sessions with school friends during intervals. Mr. Loganadan, a teacher at the College noticed this and was inspired to stage the “Interval Melodies”, a platform for schoolboys to perform in front of their pals during the 1.5 hour long lunch intervals.
However, the transformation from an interest in music to becoming a singer happened when one day in 1964, he attended a concert of “The Spitfires” performing with “Los Caballeros” at St. Peters College Auditorium.
His debut however came to pass when Annesley was approached by Premasinghe Maramba, a neighbor back then, who informed him that a band from his hometown of Ratnapura were in search of a lead singer. Though initially doubtful, Annesley decided to find out more about it. Maramba took Annesley in his old push bicycle to Ratnapura to be introduced for the first time to Clarence Wijewardena.
The two soon agreed to work together and began to rehearse. After recording a demo at Sangabo Corea’s house, Sangabo was so pleased, that he named the boys “The Moonstones”: The musical gems of Ratnapura.
Sangabo contacted Vernon Corea at Radio Ceylon, who introduced them to his cousin Vijaya Corea. Vijaya eventually recorded the first ever Moonstones recording at the Radio Ceylon studios which he premiered and aired on his Radio Show “Saturday Stars”, in 1967.
With approval to enter the music field not forthcoming, Annesley attended his first show on the pretext of a tennis match where he left home with a tennis racket.
Subsequent to their songs gaining immense popularity, The Moonstones were offered a deal, with ‘The Gowri Corporation’ and released an EP under the Philips label. The Moonstones next release was with the Sooriya label: “More Hits by The Moonstones” catalogue number CHB 001. This became an instant hit.
Annesley continued with The Moonstones after Clarence parted ways with the group in 1970, only to be re-united in 1973 as “The Super Golden Chimes” and later to become a part of “The Original Pop Trio” along with Indrani.
Annesley has since released several CD’s, such as “Best of Annesley”, “Vannabambaroo”, “Non Stop” as well as “Thotiya” and “Kiumbu Latha”.
After a highly successful career with “The Moonstones” as well as “The Super Golden Chimes”, Annesley retired from the music industry in 1977. The parents of Annesley’s bride to be were not too pleased with him continuing to pursue a musical career and thus, for the love of his life Annesley took up a job at Mayura Group as an Accounts Clerk. Ending his career as GM of the company in 2004, Annesley decided to come out of musical retirement.
He formed the band “Annesley & The Super Chimes” which is still very active today with his latest concept “Sing along with Annesley”.
In 1997, inspired by an idea by an old Josephian Priyantha Kannangara, Annesley reunited the “Stars of the 70’s” for a show at St. Joseph’s College Auditorium. The show was a sell out and was followed by a show in 1999 at Moratuwa and 2000 at Ratnapura.
Annesley continues the concept annually and has taken the “Stars of the 70’s” across town and country and even offshore to Australia, Canada and the UAE.