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The Golden Chimes

Formed in              : 1970

Original line-up   : Clarence Wijewardena, Chanaka Perera, Wijith Peiris, Dixon Gunaratne 

Genre                     : Sinhala pop

Originally banded as ‘Breakaways from The Moonstones’. Led by Clarence Wijewardena (Rhythm/Vocals) and joined by Chanaka Perera (Bass/Vocals) and Wijith Peiris (Drums)  who left ’The Moonstones’.

Anton Gunatileke (Lead Guitar) from ‘The Beacons’ joined temporally for their first performance at St. Emmanuels Hall, Moratuwa.

Dixon Gunaratne found by Clarence at a friend’s wedding joined the group and replaced Anton. Followed by Ranjan De Costa, Nihal Perera, Clinton Fernando and Tilak Jinadasa on Vocals for short periods.

The band owe their name of “Golden Chimes” to none other than the late Gerald of the Sooriya label.

Debut

The Golden Chimes first recording was on Sooriya label: titled ‘The Dynamic New Sound of the Golden Chimes’ featuring the songs “Kimade Naawe” originally sung by Priyanthi Senanayake, “Mage Pelpathe”, “Sihin Sinawai” and “Samanalayo”. Being the first Sooriya EP produced in Sri Lanka, this EP had no cover nor sleeve and sold just under the label print bearing Sooriya catalogue number CHB 014.

L to R: Dickson, Ranjan, Clarence, Wijith, Chanaka
The Golden Chimes with Priyanthi
“Golden disc by the Golden Chimes” by Louis Benedict

Priyanthi who gave life to “Kimada Nave” did not continue with The Golden Chimes but went on her own seeking a solo career.

Despite the departure of Clarence Wijewardena as well as Dixon Gunerathna from the band in May 1973, Lankika and Chanaka continued the band. Rukshan Perera (Lead/Vocals) and Lakpriya De Silva (Rhythm/Vocals), both teens studying for their O-Level exams joined the band. Anil Bhareti joined the band as key Vocalist.

The group released more EP’s including songs “Hiru Ipadena Vita”, “Molaketi Puthuni” a song written by Lakpriya in dedication to Lankika’s son, “Mamaya Kiya” dedicated to Lankika’s second son.

In 1974, Rukshan and Anil left to join Clarence and were replaced by Jayantha Sirimanne and Layasing De Silva.

The Golden Chimes 4th album on Lotus label L to R: Lakpriya, Rukshan, Lankika, Chanaka, Wijith, Anil
The Golden Chimes 7th album on their own label (GC 002) L to R: Jayantha, Lakpriya, Layasing, Lankika, Wijith, Chanaka
The Golden Chimes photo shoot at Gerald’s residence, 1971 L to R: Clarence, Anil, Dickson, Wijith, Lankika, Chanaka
The Golden Chimes in late 80’s
The Golden Chimes in 2005 L to R: Front - Lankika Perera, Pimal Fernando, Chanaka Perera Back - Nihal Asmone, Ajith Wijemanne, Jagath Peiris,

Journey

The group next recorded their second EP titled ‘Surangana Weswala’ on Gowri Corporation’s Phillips label.

In 1972, The Golden Chimes returned with ‘The Dynamic New Sound of the Golden Chimes Volume 2’ on the Sooriya label.

Their next release was on Lotus label. This included the song “Kiri Muhuda”, originally titled as “Viran Bilindu Puthe”, which Clarence had composed in honor of the celebration of the birth of a son to Mr. and Mrs. Vijaya Corea.

The Golden Chimes performed regularly at the Kandy Lake Club and Bogambara Carnival with the assistance of Malcolm Andree and Jayatissa Hettiarachchi.

In the 1980’s the band saw a drop-in demand for live performances and pitched themselves as a dance band performing western pop to tourists across hotels in the coastal town of Beruwela.

1983 saw the group featured in the first television musical show aired on the ITN channel.

In 1986 The Golden Chimes were awarded the “most popular band” and runner up of “most outstanding band” by the ‘Musical Stars’ competition organized by the Sunday Observer.

The Golden Chimes at a concert in 1980’s
The Golden Chimes today Lankika Perera, Chanaka Perera, Suranga Perera, Pushpa Dias, Kamal Gallage, Eranga Fernando
‘Celebration sing-along’ with Lankika & the Golden Chimes, August 10, 2015
The Golden Chimes in 1982 L to R: Dilip Peiris (Lankika’s brother known as Dolla), Ravi Fernando, Nihal Asmone, Jagath Peiris, Chanaka Perera, Lankika Perera

In 1989, the brand brought to life a peace song titled “Jathi Agam” written by Ajantha Ranasinghe with music by Sumith Perera.

The band celebrated 45 years in the year 2015. To mark this occasion, a sing-along concert with Anil Bhareti and Rukshan Perera was held on 23rd August 2015 at Ramadiya Ranmal Holiday Resort, Moratuwa.

The journey of the Golden Chimes has taken them around the world. Amidst many changes in their line-up, The Golden Chimes remains ever popular and active to-date.

ALBUMS

The Dynamic New Sound of the Golden Chimes
The Sooriya Show
The Dynamic New Sound of the Golden Chimes Vol. 2
The Sooriya Show : Vol 2

The Golden Chimes members overtime

1970

Clarence Wijewardena

Chanaka Perera

Wijith Peiris

Anton Gunatileke (temporary)

Dickson Gunaratne

Ranjan De Costa (temporary)

Nihal Perera (temporary)

Clinton Fernando (temporary)

Thilak Jinadasa (temporary)

Priyanthi Senaratne (temporary)

 

Leader, Vocals, Rhythm guitar

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Lead guitar

Lead guitar

Vocals

Vocals

Vocals

Vocals

Vocals

 

 

1971

Clarence Wijewardena

Chanaka Perera

Wijith Peiris

Dickson Gunaratne

Lankika Perera

Anil Bhareti

 

Leader, Vocals, Rhythm guitar

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Lead guitar

Vocals

Vocals

 

 

1973

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Wijith Peiris

Anil Bhareti

Rukshan Perera

Lakpriya De Silva

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Rhythm guitar, Vocals

 

 

1974

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Wijith Peiris

Lakpriya De Silva

Jayantha Sirimanne

Layasing De Silva

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Rhythm guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Electric Organ, Vocals

 

 

1979

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Dilip Peiris

Nihal Fernando

Thilak Jinadasa

Ranjan De Silva

Sureshini Wanigasuriya (temporary)

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

 

 

1980

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Dilip Peiris

Ravindra Fernando

Jagath Devapriya

Nihal Asmone

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Drums

Keyboards

Lead guitar, Vocals

Vocals

 

 

1985

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Jagath Devapriya

Shiran Gomez

Terry Miskin

Shiraz Sudar

Lucky Deva

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Keyboards

Rhythm guitar, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

 

 

1990

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Jagath Devapriya

Asanji Wickramasinghe

Terry Miskin

Shiraz Sudar

Lucky Deva

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Keyboards

Rhythm guitar, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

 

 

2000

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Jagath Devapriya

Shiraz Sudar

Lucky Deva

Disnaka Dhanasekara

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

Keyboards

 

 

2003

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Jagath Devapriya

Pimal Fernando

Ajith Wijemanne

Nihal Asmone

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Keyboards

Drums

Vocals

 

 

2005

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Jagath Devapriya

Pimal Fernando

Ajith Wijemanne

Nihal Asmone

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar, Vocals

Keyboards, Vocals

Drums

Vocals

 

 

2016

Lankika Perera

Chanaka Perera

Suranga Perera

Pushpa Dias

Kamal Gallage

Eranga Fernando

 

Leader, Vocals

Bass guitar, Vocals

Lead guitar

Keyboards

Drums

Congas, Vocals

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