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The Super Golden Chimes

Formed in              : 1973

Original line-up   : Clarence WijewardenaAnnesley Malawana, Dixon Gunaratne, Paul Perera, 

                                   Sri Kantha Dasanayake, Rohan Gunawardane

Genre                      : Sinhala pop

It was 1973, three years since Clarence and Annesley broke up from their original band ‘The Moonstones’. Clarence went onto form The Golden Chimes whilst Annesley led The Moonstones, both sought after bands of the era. Yet, all it took was for an invitation by Clarence for Annesley to attend one of his shows, a casual drink between them arranged by their lead guitarist and friend Dixon and the power of creating music together tugging at heart strings, giving life to a new band. Again, it was Gerald Wickremesooriya who baptized them as ‘The Super Golden Chimes’.

“Clarence-Annesley reunion: great day for Sinhala pop” by W.R.W., 1973

Debut

Clarence and Annesley shared vocals with Dixon on lead guitar joined by Paul Perera on Keyboards, Sri Kantha Dasanayake on Drums, Rohan Gunawardane on Bass Guitar. In 1973, the band released their first EP on Sooriya label: “The Super Golden Chimes at KATARAGAMA” bearing the catalogue number CHB 032 including songs “Kandasurinduni”, “Seetha Sulangak”, “Satuta Senasuma” and “Pena Bubula”. They became an instant hit.

Their evergreen hit “Kandasurinduni” was written & composed by Clarence on request by Sri Kantha’s father as a prayer in praise of Lord Murugan, wishing Sri Kantha who was recovering from an accident.

The Super Golden Chimes performing “Kandasurinduni” at Sooriya Show at Navaragahala, July 15, 1973 L to R: Rohan, Annesley, Clarence

Journey

Their next EP was again with the Sooriya label including the song “Sihina Pathum Vimane” written by Clarence for Lankika’s new born child.

The band released an LP under Lotus label including hit songs “Gamen Liyumak”, “Vanabambaro”, “Ha Ha Hore”, “Sudu Menike”, “Udarata NIliya”, “Kiri Muhuda” and “Amma” including Indrani Perera and Anil Bhareti. This also includes hit song “Kiyanna Sulange” by Lilanthi Karunanayake in duet with Annesley Malawana which is a household song even today.

Conrad Gunarathne (Bass Guitar), Rukshan Perera (Keyboards), Layasing De Silva (Bass Guitar), Nimal Perera (Drums), Chandral Fonseka (Bass Guitar), Cumar Peiris (Keyboards), Sunil Malawana (Bass Guitar), Sooriyakumar Weerasinghm (Keyboards), Peter de Almeda (Bass Guitar) and Nimal Punchihewa (Drums and Conga) joined the Super Golden Chimes from time to time.

In 1976, the band released an instrumental on the Sooriya label: “Kataragama Instrumentals by the Super Golden Chimes” including the songs “Kataragama”, “Moratuwa”, “Ase Madura” and “Duwani”.

The Super Golden Chimes L to R: Srikantha, Dixon, Paul, Conrad, Clarence and Annesley
The Super Golden Chimes family get-together at Nelu Fernando’s (manager) residence, 1976

In addition to creating music for themselves, the Super Golden Chimes provided music for many a reputed artiste’s including Milton Mallawarachchi, Dalreen Suby.

In 1978, the group released two singles with Sooriya including songs “Dileepa”, “Komala Lathawo”, “Vikasitha Hadamal” and “Samawanna”.

Later in 1978 Clarence decided to go solo at the same time when Annesley Malawana announced his plans for marriage and thus bidding farewell to the music field. Annesley left the group in 1979 to pursue a career in the garments industry. Chandral Fonseka took over the leadership from then on.

In 1982, The Super Golden Chimes consisting Chandral, Dixon, Cumar, Nimal and Mike toured Switzerland and performed with their name shortened as “Super”.

Their songs remain popular to-date with their ever sold-out performances of the reunion concerts held around the world.

During mid 70’s the band hit the number one slot in the Sri Lankan music charts on both the Sinhala and English Services of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Super Golden Chimes was also certificated as the “most popular Sinhala pop band in Sri Lanka” for the year 1976 by a pop poll conducted by Pop and Teen Fanfare.

The Super Golden Chimes, 2003 L to R: Standing - Nimal, Rukshan, Annesley, Sunil, Sri Kantha, Chandral Seated - Cumar, Dixon, Paul
The Super Golden Chimes re-union concert, 2003

The Super Golden Chimes came together at the farewell concert on 10th April 2015 at the BMICH auditorium compered by Vijaya Corea.

“Api gedere yanne naa” by Avon, The Island, May 4, 2010
“Super Golden Chimes dazzle Mebourne fans”, The Island, May 9, 2010

ALBUMS

The Super Golden Chimes with Clarence & Annesley
The Super Golden Chimes
Dalrene sings Sinhala pops
Eddie Jayamanne Hilarious Comeback
KATARAGAMA Instrumentals by the Super Golden Chimes
The Sooriya Show : Vol 2
Clarence Wijewardena with the Super Golden Chimes
Clarence Wijewardena with the Super Golden Chimes
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