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Murmaids

Billed as the Murmaids, the Fischer sisters and Sally Gordon recorded five tracks for Fowley: "Popsicles and Icicles" (written by David Gates, the future founder and front man of the band Bread), and four other tracks – "Blue Dress", "Bunny Stomp", "Comedy and Tragedy", and "Huntington Flats" – each of which served as a B-side for one of the pressings of "Popsicles and Icicles". According to lead vocalist Terry Fischer, the Murmaids completed the tracks for an album release "a couple of weeks after we recorded the single." The vocal arrangements for the Murmaids sessions were by Skip Battin.

"Popsicles and Icicles" began receiving airplay in Los Angeles in October 1963, breaking nationally in November to reach its #3 peak in Billboard and Cash Box on their charts dated 11 January 1964. The Record World chart ranked "Popsicles and Icicles" at #1 for the week of 18 January; as Record World's next #1 was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, "Popsicles and Icicles" is sometimes cited as the last #1 of the pre-British Invasion rock and roll genre.

In the UK, "Popsicles and Icicles" was released on Stateside Records – with "Comedy and Tragedy" as the B-side. The tune did not chart, however, possibly due to the Brits' unfamiliarity with the term Popsicles, which in Britain are called "ice lollies". However, "Popsicles and Icicles" did afford the Murmaids a hit in Australia – where Popsicles are known as "ice poles" – via a W&G Records release (backed by "Comedy and Tragedy") which reached #12 in February 1964.


The Fischer sisters were 15 and 17 years old in 1963; Sally Gordon, also 17, was a friend and neighbor. The Fischers' father was Carl Fischer, composer of standards such as Billie Holliday's "You've Changed" and also "We'll Be Together Again," the latter sung by Frankie Laine. Carl Fischer was also musical director and arranger for Laine for twelve years. Their mother, Terry Sr., sang with the big bands of the day, ultimately becoming the first girl singer with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Their grandmother and her three sisters played the vaudeville circuit as the Locus Sisters.
Carol and Terry Fischer and Sally Gordon made their first recordings singing on demos produced by Mike Post. A schoolfriend of Terry Fischer's, Post would occasionally have the Fischer sisters and Sally Gordon provide back-up vocals on sessions at Gold Star Studios; it was there Kim Fowley - then in-house record producer at Chattahoochee Records - heard the trio and offered to record them on their own single

 

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Popsicles And Icicles

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