Let me go back to the beginning...
I was discovered in The U.K. by the famous Jazz Trumpeter and bandleader, Humphrey Lyttelton, and Jazz Clarinetist Sandy Brown, who were both instrumental in getting me started - great guys! They
got me a BBC sound audition way back in 1958. I did my audition at Aeolian Hall, Bond Street, in London. I played guitar and sang three songs at that audition and the 'powers that be' were very
pleased and I passed first time! It was known as "The Voice Test" in those days when the BBC was very strict, structured and professional. I still have my certificate to prove that I
passed my BBC audition!
I then went on to get a recording contract with Pye/Nixa Records and my 1958 single 'Blonde Bombshell', backed with 'Make Ready for Love' was released and played nationwide. So, from an early age
I appeared on major Radio and TV shows. My appearances on the popular BBC TV show, '6-5 Special' were indeed very special! 6-5 Special was a live TV show with a studio audience that went out every
Saturday evening at peak viewing time and it was the best and most spontaenous, exciting show on TV with every band and artist performing live. Other shows that followed never quite matched
I appeared on various BBC Radio shows including: 'Saturday Club', 'Easy Beat', 'The Talent Spot', 'Ring-A-Ding-Ding', 'Late Extra' and various other regional Radio and TV shows over the
I was also lucky enough to appear on the AR-TV show 'Cool for Cats' and ITV's 'Saturday Spectacular'.
More recordings followed. In 1962 I recorded 'Come on and Do the High Life', coupled with 'High Life Girl' on the Palette label, which was recorded at their Brussels studio with
a full orchestra, big percussion section and eight backing vocalists. The 'High Life' was a dance craze and I sang and danced my way to the bank!!
I appeared on the major TV show 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' doing the 'High Life' too! I also made one of the very first color films for 'The Cinebox' performing the 'High Life'. The Cinebox
was a jukebox with a screen built on top of it, so you inserted your coin and selected your record the same as a jukebox but also saw the artist performing on screen. This is the first type of music
video that ever was. Very few artists were selected to make films for the Cinebox. The Cinebox is now called 'Colorama' in the US, and is still big business in America.
During the 70's I recorded a controversial but factual song titled 'They Died at Wounded Knee' on the Sol-Doon label (a subsidiary of Pye Records). It was adapted from the
million-selling novel 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee', by Dee Brown. I still perform that song on a lot of my shows!
And guess what?! I am even listed in the 'Rare Record Collector' book which lists more than 75,000 record titles!
In 1985 I went on a long, gruelling six-month tour with a stunt car show called 'The American Fall Guys' and I was the linkman and commentator. We appeared on the TV programme 'Top
Gear' and I can be seen introducing that stunt show.
Four years later I worked as a Horserider/Stuntman/Commentator with a Wild West show at the American Adventure Theme Park in Ilkeston, near Derby in England. We opened that show and the theme
park, which I believe is still there today!
HTV Wales soon found me and I starred in their TV series 'A Slice of Life' in a 40-minute documentary entitled 'Phil Fernando: Superstar', which was
televised in 1993. I was honoured and proud to have made a documentary about my unique and exciting life.
The following year I appeared on two other TV shows on the S4C programme 'Heno'. I have also had acting roles on a number of TV soaps and dramas on BBC
TV and HTV Wales.
More recently, in 2003, I recorded a new album entitled "The Versatile Phil Fernando" which both my fans and I are delighted with, as it features
6 of the best of my original songs. Due for release later this year is another CD of mine on The RPL Record label featuring yet more original songs as well as some of my favorite Jazz
standards to prove my versatility.
So, as you can see, 'Thank God' I have never stopped working and over the years I have enjoyed a varied and colorful career, making my living doing
what I love most: making others happy by bringing my own personal sunshine to their lives through my gift of music and song.
I am happy and proud to still be very active in the business, performing live shows and recording in the studio.
So LOOK OUT for The PHIL FERNANDO BAND wherever you are on this planet!
- Peace -