BIO


 
Guyana’s first amplified string  band

The story of the Ramblers goes back to around 1950 in Georgetown, British Guiana when the  last three siblings of the Serrão family started playing with make believe  guitars, made of empty herring cans with a wooden pole protruding, and four  rubber bands with wooden heads to “tune” the guitar. In 1953, the Serrão  brothers formally started the band with several friends – Michael Andrews, Romeo  Rego, Mark Steele and Ambrose De Sousa.   The band was in great demand for dances, house parties and charity  concerts produced by “Auntie Olga” Lopes-Seale, “Honest John” Fernandes and The  Ivy Campbell Dance   School.  Other well-known Guyanese artistes performing  at these memorable concerts were “Raoul” Jack Cashmere, Nesbit Chhangur, Othmar  Arthur, Willie Rodrigues, Ormond Lam and Oscar Dummett

By 1960, the Ramblers had made their first record with Cook Records.  On it was their popular hit The Three in One Saga. From the pioneering days  without amplification, bongos made from Guyana wallaba wood and bicycle  parts, the band progressed to amplification.

Bing Serrão and The Ramblers brought their music from Guyana to Toronto  in the latter part of 1964.   Guyanese  and West Indians new to Toronto flocked to the Jamaican Latin Quarter Club in  downtown Toronto, now the site of the Eaton Centre. It was here, every Friday  and Saturday night that the group played, even on cold winter nights, to  capacity audiences.

Folks from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe, who loved to  dance, quickly learned about Bing Serrão and The Ramblers at 290 ½ Yonge Street near Dundas, on the third floor.   The band’s renditions of calypso, standards  and South American hits such as Spanish Eyes, Maria Elena, Amor Amor, Anna and  others, were the stuff that filled a void for immigrants from many places.

Groups coming from Guyana  were accustomed to a wide variety of music. While calypso and Latin were the  staple styles, Bing Serrão and the boys would throw in a waltz, tango, cha cha,  ballad and more. This was particularly welcome to those who would rather not  “Calypso” all night and those who brought their Non-Guyanese / West Indian  friends out for a night of fun.   Folks  were looking for a nice evening of dancing, and Bing Serrão and The Ramblers  fitted the bill perfectly. 

The band showcased their song writing skills, as heard on their CD  “The Three In One Saga”, produced at their own Serrão Digital Music recording  studio in Toronto, Ontario in 2002.

The group has since released “Playing Your Favourites” in 2005, and  more recently (2007) a re-issue of their 33 1/3 LP “Boys Night Out” plus three  bonus tracks which include their first ever recording of the original single  “The Three In One Saga”. 

After over 60 years, the Ramblers are pure gold, Guyana gold,  playing to three generations of Guyanese. They are the winners of several  awards including the prestigious Wordsworth McAndrew Award 2003, Guyana Folk Festival, New York.

If you do not find these CD’s at your local retail store, they are  available at HMV Scarborough Town Centre, and at all HMV Record Stores across  Canada, via Internet mail order, or you can Google Bernie Serrão, or Bing  Serrão & The Ramblers for ordering information.

You can also contact Bernie Serrão directly at Tel: (416) 283-7072, 
or Fax (416) 283-8257; E-Mail: sdmrecordings@ca.inter.net



 
 
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