The Moir Sisters

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The Moir Sisters was an Australian pop vocal trio from the mid-1970s. Their big hit, "Good Morning (How Are You?)'" (EMI, 1974), which featured their distinctive high-pitched harmonies, remained on the Australian national singles chart for 19 weeks, peaking at #6.[1]

The group consisted of three sisters: Jean (born 1957), Margot (1959-2015) and Lesley (1962), who were born in Scotland, to Edward and June Moir. The family emigrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne in the early 1960s. When the family returned to Scotland for a holiday in 1969, Margot was given a guitar as a gift; she took it immediately, and was soon writing her own songs.[2] The sisters launched their act in 1970, and in 1974 won a heat of the TV talent quest New Faces on Melbourne's GTV-9, going on to compete in the national final.[3]

To capitalise on the national exposure of their New Faces appearances, they were quickly signed to the Australian branch of EMI Records. Their self-penned debut single "Good Morning (How Are You?)" backed with "We Will Never Change" (produced by EMI house producer Ian Miller, arranged by film critic and musician Ivan Hutchinson, and engineered by Roger Savage) was released in May 1974, and by August it had entered the Australian singles chart. The sweet-voiced trio with sharpie haircuts and distinctive three-part harmonies, wrote their own songs.

As "The Moir Sisters", they released an album in 1975, Lost Somewhere Beyond Harmony, which consisted entirely of original songs by the Moirs. The album was produced by Ian Miller, arranged by Geoff Hales (who also played synthesisers and keyboards), engineered by Ross Cockle, and featured backing from an all-star cast of Australian session musicians including guitarists Phil Manning and Billy Green (now known as Will Greenstreet), bassists Barry Sullivan and Duncan McGuire, drummers Graham Morgan, Mark Kennedy and Gary Hyde, keyboard player Mal Logan, renowned jazz saxophonist Brian Brown and backing vocalist Danny Robinson (ex Wild Cherries). The Moir Sisters undertook a national tour supporting The Osmonds, but their career was somewhat limited by the fact that Lesley was only 13 at the time, which meant that all the sisters' live performances had to be approved by the Child Welfare Department of the Victorian Government.[3]

By the late 1970s they were managed by former musician Glenn Wheatley (who was also managing Little River Band at the time) and after leaving EMI, they signed to the independent Oz Records label in Australia, and to Elton John's record label The Rocket Record Company internationally. With their name changed to "The Moirs", they went to Los Angeles to record their second album, State of Shock, which was produced by expatriate Australian musician, songwriter and producer John Farrar, and released in 1978.[3]

In the early 1980s, The Moir Sisters signed to WEA in Australia and issued two singles, "So Excited" backed with "You Won't Get Me" (1982) and "Running Scared" backed with "See You Coming" (1983). The sisters continued to perform as a trio, and Margot Moir also issued a solo single, "Scarlet Skies" backed with "Tightrope" in 1989, and the album, Strong And Mighty in 1996. In 2001 the sisters were interviewed for ABC-TV's popular music documentary series Long Way to the Top.[citation needed]

Margot died on 26 January 2015, aged 56, from complications due to long term diabetes.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Noel McGrath. Encyclopaedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Outback Press, 1978), p. 205.
  2. ^ Noel McGrath, Encyclopaedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Outback Press, 1978), p.205
  3. ^ a b c "The Moir Sisters". Greg Dumbrell. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Family Confirms Death Of Margot Moir Due To Diabetes". Australia's Music News Authority. Retrieved 30 January 2015.