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Early Recordings up to 1961

Listen to some historic recordings from the 1950s

Note: These listed below are the first commercial recordings made by the Morriston Orpheus Choir

1950: The January to May minutes of the Morriston Orpheus Choir refer to 12 recordings made for Columbia over three evenings: Tuesday 18th, Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th of April, 1950.

These minutes seem to provide the answer as to the date of the Columbia recordings.
Also, it is interesting to read that only 60 choristers were required for the Columbia recordings - all to be chosen by the conductor, Ivor Sims!


The Rhondda Rhapsody

Columbia  DB 2904

5th July 1951

Bryan Johnson with the Morriston Orpheus Choir, piano solo by Robert Docker, orchestra conducted by Ray Martin. Recorded by the Choir at the Cory Hall, Cardiff on 5th July 1951. The 'B' side of the record was 'The song of the Valley'. The Choir accepted a fee of 10 Guineas, (£10.50p) but on the advice of Mair Jones, BBC tried to re-apply instead for royalties. However, Columbia management refused saying that the Choir had already accepted a one-off fee.

Myfanwy ~ Delyn aur 

Ivor E Sims (Conductor)
Myfanwy was a very popular choice of listeners to the BBC's 'Family Favourites' programme which was broadcast at lunch time each Sunday in the early fifties. They either played it sung by the Treorchy Male Choir or ourselves. Our version became easily identifiable to listeners because at one stage a dog can be heard barking in the background.

Ar hyd y nos ~ Rhyfelgyrch Gwr Harlech

Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

Dafydd y garreg wen ~ Cyfri'r geifr 

Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

Si lwli ~ Laudamus 

Columbia DB 2874
Ivor E Sims (Conductor) with organ accompaniment

Yn dy waith ~ Non sum dignus 

Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

When evening's twilight ~ Linden lea

Columbia D.B. 3228 (1953)

Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

Note: 78 recordings were often sold in brown paper dust jackets with no information or photos.We show  below images from the central label on the two sides of actual record:





It was released in February 1953 and reviewed by W A Chislett in the Gramophone magazine: "The Morriston Orpheus Choir give us Hatton's When Evening's Twilight and Vaughan Williams's lovely Linden Lea (Col. DB3228). A very good but not massive toned choir and nicely pointed reading, with excellent enunciation. I should give this record full marks but for the fact that the choir has been placed a little too close to the microphone and the massed intake of breath is a little disturbing occasionally."   Review and information sent to us by Rob Davies


Your Kind of Music (series)

Columbia SCD 2223

No date of issue

All through the night ( sung in Welsh)

Land of my fathers ( sung in Welsh)

God save the Queen ( sung in English)


Wales ~ Land of Song 

EMI/Columbia SEG 7807
Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

Side one
Rhyfelgyrch gwyr Harlech (March of the men of Harlech) ~ Cyfri’r geifr (Counting the goats)
Side two
Y Delyn Aur (The Golden Harp) ~ Ar hyd y nos (All through the night)


Wales ~ Land of Song (No 2) 

EMI/Columbia SEG 7878
Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

Side one
Myfanwy (Arabella) ~ Dafydd y garreg wen (The old minstrel)
Side two
When evening’s twilight ~ Linden Lea

1958 Comrades in arms ~ Martyrs of the arena 

Qualiton QEP 4006
Ivor E Sims (Conductor)


From the sleeve note: The Morriston Orpheus Choir has ranked with the best in Great Britain for many years. It was formed in the 1920's and for practically the whole of its existence, it has been conducted by its Musical Director, Ivor E. Sims. Choirs rarely have the dynamic range, subtlety of nuance, and security of pitch of this Choir. That Morriston Opheus has maintained its characteristic qualities over so long a period, in spite of so much, is remarkable, and the credit goes to the dynamic if unostentatious Ivor E. Sims. This influence of his particular style of choral singing has, I think, subscribed to the success of other fine choirs in recent years.  John Edwards


1958 The Crusaders ~ Cymru'n un ~ Si hei lwli mabi 

Qualiton QEP 4012
Ivor E Sims (Conductor) ~ D J Rees (Organist) ~ Eurfryn John (Pianist)


1958 Land of My Fathers 

The first LP recorded by the Choir

Decca LK 4263 (1958)
Qualiton DAF 208 (1972) re-issue
London PS 107 (no release date)

Recorded at Soar Chapel, Morriston
Ivor E Sims (Conductor)

This is the original 1958 cover showing Caerphilly Castle


This is the LP cover from the1972 re-issue





London Label PS 107 (no date of  issue) Stereophonic remix

Side one
Land of my fathers ~ Song of the Jolly Roger ~ Tydi a roddiast ~ Roll, Jordan, roll ~ Rock of Cader Idris ~ All thro’ the night ~ We’ll keep a welcome

Side two
God bless the Prince of Wales ~ Aberystwyth ~ Lullaby (Brahms) ~ Chorus of Hebrew slaves ~ Deus salutis (Llef) ~ The long day closes ~ Hen wlad fy nhadau

Extract from the sleeve notes:
Just as red sandstone conjures up a mental picture of South Devon so the words ‘male voice choir’ make me think of Wales. Red sandstone is not peculiar to Devon, neither does my country hold the exclusive right allowing men to sing together; but the Land of my Fathers is, by acknowledged tradition, the land of song.

Read the full sleeve notes from the historic first LP recording

This historic first LP recording from 1958 is now available for MP3 download from Amazon or iTunes


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Recordings in the 1960s

Recordings in the 1970s

Recordings in the 1980s

Recordings in the 1990s

Recordings in the 2000s

Recordings in the 2010s

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