Rochelle Vinsen: I Wanna Swim With Him (1965)

 |   |  2 min read

Rochelle Vinsen: I Wanna Swim With Him (1965)

For those with a long memory, Wellington's Rochelle Vinsen is but a footnote in New Zealand pop history, the girl who gained some minor attention with My Boyfriend's Got a Beatle haircut in early '64 and . . .

Hmmm. That might be about it?

In fact, she also recorded with Christchurch's rocking Castaways and on this B-side displays some real teen-pop girl group-style chops. 

Vinsen quit pop after little more than a year and some unsuccessful singles. She became a primary school teacher. She also became active and succesful in the world of children's music (here website is here) and here also tells of how she came to enter that hectic world of Sixties pop . . .

"The story of how I came to be a recording artist for HMV is most interesting.  In the 5th form at Onslow College, I was invited to be the female vocalist in a band with some fellow pupils.  We entered “Have A Shot” on TV and made it to the semi-finals.  The following morning, I had taken the day off school and a man rang, saying he was from HMV and would like to visit that day to discuss the possibility of me recording for them.

"He arrived a few hours later and mentioned to my mother and I how he would arrange an audition in Auckland for me. Of course I was most excited but after several weeks of no word from him, I began to wonder.

"In Wellington, one day, wearing my school uniform after a school trip, I spied a notice on a building, which said, HMV Studios, so up the stairs I went.  I told my story to the receptionist and Alec Mouat, the A&R man, happened to overhear my conversation as the offices were just partitioned.

"He came out, told me that no such person worked for them and that although it was not normal procedure, if I came in the following week, he would give me an audition there at the studios!  The rest is history, the bogus talent scout brought me my lucky break after all!

"The next challenge was actually getting my first release Candy Kisses played on air, to this day, I don’t think it ever has been!  HMV went all out, sparing no expense on my record cover, I was the first NZ artist on their label to have their photo printed on the jacket cover!

"Unfortunately, the chief programmer at Broadcasting thought that the mighty backing of Laurie Lewis and the Blockbusters (they had a powerful sound with lots of saxophone) decided the backing was too loud and it was not to be aired."

"Well, all my school mates were beginning to think I was a fake, so in desperation and once again in my college uniform, I went knocking on Bas Tubert, the 2ZB breakfast announcer’s door.

"He happened to live a few doors down from Onslow College and he kindly played the flipside, the following morning, and so all my friends believed me after all!!"

I Wanna Swim With Him -- a minor hit for the Daisies -- appears on an interesting compilation Here Come the Kiwi Girls which features the Chicks (with Rebel Kind and Hucklebuck), Dinah Lee, Sandy Edmonds, the Fair Sect and many others.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Elvis Wade: Professional Lovemaker (1977)

Elvis Wade: Professional Lovemaker (1977)

In an alternate lifetime, singer Wade Cummings could have been Elvis Presley, the man he resembled and came to impersonate. He was born into a poor but musical family in rural Tennessee (his... > Read more

Kurt Vonnegut, Simon Heselev: Tock Tick (1973/2003)

Kurt Vonnegut, Simon Heselev: Tock Tick (1973/2003)

Kurt Vonnegut seems an unlikely collaborator with a jazz bassist from Melbourne -- but that is what happened in 2003 when the famous author allowed Australian musician and studio engineer Heselev... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Three days before he was sentenced on firearms charges, I was looking Tame Iti directly in the eye, his stare unblinking. The room was all but empty, just my wife and me, and his was the first... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . .  HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

The remote community of Deer Lick Holler in the Appalachians isn't on the way to anywhere, so there aren't many outside influences. It's where musicologists go to study authentic hillbilly music --... > Read more