The Serendipity Singers were a nine-member male-female folk-pop group that became famous during the mid 1960s. Their style is often compared to that of The New Christy Minstrels, another large-ensemble folk group from that era. The Serendipity Singers are best remembered for their playful calypso version of "Don't Let The Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)," a folk song based on the English nursery rhyme, "There Was A Crooked Man."
This group began in the early 1960s at the University of Colorado as a septet known as The Newport Singers. The lineup consisted of Jon Arbenz (June 1, 1940 - February 1, 2012), Mike Brovsky, Brooks Hatch, John Madden, Bryan Sennett (March 14, 1940 - September 7, 2011), Lynne Weintraub, and Bob Young (March 12, 1939 - September 16, 2006). After relocating to New York City in 1963, the group changed its name to The Serendipity Singers and added two more members, then both students at the University of Texas: Tom Tiemann and Diane Decker. The Serendipity Singers got their start performed locally in the Greenwich Village area. The group's breakthrough came during the fall of 1963 when they were signed to six appearances on the weekly TV show, "Hootenanny," which led to a contract with Philips Records.
The Serendipity Singers made their debut in 1964 on the Pop/Rock charts with "Don't Let The Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)," which became a Top 10 hit and the group's signature song. This Grammy-nominated smash was followed by their cover of the Len Chandler-penned protest song, "Beans In My Ears" (1964), which made the Top 40. The group had several other minor hits that included "Down Where The Wind Blows (Chilly Winds)" (1964), "Same Old Reason" (1964), and their final chart entry, "The Boat That I Row" (1967).
During the late 1960s, The Serendipity Singers continued performing on the college circuit and made numerous TV appearances on such shows as "Hollywood A Go-Go," "Shindig!," "Hullabaloo," "The Dean Martin Show," "The Tonight Show," and "The Ed Sullivan Show." Beginning in 1965, there were many personnel changes so that by the end of the decade, the group had effectively disbanded, with none of the original members remaining. The group's name was sold in the 1970s, and various incarnations of The Serendipity Singers with entirely new lineups continued performing to well into the 2000s.
The Serendipity Singers were inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2013, and the surviving original members reunited to perform at the awards ceremonies which took place at Denver's Paramount Theater. The original members had also reunited in 1999 at a concert in Branson, Missouri's Celebrity Theater as part of the Fifth Annual Cruisin' Branson Lights Festival. A number of group members reunited again for the 2003 PBS special and DVD release of "This Land is Our Land: The Pop-Folk Years."
- Bryan Sennett and Diane Decker of The Serendipity Singers discuss how the group got its name and other topics in a radio interview with Alan Wasser of Folk Music Worldwide (broadcast on January 28 and February 1, 1964).
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The Serendipity Singers
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