Cecile Murphy

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    Award presented 2009   Award presented 2007

John R Campbell Collection


Cecile Murphy - entertaining at The Spencer Street Revival Concerts, Christchurch Cathedral 2006

Cecile Murphy (née Wylde) was born in Greymouth on October 3rd, 1943.  Her career as a vocalist began in 1958, and subsequently she became involved with The Sapphires who were to become Dion Shannon and The Shamrocks.  Cecile was one of the first entertainers to appear on local television in the 1960s, singing jazz with Doug Caldwell.  She also did guest appearances at The Nelson Mardi Gras, and local night spots taking part in Ray Columbus' local show Club Columbus.  On relocating to Auckland in 1965, Cecile moved into floorshow work with Hegan's Entertainment Bureau and became part of the Hegans Auckland Entertainment Circuit along with others such as Ray Wolfe.  She has worked with Ray Columbus, Ray Wolfe, Tommy Adderley and Toni Williams. Moving back to Christchurch in 1970 to take up the management and provide entertainment for the Marine Hotel in Sumner, Cecile continued with her solo career, traveling throughout New Zealand undertaking floor shows.  In 1971, Dion and Cecile moved to Timaru to take up the management of the DB Terminus Hotel, and once again they induced a large following with Rock 'n' Roll entertainment, and their own contribution to this.  Bands such as Blerta, Kal-Q-Lated Risk, Dantes Inferno and artists such as Tap Hepari and Mark Antony, appeared at The Terminus.


Dion and The Shamrocks at The Copper Cat

Dion + Cecile with The Shamrocks

Cecile with The Shamrocks


Cecile Wylde


Dion. Cecile and Damon Murphy

Dion and Cecile at The Copper Cat

Dion and Cecile


In 1972 Cecile was a finalist in the Christchurch "Search for a Star" and this led to Dion and Cecile deciding to return to the city to take up music as their main career once again.  From then until the present day Dion and Cecile have made music an integral part of their varied career paths playing as Sabra (in which Cecile sang and was keyboardist), through the 1970s at weddings, clubs and many inner city hotels including a five year, 6 nights a week, stint at the local inner-city hotels such as the Tavern Rachael, The Zetland and The Russley Hotel and The Hillsborough Tavern, as well as remote sites such as The Hermitage.  They moved into duo work in the 1980's, working the tourist hotel circuit and then into residencies at Noah's Hotel Waitangi Room and The Christchurch Town Hall Restaurant.  In the 1990s Dion and Cecile moved back into casual gigging.


Dion and Cecile entertaining at an SSR Concert 2006

Dion and Cecile enjoying an SSR Concert 2006

Dion and Cecile entertaining at an SSR Concert 2006