CWPWRDD DILLAD: Click here to see bigger pictures
Was it an exciting time singing with Tony?
Exciting and new. There was no Welsh pop culture at the time, so we were influenced by people like Elvis Presley. There were groups appearing in every village with a concert in every town, I think we sang in every village hall and tin shed from Holyhead to Cardiff! We were unbelievably busy sometimes. I think we went our separate ways because we had done everything possible in Wales; there was nothing left for us to do.
From where did you get your performing style?
I think I really started to dress up when I went to England to sing. I had a manager there who would say, “You’re only as good as you look” and that first impressions always count. But when I sang in England I was a nobody, just another person singing on stage, so image became more important to me.
For how long did you work abroad?
I worked abroad for about eight years. Sometimes we would be in one country for as little as a month but the longest was six months travelling backwards and forwards on a cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. I worked in Miami for a while and had to dress differently because of the warm weather. I couldn’t wear so many long dresses which were up to the neck and with long sleeves.
Have you kept your costumes over the years?
For this programme I went down to the cellar to fetch a huge trunk. It’s full of dresses from the 1970s and 80s. They look old fashioned now but hopefully I can still fit into some of them. It was great to see them again as they all have a story to tell.
Did your style change at all?
When Tony and I got back together to sing in 1984 I bought the long sparkly dresses back with me, I’d acquired a taste for them by then. My biggest problem was getting Tony to wear a suit and bowtie but he came round in the end!
What’s the story behind these pink and yellow dresses?
I bought these dresses for ‘Summer Season’ with Tony O’Connor; I had to dress the part. However, I wasn’t the first one to wear that yellow dress even though I paid for it! There was young girl called Jackie Scott who had just won a TV talent show, ‘Rising Star’, and had the same manager as me, and the ‘Stage’ magazine, which was a big deal then, wanted to do a feature of us all. Jackie had nothing to wear and so, she borrowed my dress. Jackie then went on to star in musicals in London and married Keith Harris and his green duck! The pink dress came in useful when Tony and I got back together and I wore it on the first ‘Taro Tant’ programme. It was also useful when I worked abroad in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi because it covered my arms.
What’s the story behind this gold dress?
This dress is a bit over the top even for me! I bought this for a very special occasion. Tony and I had never sung with an orchestra and one night we were invited to sing at Penrhyn Hall in Bangor with the BBC orchestra. This is the dress I wore, although I couldn’t wear it for long because it’s so heavy.
Where did this flowery dress come from?
Tony chose this dress from a shop somewhere. We were filming a television series for HTV at the time and Tony had translated the song ‘The Rose’. Maybe he thought I looked like a rose in this dress!
What’s the story behind this red jacket?
I still wear this jacket. I bought it for the ‘Diolch i Ti’ (Thank you) programme. Everyone on the show sang one of Tony’s songs which were a lovely tribute to him. Photos were taken on the night and we used one for the cover of the 1999 CD we released for the millennium.
It’s hard to throw the costumes away; each one has its own story. But maybe now that I have everything on tape I can throw them all in the skip. But I don’t see that happening somehow…..
- CWPWRDD DILLAD