HomeBlogsClare Wheeler's blogClare Wheeler Blog #1: Aren't We The Real Group?

Clare Wheeler's picture

The Swingle Singers are an interesting mix of people to be in an a cappella group. Other than our bass Kevin who came to us fresh from 9 years in the Canadian a cappella group Cadence, none of us come from an a cappella background. Upon joining the group, it's then a crash course of working out what's going on, and who's making it happen! We come from choral backgrounds, jazz, musical theatre, opera...instrumental*, even. It might seem unforgivable that we might not have heard of The Real Group before joining The Swingle Singers, but we have more than a few culprits. Myself included. On the bus yesterday, I heard CJ describing TRG's famous song, “Chilli Con Carne” by Anders Edenroth, to Oli, our newest member. He animatedly retold the story about how Anders had been doing his military service in Sweden, and started making up a song from the recipe book he was cooking from...(I'm sure you can picture the scene. I'll give you a moment). CJ lights up, emphatically imitating parts of the song – he is a huge TRG fan. Oli nods politely, having not yet heard this song. Jo reminds CJ of how he came to know it...and I thought this was a cute story.

CJ (along with Jo and Lucy) used to sing in Britain's National Youth Choir, and this was a popular encore choice for them, after what would often be a more classical-based concert. He thought the name Anders Edenroth was the most incredible name he'd ever heard and never forgot it. He downloaded it from l*mewire (cough...don't tell) and it labelled it as by The Swingle Singers. Scandalously lied to by the internet, he believed for years that it was by the Swingles. Years later CJ came to audition for us, and joined the group.  There followed a text conversation that went something like this:

CJ: Why don't we perform “Chilli Con Carne”? It's awesome!
Jo:  Because it's by The Real Group.
CJ: What? Aren’t we the real group?
Jo: What? No, we're The Swingle Singers. What?
CJ: But aren't we the real Swingle Singers?

* see dictionary definition.

[Stay tuned for upcoming entries from Clare!]

About the author:
Clare Wheeler is a jazz singer, composer and arranger. She sings alto with The Swingle Singers, and lives in London. She studied violin and voice at Chethams School of Music, Manchester, and then jazz composition and singing at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A fan of travelling, eating chocolate-based foods and Twitter. She is also known as @dinkyswingle, Wheelie or Wheels.





if you want to sing the song, I know a guy who had a copy of the score when we sang in a vocal jazz group in college back in the 80s. :-) /Peder

singer, composer, arranger, teacher.

Member of The Real Group 1984-2010.

Artistic director of Perpetuum Jazzile 2011-

funny one! I love you both.

funny one! I love you both.

Haha! What a great pair of

Haha! What a great pair of stories.  I can definitely relate in a couple ways.

I've loved both groups for years and hope you guys keep doing what you're doing :) 


You are more than real...

Too funny! Kind of like how I'd never heard the original of Rosanna until about 8 years after listening to the Wibijazz'n version. Can't wait to see you guys in Boston!!!

Matthew CraigBusiness ManagerRedline

Clare is my fav

OMG, casa just became even cooler.  Clare is posting ACK! This is just the best.

"No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius."

Clare, @dinkyswingle, Wheelie, whatever...

I'm with Peter!!!

Joan Hare

You can see and hear The

You can see and hear The Swingle Singers on our website, www.swinglesingers.com - we perform all around the world, so you can check out if we're near you any time soon on the calendar there :-)

@dinkyswingle on Twitter

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.