The Short-Lived Career of Liz Damon’s Orient Express


Introduction to Liz Damon’s Orient Express

Liz Damon’s Orient Express was an American easy-listening and international music band originating in Hawaii, in 1970. The core members of the group were Liz Damon and her sister Edda; the rest of the backing band (which composed of mostly Asians, hence the group’s name) was constantly rotating. The group’s first LP was At the Garden Bar, Hilton Hawaiian Village which was later released as an eponymous album by White Whale Records. One of the tracks of that album was “1900 Yesterday” which was also released as a single. It made notches on the Top 40 pop chart and Top 10 adult contemporary chart in 1970. Another single by the group, “Loneliness Remembers (What Happiness Forgets)” was released on Anthem label and became the group’s second and final charting single. Liz Damon’s Orient Express continued to record up to their disbandment in the mid-1980s.

Meet Liz Damon’s Orient Express

Originating in Hawaii, Liz Damon’s Orient Express was a 70’s music American band specializing in easy-listening and international music led by singer Liz Damon. Accompanied by all-Asian band members, it comprised of two female backup vocalists and five male instrumentalists where “Orient Express” was derived from. 

Their personnel changes and recordings

Damon’s sister, Edda Damon became her backup singer along with Sydette Sakauye on the 1970 album At the Garden Bar, Hilton Hawaiian Village. Sakauye left and was later replaced by Meri McPherson in the early 70’s. The band’s backup section had been changing frequently, however McPherson was the constant one.

Liz Damon’s Orient Express started as regular performers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. In 1971, they were initially signed to Makaha imprint where they cut the album At the Garden Bar, Hilton Hawaiian Village. Makaha initially released the record but it was later picked up White Whale Records. The new label released it as Liz Damon’s Orient Express album, carrying the single “1900 Yesterday.” In early 1971, the single charted on both Billboard Hot 100 and adult contemporary singles chart at #33 and #4, respectively.

In late 1971, the band signed a deal with Anthem label where they issued the sophomore single “Loneliness Remembers (What Happiness Forgets),” their cover of a Burt Bacharach original. Originally recorded by Dionne Warwick, “Loneliness Remembers (What Happiness Forgets)” was their last charted single and it was also the only version that charted. It reached its peak position at #29 on the adult contemporary singles chart in early 1972. In 1979, a comedy album was released by the band as well. Throughout the 1970’s, Liz Damon’s Orient Express recorded five albums, three of these consisted of cover songs. In the following years after their breakup, the band moved in Las Vegas where they had their last shows.

Liz Damon’s Orient Express discography (may be impartial)

Makaha Records (1969)

  • A: 1900 Yesterday
  • B: You’re Falling In Love

White Whale Records (Nov 1970)

  • A: 1900 Yesterday
  • B: You’re Falling In Love

Anthem Records (1971)

  • A: Loneliness Remembers (What Happiness Forgets)
  • B: The Quiet Sound

Delilah Records (1973)

  • A: Sing Me (I’m A Song)
  • B: Little Song

Goldies (1973)

  • A: 1900 Yesterday
  • B: You’re Falling In Love
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