Years later, one of the trio’s original members said she couldn’t remember how they chose the name for their group, and she also couldn’t explain the odd spelling. But whatever the case, the Murmaids scored a huge hit in 1963 with “Popsicles and Icicles,” a song that fit right into the pop music sounds of the era. Unfortunately, it would be their only big hit.
Sisters Terry and Carol Fischer found themselves surrounded by music while growing up in their Los Angeles home. Their dad Carl was a long-time pro, a composer and arranger who’d worked with everybody from Billie Holiday to Frankie Laine, and mom (also named Terry) had been a big band singer who’d grown up in a musical family herself. So maybe it wasn’t surprising that the girls showed a lot of promise when they began singing with their friend and neighbor, Sally Gordon, making a smooth-sounding trio.
Even though the girls were still just in their mid-teens, Mom thought they had something special and she took them to a small local record company for an audition. As luck would have it, producers matched them up with a new song written by David Gates (who would later find stardom as the driving force behind the supergroup Bread) and it proved to be a good combination. The dreamy, melodic “Popsicles and Icicles” was the perfect vehicle for the girls and for the era, and it soon rose near the top of the charts.
But even though the threesome kept recording for a while, subsequent records fell far short of that success and things sort of dissolved. In fact, so the story goes, some of the later records attributed to the Murmaids were probably the result of some inventive personnel substitutions by record producers. As for the original trio, the girls went on to college and marriage, but the Fischer sisters did stay somewhat involved in music — Terry more than Carol. Many years later, the sisters reformed the trio (with a variety of different third singers) to tap into the oldies market.