This Anglo-Norwegian band was the brainchild of Georg Johan Tjegodiev Sakonski Kajanus, the son of an exiled Russian prince and a Finnish sculptress who had also been a folk-rocker (in Eclection).
The quartet devised an ingenious palette featuring tack pianos, accordions, glockenspiels, dulcimers and 12-string guitars – a spangled old-world sound modernised by fruity synth basslines.
Kajanus even hand-crafted an antique-looking multiple keyboard device played by ex-actor Phil Pickett and Oxford graduate Henry Marsh onstage – the Nickelodeon.
French-born Grant Serpell was the drummer.
Sailor enjoyed worldwide hit singles in the 1970s with Girls Girls Girls (Germany #2, Switzerland #3, UK #7, Australia #14) and A Glass Of Champagne (UK and Switzerland #2, Germany #3, Australia #5).
Sailor continued recording into 1980, but with ever-decreasing returns. Although regarded as a one-hit wonder (albeit with two hits), Sailor recorded five albums and remained popular in Continental Europe.
Indeed, the reformed band is still a major concert draw today on the European oldies circuit, while Sailor’s entire back catalogue has returned to the shelves, together with several live albums and the anthology Buried Treasure.
Georg Johan Tjegodiev Sakonski Kajanus
Vocals, guitars, charango, veracruzana harp, harmonium, synthesisers
Nickelodeon, accordion, keyboards, guitars, vocals
Nickelodeon, piano, guitarron, synthesised strings, calliope, xylophone, bass, Hammond organ, mandolin, autoharp, vocals
Drums, percussion, vocals