John “Timberjack” Donoghue: the road less travelled

Windswept, I blew into townThe Number One I was running downDidn't know where I was goingOnly knew what I was running from. (From the song ';Forty...

Mark Williams: the New Zealand years

Mark Williams should really have been born hollering: "Here I come, ready or not.” Because, by the age of 20, his afro, satin flares and eyeliner w...

Hey Bird: part one – Trevor King and the birth of Christchurch rock’n’roll

I 1957 meant big changes for Christchurch. It was International Geophysical Year and the United States Navy had arrived in town. And there were sy...

Hey Bird: part two – a meteoric rise

III Analytic Excursus What was the groove? Rock and roll music was as manufactured as country music had been since the 1930s. As soon as it was f...

Whirimako Black

Bernie Griffen

Songwriter's Choice: Jenny Morris

It's impossible to pick just 10, but here is a mixture of old songs and not so old songs, in no particular order of preference. Juice – Headless C...

The Androidss

Darren Watson

The Topp Twins: close encounters of the weird kind

The Topp Twins meet Robert Muldoon and Dizzy Gillespie 1981 was, of course, a pivotal year. It began at the Nambassa alternative lifestyle music f...

Musicians at War: The Kiwi Concert Party in World War II

The Kiwi Concert Party may not be well known to younger New Zealanders, but during World War II they served an important role in entertaining the A...

Headless Chickens

Camille Te Nahu

The Topp Twins

On the Ball: New Zealand Rugby Songs part one

1887-1979 Rugby union is entrenched into New Zealand's psyche and is a major part of our collective DNA. A country that can boast three separate v...

C'mon - part 1

  C'mon - watch the complete, remaining Series One episode, 1967 After the introduction of television in New Zealand in 1960, homegrown music an...

Pat McMinn: tap dance to Tanza

In November 2007 Pat McMinn shared memories and images from her photo album.  Pat McMinn, mid-1930s. As a young dancer she won 300 medals and 10...

C'mon - part 2

  C'mon Series One Final Episode, 1967 The New Zealand public's infatuation with C'mon continued unabated throughout the middle months of the fi...

Ten Moments in New Zealand Glam

Dr Ian Chapman, music lecturer at the University of Otago and Dr Glam after hours, considers New Zealand's flirtation with glam in the 1970s. Let'...

The Ormsby Brothers

Songwriter's Choice: Ariana Tikao

Ariana Tikao composes and performs music in Te Reo Māori and English, in a wide variety of settings. She draws on folk and pop, with a strong empha...

Phil Garland, Song Collector

When celebrated New Zealand troubadour and singing historian Phil Garland died on 15 March 2017 he left behind a substantial legacy of Kiwi folklor...

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Bressa Creeting Cake

Edmund McWilliams first met Geoff Maddock in art class at Avondale College. Geoff was listening to REM and Tears For Fears at the time, and just be...

Womad and New Zealand music

Every family has a few annual traditions: for me and my oldest daughter, it's attending Womad. Each March, we haul out the camping equipment, s...

The Kings Arms - Maureen Gordon

There is a stereotype around old-school music pub managers: tough, rotund and contemptuous of the musicians who brought in the crowds. Maureen Gord...

Al Hunter of the Kings Arms

Newton, Auckland, 1993 – The man in the big hat is buying. And, as the Jerry Jeff Walker song of that name says, "Drink up, 'cause the drinkin' is ...

Lil' Chief Records

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