Dale Wrightson Profile

Murray Cammick
11 Mar 2016

Wearing more than one hat in a small country is common but Dale Wrightson wore many, many hats across various culture-shaping roles in baby-boomer land. He was a musician, a record producer, co-founder of two advertising agencies and co-founder of three music TV channels.

Know him or not, he was in your face as an advertising creative, hawking recordings on TV from 20 Solid Gold Hits and Pianos By Candlelight to the pre-match warm-up music of Jonah Lomu. As an ad man, he was also selling us bigger blocks of cheese and cute cartons of flavoured milk he named “Zap”.

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Dale Wrightson (left) with The Electrons in the UK, 1962
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Corvairs
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Shona Laing in the studio with Dale Wrightson, 1973
Photo credit: John McCready Collection
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1972's Land Of New Vigour And Zeal, Shade Smith's concept album exploring New Zealand's character and identity. Using photographs by Sal Criscillo, the album cover was designed by Dale Wrightson.
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Dudley Moore with January Productions shooting an Atlantic Oil TV advert, 1972
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Dale Wrightson and Alan Galbraith performing The Shadows at the Mandalay Ballroom in the 1980s.
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Wrightson Brothers performing as Craig and Dale in the early 1970s
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Dale Wrightson and Jonah Lomu, October 2000.
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Dale Wrightson, Alan Galbraith doing The Shadows at Mandalay Ballroom, the late 1980s.
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Corvairs in the studio in Wellington, likely HMV
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Wrightson Brothers at Wellington's Chez Paree in the late 1960s
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Dale and Craig Wrightson
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Peter Burt/Dale Wrightson designed sleeve for Jon's debut album released in February 1980. Jon was just 18 when photographed by Des Williams for the cover.
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The Corvairs, 1964
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Shona’s debut album from 1973, recorded when she was just 17. The producer of the album, Dale Wrightson, also designed the album cover with photography by Sal Criscillo. The original LP had a fold out cover with album lyrics printed on the inside.
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The Wrightson brothers at EMI studios, Wellington, early 1970s
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Wrightson brothers appearing on the 20 Studio One Hits LP in 1972, as January
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Dale Wrightson and Andy Anderson in The Corvairs, c.1964
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Peter Burt and Dale Wrightson with their Cover of The Year, 1978 for Songs Of New Zealand. They would win it again in 1979 (for Citizen Band's Just Drove Through Town).
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The Wrightson family after their move to Auckland in 1977
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Max TV launch party: Kevin Black, Daniel Wrightson, unknown and Dale Wrightson
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of John McCready
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Dale Wrightson (left) with The Electrons in the UK, 1962
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A note from Shona Laing to Dale Wrightson
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Glyn Tucker Jnr and Alan Galbraith performing at Dale Wrightson's 40th birthday in 1984
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Dale and Craig Wrightson
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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CBS Records Murray Thom and Dale Wrightson with quadruple platinum awards for the Tracman compilation, 1983
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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Craig Walsh-Wrightson and Dale Wrightson model for Vance Vivian's menswear advertising in the 1970s
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The Corvairs in Wellington in 1964: Dave Leith, Andy Anderson, Gerry Loesch, Dale Wrightson and Alex Neill 
Photo credit: Andy Anderson collection
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Corvairs circa 1964: Dale Wrightson (guitar), Andy Anderson (drums), Dave Leith (rhythm guitar), George Watson (bass).
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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