Gerry Merito Profile

Chris Bourke
16 Dec 2013

The phenomenal success of the Howard Morrison Quartet would have been unthinkable without the contribution of Gerry Merito.

He was a natural showman, with a sharp ear for the perfect harmony, a guitar strum that was their only accompaniment in their early days, was quick-witted with original jokes, and had an easy style that made everyone comfortable. He wrote most of the lyrics of the parodies that were their biggest hits, and lifted the group from being a covers act in cabarets. He was also generous and gentle, big-hearted and humble; the perfect foil for the Quartet’s handsome, confident frontman.

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The Howard Morrison Quartet - Noel Kingi, Wi Wharekura, Gerry Merito, Howard Morrison
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Flyer from the Palmerston North show of the 1963 Howard Morrison Spectaular
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The 1966 Impact tour dates and lineup. Package tours were a big feature of the 1960s and Gerry Merito had already toured with quite a number. Benny Levin was an old hand at these big shows by the time he and Russell Clark launched their Impact label, so it made perfect sense to send out all the bands on the label together.
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The Simple Image and Gerry Merito in Gisborne in January 1968 for the Miss Gisborne show
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In Gisborne to compere the Miss Gisborne contest in January 1968.
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Front cover of the 1966 Impact Records tour programme
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The Howard Morrison Quartet's 1960 album Pot-Pourri, their third album of the year and their second for Harry Miller's La Gloria label.
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Gerry in 1966
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Wi Wharekura, Gerry Merito, Noel Kingi, Howard Morrison
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The smash hit. This is the original pressing, later copies had a white label
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Gerry Merito and Howard Morrison
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The 1966 Gerry Merito album I Must Have Been A Beautiful (Baby) Spaceman. His only solo album, it was recorded live by Mike Perjanik and released on Benny Levin and Russell Clark's Impact label.
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