Maori Hi-Five Profile

Chris Bourke
21 May 2013

An evening with a showband was a mix of musical comedy and cabaret, tourist variety act, vaudeville show and rock and roll dance.

The showbands could perform soulful ballads then a satiric skit, make fun of their Māori culture while also educating the audience, while always displaying dazzling virtuosity yet looking spontaneous. The Maori Hi-Five is considered the first true Māori showband: The group exemplified the genre.

Show more +
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Poi Poi
ImageableImage
Hero thumb maori hi five
Maori Hi-Five, Pigalle Club, London
ImageableImage
Hero thumb gpn106 19630418 039a
Gisborne being entertained by King Solomon Pohatu
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh7
Leedon was an Australian label owned by American promoter Lee Gordon and Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefe. The Māori Hi-Five recorded three albums for the label, with Serenade In Blue being the first, issued in February 1961.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb npn30 19630427 020a
ImageableImage
Hero thumb beatles
The Māori Hi-Five in June 1964 in Hong Kong with The Beatles: Paul McCartney, Wes Epae, John Lennon, unknown, Paddy Te Tai, George Harrison, unknown hotel staff (kneeling), Robert Hemi Te Miha, Solly Pohatu and the local agent
ImageableImage
Hero thumb npn30 19630427 021e
The Māori Hi Five in Nelson, 1963
ImageableImage
Hero thumb maori hi five nz 1963 tour programme
1963 tour programme
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
My Blue Heaven
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh8
The 1960 double A-sided single Oasis / American Patrol on the Australian Rex label
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh7
1958 (Maori) Hi-Five Mambo song list comprised mostly of Latin tunes reflecting the 1950s popularity of groups like Louis Alberto Parana and the Trio Paraguayos.
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb h5m
Hi-Five Mambo at The Cabana Club, Wellington, 1958: Sol Pohatu, Jimmy "Junior" Rivers, Ike Metekingi, Robbie Hemi and Costa Christie
ImageableImage
Hero thumb maorihifives beatles hongkong
The Hi-Five support a certain band in Hong Kong in June 1964
ImageableImage
Hero thumb gpn106 19630418 040a
Paddy Tetai, Mary Nemmo, Wes Epae, and Solly Pohatu
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Putti Putti
ImageableImage
Hero thumb jim anderson   copy
Wellington, 1958: Costa Christie, left, with original Hi-Five manager Jim Anderson. Later known as "Big Jim" in Sydney's King's Cross, he was an associate of notorious nightclub operator Abe "Mr Sin" Saffron. In 1970 Anderson fatally shot a "standover man" in a Sydney nightclub. 
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh6
From left: Mary Nimmo, Kawana Pohe, Paddy Te Tai, Peter Wolland, Robert (Hemi) Te Miha, Solly Pohatu and (front) Wes Epae.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb npn30 19630427 020b
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb maori hi five c1962 with their rolls royce
The Māori Hi-Five in London with their Roller, 1962
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh6
On the Australian Leedon label, the eponymous 1963 album by the Māori Hi-Five is considered their best 
ImageableImage
Hero thumb npn30 19630427 021d
ImageableImage
Hero thumb mh5
The Māori Hi-Five in Wanganui, October 1958: Ike Metekingi, Costa Christie, Jimmy Rivers, Robbie Heke, Fron The Pro (a guest) and Solomon Potahu
ImageableImage
Hero thumb maori hi five
The Hi-Five Mambo in Wellington in the early 1960s
ImageableImage
Hero thumb hi five mambo standing cc
Hi-Five Mambo, from left: Jimmy Rivers, Rob Hemi, Sol Pohatu, Ike Metekingi, Costa Christie. Taken at the Cubana Club, Wellington 1958
ImageableImage
Hero thumb 2
The 1963 single Putti Putti, released in the UK on EMI's Columbia label
ImageableImage
Hero thumb gpn106 19630418 041d
Wes Epae Mary Nemmo, Kawana Pohe, Paddy Tetai, Peter Wolland, Robert Hemi and Solly Pohatu in Gisborne
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Hippy Hippy Shake
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
3 col el, class=LabelPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Labels:

Leedon


HMV


Columbia


Rex

3 col el, class=ExternalLink::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=RelatedPage::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=CollaborationPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Members:

Ike Metekingi

Solomon Pohatu

Rob (Hemi) Te Miha

Fred Tira

Junior Tuatara

Paddy Te Tai

Costa Christie

Kawana Pohe

Tuki Whittaker

Peter Wolland

Wes Epae

Charlotte Pohe

Mere Nimmo

3 col el, class=Trivia::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Trivia:

In December 1961 in Disc magazine, producer George Martin is quoted as saying "I have just signed an outfit that does sound different – the Maori Hi Fives. I think they’ll be a sensation". Sadly nothing seems to have come of this.