Phil Garland Profile

Rosa Shiels
20 Mar 2017

When Phil Garland – often hailed as the godfather of New Zealand folk music – died on 15 March 2017, you could almost hear the angels saying, “Move over, everyone, make way for the big man and his Gibson Hummingbird 12-string. Give him a really big hand – he deserves it.”

Garland was a kingpin in the home grown folk music scene for half a century, as singer-songwriter and as folklorist and collector of precious heritage material: poetry, songs, stories and yarns from our colonial past. He was acknowledged as the foremost authority on local folkloric heritage, and it is testament to his musical ability, his broad-based knowledge, his perseverance, and commanding stage presence that he was able earn a lifelong living in this musical field that is arguably as fringe to mainstream music as poetry is to populist literature.

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Phil Garland receives his 2014 Queen's Service Medal from Governor-General Jerry Mateparae (whose brother Sam Mateparae was an early New Zealand rock'n'roller). 
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Phil Garland, age 16, with his first guitar, 1959
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Phil Garland - Wind In The Tussock
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Phil Garland - The Stable Lad
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Phil Garland, 2012
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An advertisement for the Folk Centre, Christchurch. Among the performers are Phil Garland and Rosa Shiels.
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The Playboys. Clockwise from top left: Graeme Miller, John O'Neill, Kevin O'Neill and Brian Ringrose, Dave Miller, Phil Garland
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The Phil Garland Songbook
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The Canterbury Crutchings Bush and Ceilidh Band - Phil Garland, second from right
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Christine Smith and Phil Garland at The Gore Folk Club
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Phil Garland singing with the Saints at Caledonian Hall, Christchurch, 1961
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The July 1968 Country & folk spectacular with Hamilton County Blue Grass Band, Band of Hope Jug Band, John Hayday, Frank Fyfe, Phil Garland, Jae Renaut, Christine Smith and Beale Street String Stretchers at Christchurch's Theatre Royal
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Phil Garland as jug blower extraordinaire with The Band of Hope Jug Band, 1967
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Phil Garland in 1964: a studio portait for the Plainsman nightclub, Christchurch
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The Playboys, 1962, with Diane Jacobs aka Dinah Lee. From left: Graeme Miller, Mark Graham, Brian Ringrose, Dave Martin, Phil Garland, and Diane Jacobs
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Phil Garland - Farewell To The Gold (on the Hudson & Halls show)
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Southern Odyssey cover
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Phil Garland sings Peter Cape's Taumarunui (On The Main Trunk Line)
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