Ronnie Sundin Profile

Chris Bourke
19 Dec 2013

When a local version of Elvis was needed, Johnny Devlin stepped forward; when the fashion shifted to teen idols, someone a little less confronting was needed. In 1960, the chosen one was Ronnie Sundin, a 16-year-old from Auckland.

Sundin was still at Avondale Technical College and about to sit School Certificate when Viking Records released his debut single in September 1959. In the USA, the original version of ‘Sea of Love’ had yet to reach No.1 in the R&B charts when Sundin recorded it, with ‘Waltzing Matilda’ on the B-side.

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Al Paget Sextet at the Shiralee, 1964: Geoff Bolton, Ken Flaherty, Rod Gibson, Ronnie Sundin, Al Patchett
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The Ronnie Sundin fan club flyer
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Teen Beat hails the Howard Morrison Quartet, Ronnie Sundin, The Keil Isles and Red Hewitt as the successors to Johnny Devlin, late 1959
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Ronnie Sundin
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Ronnie Sundin's only longplayer, issued in 1960 by Viking Records. Left to right, Hugo Spemann, Sundin, Rudy Spemann, Bill Sevesi, Don Stacey, Alex Patchett. Bass player Malu Natapu was obscured behind Sundin when his image was enlarged.
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Al Paget Sextet at Bayswater, 1963: Jeff Bolton, Ronnie Sundin, Rod Gibson, Val Fisher, unknown, Al Patchett, Trevor Salisbury
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Al Paget first played with Sundin when he was 21, and a member of Bill Sevesi’s group the Jesters; he was then called Alex Patchett.

‘Sea of Love’ was revived in 1989 for a hit film of that name, starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Besides the original 1959 version, the soundtrack featured Tom Waits singing the song.

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