The Chicks Profile

Chris Caddick
23 Nov 2017

Instantly recognisable with their matching outfits, trendy haircuts and up-tempo, harmony-rich pop singles, sisters Judy and Sue Donaldson rose to become some of New Zealand’s biggest stars as The Chicks.

For a whirlwind five-year period from 1965 they were seldom off our TV screens or radio airwaves. They played countless gigs and toured relentlessly with other New Zealand stars and international artists, including Sandie Shaw, PJ Proby and, incredibly, The Pretty Things. 

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Superpop '70, a concert held at Western Springs, Auckland, featured local performers including The Chicks and Bunny Walters. Hosted by Max Cryer, the event was was broadcast live and staged for the a royal visit - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip were showing young Prince Charles and Princess Anne around New Zealand.
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The Chicks' fourth and final album, with cover photography by a young Roger Donaldson.
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The Chicks, C'mon '68 tour, Napier.
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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The Chicks on the set on C'mon.
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Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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Fullers Entertainment publicity card for Suzanne.
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Judy and Suzanne with their father John Donaldson.
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The Ravens, with vocalists Suzanne (front left) and Judy (front right) Donaldson. Ravens members included Tony de Jong (guitar), Alan Newlove (bass), Gary Berryman (guitar), Evan "Butch" Berryman (drums). Ron Riddell, brother of Space Waltz's Alastair Riddell, also played drums.
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NZ's favourite singing sisters, The Chicks, on the cover of NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
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Suzanne and Judy with their famous Chicks outfits in late 2016, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum 2016-2017.
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The Chicks - Miss You Baby (C'mon, 1969)
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Suzanne's wedding to Bruce Lynch.
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The Chicks, Playdate magazine.
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The Chicks' 1966 album produced by Ron Dalton and engineered by Frank Douglas. Cover photograph by Hubert Sieben.
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The Chicks were discovered by Viking's Ron Dalton while singing for Peter Posa. They would provide Viking with a string of hits.
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The Chicks kicking up heels with Jim McNaught and Ken Cooper, Wellington, mid-1960s
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Judy Donaldson
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The Chicks - Suzanne and Judy Donaldson.
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C'mon '68 tour, Napier Soundshell.
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Judy and Ross's wedding day - outside St Matthew's church.
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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The Chicks at The Top Hat, 23 October, 1965
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The Chicks in NZ Listener, 1968.
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The Chicks.
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The Chicks' first record, as arranged by Mike Perjanik
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Murray Grindlay and Suzanne Donaldson of The Chicks, on tour.
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Viking Records - early publicity photo of The Chicks
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To the Gisborne Photo News in September 1965, the teenage Chicks (and Sandie Shaw) were the acceptable entertainment in a bill that included the notorious Pretty Things. 
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson - onstage.
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Suzanne and Judy Donaldson.
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Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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The Chicks.
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NZ Woman's Weekly retrospective story and update on the lives of The Chicks.
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The Chicks' third album, produced by Ray Columbus, recorded at Mascot Studios and released in 1968 on the Polydor label. Cover design by Ron Fulstow.
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The Chicks
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The Chicks with the Topp Twins, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum, 2016. Left to Right: Judy Hindman, Jools Topp, Suzanne Lynch, Lynda Topp.
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Judy and Ross's wedding day - outside St Matthew's church.
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On the set of C'mon '68: Shane, Suzanne Lynch (The Chicks), Ray Columbus, Judy Donaldson (The Chicks), Tommy Ferguson and Ray Woolf
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Manager Ray Columbus signs The Chicks to Polydor in 1968. On the right is Polydor A&R manager Robin Robinson. Ray managed several artists very successfully in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of Phil Warren's Fullers organisation. 
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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While visiting Gisborne in September 1966, with Benny Levin's Impact Show, the Chicks spent time signing autographs in Christie's record store. The Gisborne Photo News caption reads: "Surrounded by some of their admiring fans are "The Chicks", Sue (left) and Judy. Those who got their autographs are, from left, Lois Mitchell, Linda Ring, Judith Hankey, Dawn Phelps, Lynnette Jackson and Susan Russell."
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Hegan Entertainments publicity photo of Suzanne.
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Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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The Chicks - The Hucklebuck (Swingin' Safari, 1965, filmed by Bruce King)
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Suzanne and Judy with their famous Chicks outfits in late 2016, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum 2016-2017.
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The Ravens, fronted by singers Judy and Suzanne Donaldson, win a talent quest. The sisters went on to national fame as The Chicks.
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The Donaldson family, with young Judy (left) and Suzanne (right).
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John Donaldson, flanked by Suzanne (left) and Judy (right).
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The Chicks, endorsing tea for the New Zealand Tea Council, late 1960s.
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Story on Sue Donaldson's road "jinx" from NZ Truth, 23 April 1968.
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Judy and Suzanne Donaldson – The Chicks
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The Chicks.
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Suzanne Donaldson in Napier, C'mon '68 tour.
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The Ravens, with vocalists Judy (front left) and Suzanne (front right) Donaldson. Ravens members included Tony de Jong (guitar), Alan Newlove (bass), Gary Berryman (guitar), Evan "Butch" Berryman (drums). Ron Riddell, brother of Space Waltz's Alastair Riddell, also played drums.
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Judy Donaldson
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The famous dresses worn by The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson
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The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
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The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
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Festival Records advertisement for C'mon performers The Chicks, Tommy Ferguson, and Shane.
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On the set of C'mon, with Shane, Suzanne Donaldson (The Chicks), Ray Columbus, Judy Donaldson (The Chicks), Tommy Ferguson, and Ray Woolf.
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The Chicks.
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The Chicks - Timothy (live, 1985)
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The Chicks' debut album for Viking from 1965, recorded when Sue was just 14 and Judy 16.
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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The Chicks and Shane appear at Lynnmall, New Lynn, Auckland. Western Leader, March 19, 1970.
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Suzanne (left) and Judy Donaldson (right) with Ray Columbus (centre) and friends. Back row, L to R: Shane Hales, Kevin McNeil, Ray Woolf, Shade Smith.
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The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
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The Chicks onstage at Napier Soundshell, C'mon '68 tour.
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Former Chicks Suzanne Lynch and Judy Hindman enjoying family life with hubbies Bruce Lynch and Ross Hindman.
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The Donaldson family, pictured at Judy's wedding.
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Viking Records talent card for The Chicks.
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The Chicks.
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The Chicks.
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The Chicks
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Suzanne Donaldson
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The Chicks' Suzanne Donaldson with Ken Cooper. To the left is Jim McNaught.
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C'mon '68 tour, Napier Soundshell.
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C'mon finale, 1968.
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The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
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Judy Donaldson on stage at Fisherman's Wharf, Auckland, backed by Roger Williams on Hammond organ, Bruce King on drums, and Kevin Haines on bass.
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Prince Charles meets The Chicks, Super Pop '70, 25 March 1970.
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C'mon - the final episode from season one, 1967, featuring The Chicks
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The Chicks' award to acknowledge achievement and excellence in the Performing Arts at Waitakere Primary School.
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Fullers Entertainment publicity card for Suzanne Donaldson.
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Members:

Judy Donaldson - vocals

Suzanne Donaldson - vocals

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Labels:

Viking


Polydor


Festival


Impact