Alan Galbraith Profile

Simon Grigg
26 Jan 2018

In the 1960s New Zealand recording studios embraced the art of record production for the first time. Prior to that, records in New Zealand were largely made on rudimentary equipment by recording engineers whose primary role was to balance the sounds made by musicians in the studio.

However, dedicated producers such as John Hawkins at Zodiac, Wahanui Wynyard at Astor, Viking’s Ron Dalton and Jimmie Sloggett from James Productions (all in Auckland) helped revolutionise the recording process, inspired in large part by people like Joe Meek, George Martin, Phil Spector, the Motown producers and Shel Tamly. In Wellington the changes were driven by the UK-owned HMV company, whose management underwrote a team of fulltime in-house producers from 1965 onwards and equipped these increasingly skilled men with more and more sophisticated studios, where they created a decade of finely honed pop music which the nation purchased in substantial quantities. Many of their artists became household names as part of a thriving singles-driven pop industry, the equal of which New Zealand has not seen. Indeed, the recordings from the HMV and, later, EMI studios in Wakefield Street and Lower Hutt still stand as some of the perfectly realised recordings ever made in New Zealand.

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The Tone Rangers: Jeff Kennedy, Al Fergus, Diana Beaufort, Alan Galbraith and Simon Morris in 2005
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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A starring role for Alan Galbraith in NZ’s first rock opera, Jenifer, in 1971.
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A newspaper clip after winning Studio One in 1971
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Sounds Unlimited: Paddy Beach, Reno Tehei, Mike Findlay, Johnny McCormick, Bernie Findlay and Alan Galbraith
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Mark Williams - Yesterday Was Just The Beginning of My Life (live, 1981)
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Alan Galbraith with his first "real" guitar circa 1964
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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The last lineup of The Silhouettes with Dave Hurley, soon to join The Breakaways, drafted in to replace Dick Brough for Summer Season 1965.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Dale Wrightson and Alan Galbraith performing The Shadows at the Mandalay Ballroom in the 1980s.
Photo credit: Gillian Wrightson collection
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The Real Thing: Alan Galbraith (rear) and Ken Murphy
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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The first Alan Galbraith songwriting credit to appear on a release, as the B-side to The Avengers' 'Love-Hate-Revenge' in 1968.
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An EMI publicity shot for the 1974 single 'Homburg' with the new ARP synth front left.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan Galbraith in a publicity shot for P&O Shipping Lines before setting sail on The Southern Cross to the UK, 1972.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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The Silhouettes (L to r: Ian Mills, Alan Galbraith, Gary Stewart, Dick Brough) 1964
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Sounds Unlimited aboard the luxury cruise liner Ellinis, bound for London
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Sounds Unlimited: Bernie Findlay, Paddy Beech, Mike Findlay, Johnny McCormick, Alan Galbraith, Reno Tehei.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan Galbraith in the studio with Highway, 1971
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Playdate magazine, July 1966 - Mr. Lee Grant's new solo career and Alan Galbraith joins Sounds Unlimited
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Alan Galbraith with Alastair Riddell and US producer John Boylan during John’s lecture visit to NZ 1974.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan Galbraith in HMV's studio on his first day as a full-time producer in 1970
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Alan Galbraith performs with The Avengers at Ali Baba's, Cuba Street, Wellington.
Photo credit: Kevin Furey collection
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Alan Galbraith recording lap steel guitar in an alley, Wellington 2010
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Rockinghorse - Thru the Southern Moonlight (1974)
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The Real Thing publicity flyer from the Galaxie in Auckland.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan with FoxBox Guitars.
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan Galbraith performing at Wellington's The Place, circa 1966.
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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Alan Galbraith signing his producer contracts with Annie Whittle and Mark Williams at EMI 1975.
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The Real Thing: Alan Galbraith and Ken Murphy
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Sounds Unlimited aboard the luxury cruise liner Ellinis, bound for London. The new band was (rear) Ben Kaika on bass, Paddy Beach, (front) Johnny McCormick, Alan Galbraith, Reno Tehei.
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Burning bridges! The interview with Alan Galbraith about EMI, 1972.
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HMV recording artist Alan Galbraith all a-frill circa 1970
Photo credit: Photo by Steve Roberts
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The first credit "Produced by Alan Galbraith" to appear on a record, in 1969 from Wellington soul band, The Wedge.
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Producer Alan Galbraith, Clive Cockburn (ex-The Avengers) and Dave Hurley, 2016
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A 1960s HMV publicity shot
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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Mark Williams - It Doesn't Matter Anymore (1977)
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Composer Alan Galbraith and arranger Brian Hands with the tape of 'The Old Man' after the song had won the NZBC’s Studio One songwriting competition in 1970.
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Cover shot for the Silverfox album, 2010
Photo credit: Alan Galbraith collection
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Alan Galbraith - Courtenay Place - from the album Silverfox, directed by Peter Avery, shot by Waka Attewell, edited by Matt Grindlay.
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Labels:

HMV


EMI


CBS


WEA