Bernie Brown Profile

Chris Caddick
26 Aug 2015

“Bernie Brown is a most unusual folk-singer simply because he does not have any of the characteristics of the contemporary singer of folk songs ... Bernie is a mature man and a father of five children ... most strikingly he does not care for the current odes of doom and destruction that we often hear these days.”

So proclaimed the sleeve of his sole LP from 1965. But given his relative obscurity 50 years on, just who was Bernie Brown and what part did he play in our musical story?

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A Bernie Brown publicity shot from the late 1970s
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Bernie playing with son Stefan on Stefan’s wedding day Upper Hutt, 1978
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Bernie Brown in the Upper Hutt Leader
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Bernie Brown in The Dominon, 1970
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Bernie Brown in one of The Savage Clubs, circa 1966
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Proof sheet of shots taken at auditions for the NZBC program Have A Shot in 1966
Photo credit: Photos by Revelle Jackson
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Bernie Brown backing Rochelle Vinsen, early 70s
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Bernie’s mother, Edith Charlotte Brown on steel guitar, Whanganui, mid-1950s
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Bernie Brown’s band in New Plymouth, late 1950’s: L-R Bill Sole (guitar), Bernie Brown, Ray Phillips (drums), Galvin Edsor (double bass)
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Bernie onstage with his older brother Leon, Kaikohe 1985
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Bernie Brown's 1965 His Master's Voice album produced by Nick Karavais at HMV's Wellington studios
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Bernie Brown in December 1966
Photo credit: Photo by Revelle Jackson. Upper Hutt City Library.
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