Frank Douglas Profile

Nick Bollinger
19 Mar 2016

Ask Frank Douglas about the Wellington HMV/EMI studio where he worked, from its inception in the early 1960s to its closure in 1987, and he would always emphasise the team spirit that made it perhaps the closest thing New Zealand has ever had to a hit factory. Ask those who worked alongside him and you would be more likely to get the kind of remark one of his colleagues made to me: “Frank was HMV.”

From the chart toppers of Shane and Allison Durbin to the underground rock of Ticket and Tamburlaine, the soft-spoken soundman left his stamp on some of the most significant records made in New Zealand.

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Frank Douglas, 1965
Photo credit: Chris Bourke Collection
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HMV's Frank Douglas at the desk with The Avengers, 5 December 1967. The Avengers are getting a silver disc for 10,000 copies of Everyone's Gonna Wonder. On the right is producer Nick Karavias.
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Val Elliott & The Rhythm Ramblers outside the HMV Studios in Wellington. Left to right: John Cooke, Jim Lange, Val, pianist Garth Young, engineer Frank Douglas, bass player Slim Dorwood, drummer Leo George.
Photo credit: Val Elliott collection
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Frank Douglas in 1976
Photo credit: Chris Bourke Collection
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