Gerry Merito Profile

Chris Bourke
16 Dec 2013

The phenomenal success of the Howard Morrison Quartet would have been unthinkable without the contribution of Gerry Merito.

He was a natural showman, with a sharp ear for the perfect harmony, a guitar strum that was the Howard Morrison Quartet’s only accompaniment in their early days, was quick-witted with original jokes, and had an easy style that made everyone comfortable. He wrote most of the lyrics of the parodies that were their biggest hits, and lifted the group from being a covers act in cabarets. He was also generous and gentle, big-hearted and humble; the perfect foil for the Quartet’s handsome, confident frontman.

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Gerry Merito and Howard Morrison
The Simple Image and Gerry Merito in Gisborne in January 1968 for the Miss Gisborne show
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
In Gisborne to compere the Miss Gisborne contest in January 1968.
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
The 1966 Gerry Merito album I Must Have Been A Beautiful (Baby) Spaceman. His only solo album, it was recorded live by Mike Perjanik and released on Benny Levin and Russell Clark's Impact label.
Gerry Merito, later with the Howard Morrison Quartet, is third from left in the middle row of this 1955 team photo
The 1966 Impact tour dates and lineup. Package tours were a big feature of the 1960s and Gerry Merito had already toured with quite a number. Benny Levin was an old hand at these big shows by the time he and Russell Clark launched their Impact label, so it made perfect sense to send out all the bands on the label together.
Gerry Merito, 1968
Photo credit: Gordon Wong collection
Gerry in 1966
The Howard Morrison Quartet - Noel Kingi, Wi Wharekura, Gerry Merito, Howard Morrison
Photo credit: Viking Records
The Howard Morrison Quartet's 1960 album Pot-Pourri, their third album of the year and their second for Harry Miller's La Gloria label.
Wi Wharekura, Gerry Merito, Noel Kingi, Howard Morrison
Flyer from the Palmerston North show of the 1963 Howard Morrison Spectaular
Front cover of the 1966 Impact Records tour programme
The smash hit. This is the original pressing, later copies had a white label