Howard Morrison Profile

Adam Gifford
27 May 2013

When Howard Morrison stood in front of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1981 at a Royal Command Performance in Auckland and sung the hymn ‘Whakaaria Mai’/‘How Great Thou Art’, it was his own greatness that was being confirmed.

The song spent the next month at the top of the NZ Singles Chart and laid the foundation for the latter part of his career as an elder statesman of New Zealand entertainers.

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This 1958 EP by the Howard Morrison Quartet was the very first release by the band. Recorded for Zodiac by Eldred Stebbing, it was quickly followed by four singles Haere Ra E Hine, Deep Purple, Po Kare Kare Ana, and There's Only One Of You. The EP was issued in two different coloured sleeves, this being the first. A second EP, with another shade of green but the same imagery was used a few months later just to confuse.
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Gerry Merito with the Howard Morrison Quartet - Battle Of Waikato (live 1992)
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Four months after the Howard Morrison Quartet disbanded, Morrison performs in Gisborne with the Miss New Zealand show, 1965. 
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, May 1965
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The Howard Morrison Quartet in a likely posed "playback" shot in 1962
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Gerry Merito and Howard Morrison
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Flyer from the Palmerston North show of the 1963 Howard Morrison Spectaular
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1960 tour programme
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Early Librettos line-up taken while playing in Rotorua, probably at The Ritz. Back row (L to R): Paul Griffin, guest drummer Ray Earle, John England. Front: Rod Stone, Howard Morrison, Roger "Sammy Rogers" Simpson, Harry M. Miller, David Clark. Harry Miller and Howard Morrison were the promoters.
Photo credit: Rod Stone
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Howard Morrison in Don't let It Get You (1966)
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The Breakaways back Howard Morrison on Johnny Cooper's Talent Show, Masterton 1965
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Take Ten was a 1967 duet album with John Hore and Howard Morrison, rush recorded by Joe Brown to coincide with a tour.
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Billy T James and Sir Howard Morrison read the news
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Pictorial Parade No. 103 (1960) featuring the Howard Morrison Quartet
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The Miss New Zealand contestants sing along with Howard, 1965
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
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Gerry Merito with the Howard Morrison Quartet - interview
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The original Howard Morrison Quartet: Laurie Morrison, Gerry Merito, Howard Morrison, John Morrison
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Mind If We Sing? a 1962 album on La Gloria. The Howard Morrison Quartet fell out with Harry Miller early in 1963 and the run of releases stopped.
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Country and western: pictured after visiting Nga-whatu Hospital, while on a Joe Brown tour, are (L-R) Paul Walden, John Hore and Peter Posa; on the horse is "Senor" Howard Morrison. From the Nelson Photo News, 17 Sept 1966.
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Māori Songs, the third La Gloria album, from 1962
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The most famous of the Howard Morrison Quartet lineups: Wi Wharekura, Gerry Merito, Noel Kingi, Howard Morrison
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Howard Morrison, 1970s
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Whakaaria Mai (How Great Thou Art, live 1981)
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Howard repositioning for a solo career. This was the final original Quartet album, recorded live in 1965, without any imagery of the Quartet.
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In the mid-1970s Howard Morrison shared the stage with Auckland drag act Diamond Lil (Marcus Craig), at Phil Warren's Ace of Clubs cabaret. 
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Toni Williams (in shades) and Howard Morrison during the Showtime Spectacular tour of 1961 with, on the left, road manager Trevor King, and, on the right, Brian Richards
Photo credit: Chris Bourke Collection
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The Breakaways with Howard Morrison
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Quin Tikis with Howard Morrison and John Hore
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Rim D. Paul Collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
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The Howard Morrison Quartet live during the Miss New Zealand pageant in 1963
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Howard Morrison plays a shearer in 'Funny Things Happen Down Under', 1965
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Labels:

La Gloria


Zodiac


Joe Brown


BMG

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Trivia:

Howard Morrison liked to record his songs in front of a live audience and he was most comfortable doing so, hence the fact that much of his catalogue was live. Many of the studio sessions also were recorded in front of a small audience to relax Howard.

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