Lou Paul Profile

aka Uramao Paora, Lu Paul, Ruru Paul
Chris Bourke
24 Apr 2021

A rising star of New Zealand music, Lou Paul was killed when he stepped on a landmine in Italy during the Second World War. In an alternative history, he would have been the first to release a locally written song on disc: he already had the momentum to go far.

Paul was a well-known singer in Auckland in the late 1930s, on 1ZB and stages throughout the city.. But his career was cut short on 7 December 1943 while serving with 28 Māori Battalion.

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Label for Lou Paul's recording of 'Beneath the Māori Moon' with Ted Croad's Band, c. 1939.
Photo credit: RNZ Sound Archive
Lou Paul's portrait while with 28 Māori Battalion, early 1940s.
Photo credit: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Lou Paul on the cover of the Radio Record, 4 March 1938. 
Photo credit: RNZ Infofind
Lou Paul appears at a 1ZB community singing event at the Majestic, Auckland. 
Photo credit: Auckland Star, 3 August 1938
Lou Paul, 1939. 
Photo credit: Radio Record
Lou Paul performs at a charity concert in Auckland; among the other acts is Ramai Te Miha, actor and filmmaker (aka Ramai Hayward). 
Photo credit: Auckland Star, 1 June 1940
Lou Paul performs at the Auckland Town Hall with his Māori Party.
Photo credit: NZ Herald, 1 February 1938
Lou Paul, a 1940 caricature. 
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection
Lou Paul of 1ZB, photographed for the Radio Record, 1938.
Photo credit: RNZ Infofind
Tributes to Lou Paul in the NZ Herald, 7 December 1944, a year after his death. 
The Northern Advocate announces Lou Paul's death, two weeks earlier in Italy, 23 December 1943.