Lynne and Celine Toner Profile

aka The Toner Sisters
Glen Moffatt
19 May 2016

One of the more curious records to be issued in New Zealand was by a pair of Glasgow-born country music-singing sisters performing the traditional Māori love song ‘Pokarekare Ana’. Making it even more unique, it’s probably the only local 7” vinyl release to include a photo of the act on the label.

Lynne and Celine Toner already had solo LPs on Music World at the start of the 1980s and several appearances as a duo on TV show That’s Country before releasing their single ‘Crying In The Rain’ on CBS in 1983.

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Celine Toner’s independent release from 2002
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Lynne and Celine Toner in the early 1980s
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A Celine Toner publicity shot from the early 1980s
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Mandrill Studios' Glyn Tucker Jnr congratulates Lynne on her 1982 win in the Country Quest and explains her options. Lynne and Celine Toner would use the prize to record a single.
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Celine Toner recording her debut album at Mandrill Studios, 1981
Photo credit: Pat Mahoney collection
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Celine (left) and Lynne Toner on stage at the Vocation Hotel, 1982. Laurie Dee in the background. 
Photo credit: Pat Mahoney collection
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Music World offers Celine Toner a deal
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Lynne Toner’s Music World album released in 1980
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Lynne & Celine Toner’s single release from 1983
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Napier pub band Abstract, 1983. Clockwise from bottom left: Joe Atkin, Dave Atkin, Richard Nicholson, Pat Mahoney, Celine Toner. 
Photo credit: Pat Mahoney collection
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The Toner family in their Napier home, 1980. Left to right: Adrienne (front), Evelyn, Lynne, Celine, Peter, Richard (front) and Jim.
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Celine Toner on stage with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
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Lynne Toner in the 1990s
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Celine Toner’s Music World album released in 1981
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Music World congratulates Celine Toner on her album and makes a suggestion as to the single, targeting her as a country-rock artist, contrary to her father's suggested single.
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Celine Toner at the Grand Ole Opry, 1984
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Celine Toner at the Grand Ole Opry with George Hamilton IV, 1984
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Lynne Toner with some of her trophies from 1978 and 1979
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Lynne and Celine Toner in the early 1980s
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Labels:

CBS


Music World

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Trivia:

The first country music song Lynne Toner sang in New Zealand was Slim Whitman’s ‘Bandera Waltz’ as a 12-year-old at the Hawke’s Bay Country & Western Music Club in 1974. She performed unaccompanied because her dad didn’t know the chords.

As well as managing his daughters Lynne and Celine in the early parts of their careers, Jim Toner also led his own Napier bands such as Ramrod and The Overtones. At one time he owned an independent musical instruments store and ran an Access Scheme for unemployed Hawke’s Bay musicians. He passed away in 2007.