Mike Perjanik Profile

Andrew Schmidt
21 May 2013

New Zealand and Australian music fans will know Mike Perjanik’s music, whether they have heard of the man behind it or not. The musician, record producer, composer, arranger and bandleader has been a constant presence in New Zealand music and broadcasting since he left Dargaville in 1963.

In Auckland, he joined The Embers on keyboards and then formed the Mike Perjanik Group, the in-demand studio band who backed touring stars and local musicians, including The Chicks (whom he named), Dinah Lee and Ray Columbus. It was Perjanik that discovered the young Maria Dallas and arranged for Viking Records’ Ron Dalton to sign her.

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The Flying Circus' 1970 Doug Rowe penned single Turn Away, produced, as were most of the band's Australian recordings, by Mike Perjanik
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APRA Chairman Mike Perjanik at the the 2011 Australian APRA Awards
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Maria Dallas - Tumblin' Down
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The Chicks' first record, as arranged by Mike Perjanik
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The Mike Perjanik Group on the ABC's Naked Vicar TV show, 1977
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The Mike Perjanik Group at Sydney's Latin Quarter in 1967. On stage with the group is Allison Durbin and Tommy Adderley. Mike Perjanik produced both artists during his long career.
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Mike Perjanik Group
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Mike Perjanik 1965
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Dinah Lee - He Can't Do The Blue Beat
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My Elusive Dreams, the 1969 New Zealand gold single recorded in Sydney with producer Mike Perjanik
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Doug Jerebine picking the strings in Dargaville as a teenager in The Spotlites with Mike Perjanik on piano
Photo credit: Annabelle Tunnicliffe archives
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