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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Mike Perjanik covering The Temptations for EMI Australia in 1967
Dinah Lee - He Can't Do The Blue Beat
Mike Perjanik awards James Reid the award for Most Performed Work in New Zealand for 'Venus'
Mike Perjanik 1965
A music trio playing at the Shiralee Nightclub in 1962 - Clive Kavannagh (drums), Mike Perjanik (piano), and Mike Couples (double bass).
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries, Rykenberg Collection, 1269-E169-18
APRA Chairman Mike Perjanik and his wife Vicki, 1992 Silver Scroll
My Elusive Dreams, the 1969 New Zealand gold single recorded in Sydney with producer Mike Perjanik
The Chicks' first record, as arranged by Mike Perjanik
Maria Dallas - Tumblin' Down
APRA Chairman Mike Perjanik at the the 2011 Australian APRA Awards
Mike Perjanik Group
Doug Jerebine picking the strings in Dargaville as a teenager in The Spotlites with Mike Perjanik on piano
Photo credit: Annabelle Tunnicliffe archives
The Mike Perjanik Group on the ABC's Naked Vicar TV show, 1977
The Flying Circus' 1970 Doug Rowe penned single Turn Away, produced, as were most of the band's Australian recordings, by Mike Perjanik
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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