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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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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The Chicks' first record, as arranged by Mike Perjanik
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Mike Perjanik Group
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Maria Dallas - Tumblin' Down
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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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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
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Mike Perjanik covering The Temptations for EMI Australia in 1967
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My Elusive Dreams, the 1969 New Zealand gold single recorded in Sydney with producer Mike Perjanik
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APRA Chairman Mike Perjanik at the the 2011 Australian APRA Awards
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APRA Chairman Mike Perjanik and his wife Vicki, 1992 Silver Scroll
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Mike Perjanik 1965
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Mike Perjanik awards James Reid the award for Most Performed Work in New Zealand for 'Venus'
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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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The Mike Perjanik Group on the ABC's Naked Vicar TV show, 1977
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Dinah Lee - He Can't Do The Blue Beat
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