Sharon O'Neill Profile

Murray Cammick
28 May 2013

Sharon O’Neill created songs that our country’s baby boomer generation will never forget but the singer disappeared from view after her 1983 hit ‘Maxine’. She loved working with CBS Records in New Zealand, but went to war with CBS Australia and her career was derailed.

After the four year legal dispute with CBS, O’Neill tried to rebuild her career with two albums for Polydor. But when I met her in an Auckland hotel lounge on a promo trip to Auckland, she was adamant that I hide the magazine with her name on it. The singer who sought fame in the late 70s seemed to value her anonymity a decade later.

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Sharon O'Neill as a presenter at the 1984 NZ Music Awards
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The 1980 Sharon O'Neill touring band with Dave Dobbyn. L to R: Sharon, Brent Thomas, Steve Garden, Dave, Clint Brown
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Sharon O'Neill in the NZBC June, 1973, media release for that year's Studio One show 
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Sharon O'Neill at CBS Records, Falcon Street, Parnell, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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An outtake from a 1970s CBS publicity shoot
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill signs her record deal: CBS boss John McCready, Sharon O'Neill, CBS staff Robyn Williams and Gaynor Crawford
Photo credit: John McCready Collection
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An outtake from a 1970s CBS publicity shoot. This was used for RipItUp magazine.
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill - This Heart, This Song (CBS, 1979)
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Mark Williams and Sharon O'Neill in the late 1970s
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill's band, year unknown
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Ian Morris and Sharon O'Neill backstage at a When The Cat's Away gig on Waiheke in summer 2001/2002, with Ian and Kim Willoughby's kids
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
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Gold records in 1979: Sharon O'Neill, CBS boss John McCready, Jon Stevens, CBS staffer Gaynor Crawford
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Words
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Asian Paradise
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Maxine
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Shazam! in Sydney - Phillip Schofield interviews Sharon O'Neill (1983)
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Sharon O'Neill circa 1978
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Sharon O'Neill's Australian cover for the single Danger, 1983
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Sharon O'Neill, Merivale, Christchurch 1973
Photo credit: Photo by Kevin Hill
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Sharon O'Neill - Foreign Affairs (CBS, 1983)
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Sharon O'Neill - Luck's On Your Table (1978)
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Sharon O'Neill - 'Maxine' (CBS, 1983)
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Radio With Pictures - My Kind of Town - 1981 documentary directed by Simon Morris, featuring interviews with Sharon O’Neill, Barry Saunders and Nick Theobald during their time as the Tigers, producer Peter Dawkins, Dragon’s Marc Hunter, Kevin Stanton of Mi-Sex, and Dave McArtney.
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Jon Stevens and Sharon O'Neill - Don't Let Love Go (1980)
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Sharon O'Neill, 1979 - photo by Murray Cammick
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill's APRA Silver Scroll press release
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
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An outtake from a 1970s CBS publicity shoot
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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An outtake from a 1970s CBS publicity shoot
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Sharon O'Neill as part of the 1970 Mobil Song Quest group finalists from Nelson. Sharon O'Neill (middle, front) and Nancy Richman, and accompanists Tony Hale (guitar) and Elston Blain (bass).
Photo credit: Nelson Photo News
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'For All The Tea in China', 1981 Australian cover
Photo credit: Rone Kane Collection
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Sharon O'Neill was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2017. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.
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Trivia:

O’Neill and her partner Alan Mansfield have written songs together for Dragon and the late Robert Palmer.

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Labels:

CBS


Ode


Polydor