Sonny Day Profile

aka Hone Wikaira
John Dix
10 Oct 2013

For a man who recorded so little over his 46-year career, singer Sonny Day sure did reach a lot of people.

In August 2008, 12 months after his death, over 1,000 people attended a memorial concert at Newmarket’s Broadway Pub. Such was the demand to perform, two stages were required; singers and musicians flew in from all over the country, from Australia and Tahiti.

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Dave Henry, Yuk Harrison, Joy Yates, Sonny Day, taken at the Shiralee, 1963
Photo credit: Yuk Harrison Collection
The Sundowners at The Jive Centre. L to R: Teddy Toi, Bob Wynyard, Trix Willoughby, Sonny Day, Lloyd Tangaio, Max Purdy
Saving Up
Sonny Day in the C'mon tour programme
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Summer 1984-1985 Good Times Band tour, led by Sonny Day
Photo credit: Mike Corless Collection
Interview and Saving Up, live at Mainstreet, 1984
Sonny Day sings 'Funny How Time Slips Away' on 1987 TV show Dixie Chicken.
A cover of Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode', 1964
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
Sonny Day with Lorayne Tennet, 1964
Photo credit: Lorayne Tennet Collection
Scruff (left) and Yuk Harrison at Sonny Day's tangi, 2007. 
Photo credit: Bryan Staff
The Sundowners at the Jive Centre, Hobson St, Auckland, early 1960s (L-R): Lloyd Tangaio, Teddy Toi, Bob Wynyard, Sonny Day, Lionel Kennedy, Max Purdie.
Photo credit: Lorayne Tennet Collection
Sonny Day in 1966
Billy TK and Sonny Day, 1975
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Betty Lou's Getting Out - All-Stars Play The Blues, live at Mainstreet, 1984 (with Wilko Johnson)
Sonny Day at The Jive Centre in Hobson Street, Auckland
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Sonny Day
Photo credit: Lorayne Tennet Collection
Midge Marsden and Sonny Day
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
The Sundowners in Gisborne, 1962
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Sonny Day, 1962
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Sonny Day at the Performance Cafe, Auckland, 12 June, 1987
Photo credit: Photo by Graham Hooper. Grant Gillanders Collection
Sonny with Lorayne Tennet, 1964. Lorayne would later be an Auckland record retailer of some note.
Photo credit: Lorayne Tennet Collection
The Sundowners, Mt. Maunganui, 1964
Photo credit: Bobi Petch Collection
Sonny Day, 1985
Photo credit: Photo by William West




Marlon Brando was a fan and friend of Sonny Day’s – they both lived in Tahiti during the same period.

Supergroove were originally called The Lowdown Dirty Blues Band. They took their name from a Sonny Day poster – “Sonny Day Plays Lowdown Dirty Blues”.