The Chicks Profile

Chris Caddick
23 Nov 2017

Instantly recognisable with their matching outfits, trendy haircuts and up-tempo, harmony-rich pop singles, sisters Judy and Sue Donaldson rose to become some of New Zealand’s biggest stars as The Chicks.

For a whirlwind five-year period from 1965 they were seldom off our TV screens or radio airwaves. They played countless gigs and toured relentlessly with other New Zealand stars and international artists, including Sandie Shaw, PJ Proby and, incredibly, The Pretty Things. 

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The Chicks at The Top Hat, backed by Johnny and the Contacts, 23 October, 1965
The Chicks kicking up heels with Jim McNaught and Ken Cooper, Wellington, mid-1960s
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
Prince Charles meets The Chicks, Super Pop '70, 25 March 1970.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks' first record, as arranged by Mike Perjanik
Suzanne (left) and Judy Donaldson (right) with Ray Columbus (centre) and friends. Back row, L to R: Shane Hales, Kevin McNeil, Ray Woolf, Shade Smith.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks with the Topp Twins, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum, 2016. Left to Right: Judy Hindman, Jools Topp, Suzanne Lynch, Lynda Topp.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Festival Records advertisement for C'mon performers The Chicks, Tommy Ferguson, and Shane.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Suzanne and Judy Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks and Shane appear at Lynnmall, New Lynn, Auckland. Western Leader, March 19, 1970.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Suzanne and Judy with their famous Chicks outfits in late 2016, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum 2016-2017.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Suzanne and Judy Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
NZ Woman's Weekly retrospective story and update on the lives of The Chicks.
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
Judy Donaldson on stage at Fisherman's Wharf, Auckland, backed by Roger Williams on Hammond organ, Bruce King on drums, and Kevin Haines on bass.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
Judy Donaldson
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Viking Records talent card for The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Fullers Entertainment publicity card for Suzanne.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Suzanne and Judy with their famous Chicks outfits in late 2016, Volume Exhibition, Auckland Museum 2016-2017.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks' 1966 album produced by Ron Dalton and engineered by Frank Douglas. Cover photograph by Hubert Sieben.
Murray Grindlay and Suzanne Donaldson of The Chicks, on a C'mon tour.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy and Ross's wedding day - outside St Matthew's church.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Ravens, with vocalists Judy (front left) and Suzanne (front right) Donaldson. Ravens members included Tony de Jong (guitar), Alan Newlove (bass), Gary Berryman (guitar), Evan "Butch" Berryman (drums). Ron Riddell, brother of Space Waltz's Alastair Riddell, also played drums.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Donaldson family, with young Judy (left) and Suzanne (right).
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Donaldson family, pictured at Judy's wedding.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
C'mon - the final episode from season one, 1967, featuring The Chicks
The Chicks at the Top Hat, Napier
Photo credit: Gordon Wong collection
Judy and Suzanne Donaldson – The Chicks
The Chicks were discovered by Viking's Ron Dalton while singing for Peter Posa. They would provide Viking with a string of hits.
C'mon '68 tour, Napier Soundshell.
Photo credit: John Pilcher
Suzanne's wedding to Bruce Lynch.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy and Suzanne with their father John Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Fullers Entertainment publicity card for Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Ravens, with vocalists Suzanne (front left) and Judy (front right) Donaldson. Ravens members included Tony de Jong (guitar), Alan Newlove (bass), Gary Berryman (guitar), Evan "Butch" Berryman (drums). Ron Riddell, brother of Space Waltz's Alastair Riddell, also played drums.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks' fourth and final album, with cover photography by a young Roger Donaldson.
Viking Records - early publicity photo of The Chicks
The Chicks, endorsing tea for the New Zealand Tea Council, late 1960s.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Story on Sue Donaldson's road "jinx" from NZ Truth, 23 April 1968.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - The Hucklebuck (Swingin' Safari, 1965, filmed by Bruce King)
To the Gisborne Photo News in September 1965, the teenage Chicks (and Sandie Shaw) were the acceptable entertainment in a bill that included the notorious Pretty Things. 
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Former Chicks Suzanne Lynch and Judy Hindman enjoying family life with hubbies Bruce Lynch and Ross Hindman.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy Donaldson
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks' Suzanne Donaldson with Ken Cooper. To the left is Jim McNaught.
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Superpop '70, a concert held at Western Springs, Auckland, featured local performers including The Chicks and Bunny Walters. Produced by Max Cryer, the event was broadcast live and attended by Prince Charles and Princess Anne, who were visiting New Zealand with their parents.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson - onstage.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks on the set on C'mon.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks onstage at Napier Soundshell, summer 1967-68, during one of several non-official tours that cashed in on the success of C'mon
Photo credit: John Pilcher
The Chicks' award to acknowledge achievement and excellence in the Performing Arts at Waitakere Primary School.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Suzanne Donaldson in Napier, C'mon '68 tour.
Photo credit: John Pilcher
Hegan Entertainments publicity photo of Suzanne.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
C'mon finale, 1968.
C'mon '68 tour, Napier Soundshell.
Photo credit: John Pilcher
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
On the set of C'mon, with Shane, Suzanne Donaldson (The Chicks), Ray Columbus, Judy Donaldson (The Chicks), Tommy Ferguson, and Ray Woolf.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Manager Ray Columbus signs The Chicks to Polydor in 1968. On the right is Polydor A&R manager Robin Robinson. Ray managed several artists very successfully in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of Phil Warren's Fullers organisation. 
The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks, C'mon '68 tour, Napier.
Photo credit: John Pilcher
While visiting Gisborne in September 1966, with Benny Levin's Impact Show, the Chicks spent time signing autographs in Christie's record store. The Gisborne Photo News caption reads: "Surrounded by some of their admiring fans are "The Chicks", Sue (left) and Judy. Those who got their autographs are, from left, Lois Mitchell, Linda Ring, Judith Hankey, Dawn Phelps, Lynnette Jackson and Susan Russell."
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
The Ravens, fronted by singers Judy and Suzanne Donaldson, win a talent quest. The sisters went on to national fame as The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
John Donaldson, flanked by Suzanne (left) and Judy (right).
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks
The Chicks in NZ Listener, 1968.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks, Playdate magazine.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks' debut album for Viking from 1965, recorded when Sue was just 14 and Judy 16.
Judy and Ross's wedding day - outside St Matthew's church.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks - Miss You Baby (C'mon, 1969)
NZ's favourite singing sisters, The Chicks, on the cover of NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
The Chicks.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
On the set of C'mon '68: Shane, Suzanne Lynch (The Chicks), Ray Columbus, Judy Donaldson (The Chicks), Tommy Ferguson and Ray Woolf
The famous dresses worn by The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson
The Chicks' third album, produced by Ray Columbus, recorded at Mascot Studios and released in 1968 on the Polydor label. Cover design by Ron Fulstow.
The Chicks - Judy and Suzanne Donaldson.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Chicks feature story, NZ Woman's Weekly, November 25 1968.
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
The Chicks - Timothy (live, 1985)
Suzanne Donaldson
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
Members:

Judy Donaldson - vocals

Suzanne Donaldson - vocals

Labels:

Viking


Polydor


Festival


Impact