Wahanui Wynyard Profile

Simon Grigg
13 Feb 2018

New Zealand vinyl singles from the 1960s and 1970s are increasingly sought-after internationally, with many selling for over $1000 to global collectors. In a recent listing of these, the top three – from Auckland garage bands The Bluestars, The Smoke and The Principals – have one thing in common: Wahanui Wynyard is credited as engineer or producer.

Few names from the era are held in such regard by collectors and yet the man himself remains largely unknown to a wider public and, given his reputation, extremely unassuming and self-effacing.

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Wahanui Wynyard at Alberts in the late 1970s
Photo credit: Wahanui Wynyard collection
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The Music Convention's 'Children Of The Sun', recorded by Wahanui Wynyard at Astor
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Wahanui Wynyard and Mike Perjanik recording music for Home & Away at Alberts, Neutral Bay, Sydney. Behind Mike is bassist Phil Scorgie.
Photo credit: Wahanui Wynyard collection
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Wahanui Wynyard recording at Alberts, Neutral Bay, Sydney, late 1980s
Photo credit: Wahanui Wynyard collection
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'Social End Product', The Bluestars' 1966 single on Allied International, has become a hugely collectable garage classic over the years and has appeared on over 20 compilations including the famed Nuggets
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The Rebels album Madrigal, recorded by Wahanui Wynyard in two days
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Wahanui Wynyard's Ampex Golden Reel Award for Hooked On Swing
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The Johnny Rocco Band's 'We're Gonna Have a Good Time' featured Leo de Castro on vocals and was recorded by Wahanui Wynyard in 1975 in Sydney. The album it was taken from was globally released.
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Wahanui Wynyard with Peter Wall at Alberts in the late 1970s
Photo credit: Wahanui Wynyard collection
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The Bluestars' classic 'Social End Product', recorded at Astor by Wahanui Wynyard in September 1966
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Wahanui Wynyard recording at Alberts, Neutral Bay, Sydney, in the late 1980s
Photo credit: Wahanui Wynyard collection
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Wahanui Wynyard's Ampex Golden Reel Award for the soundtrack to the movie Breaker Morant
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The Smoke's Hendrix influenced 'Control Your Love', recorded by Wahanui Wynyard in 1968 at Astor
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'I Can Take It' by The Blue Stars, recorded by Wahanui Wynyard at Astor in 1965 and released by Decca in the UK and New Zealand
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Wahanui Wynyard recorded a string of singles for Ray Woolf & The Avengers at Astor, some of which have seen recent reissue on collectors' vinyl
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The High Revving Tongues' debut single '(The Psychedelic) Illusion', recorded by Wahanui Wynyard at Astor Studios
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Children of the Sun, featuring music by The Music Convention
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Labels:

Pye


RCA


Impact


Allied International

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Trivia:

Wahanui translates to 'big mouth', and the name came from his grandfather, who was given it because he was a great orator. The late Canon Wi Huata, from Ngāti Kahungunu, told Wahanui that "whilst you are not a great orator you are a maker of great sound."