John Hanlon

John Hanlon was the first and most successful of NZ’s singer-songwriters, a chart perennial from 1973 to 1976 with early eco-conscious songs like ‘Damn The Dam’ and his biggest smash, ‘Lovely Lady’.

Feeling trapped by the repetition of reeling out his hits again and again, Hanlon knocked it all on the head in 1978. He moved to Sydney and returned to his original career, as a Mad Men-style advertising guru. Practically invisible on the NZ scene for the past three decades, he returned in 2013 with a compilation of hits and the unheard.

Think, John Hanlon and Malcolm McCallum at Albert Park, October 1976
The original 'Damn The Dam' campaign for AHI
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
John Hanlon composing in 1974
John Hanlon and Mike Harvey recording Higher Trails in 1974 with engineer Phil Yule, at Stebbing Studios
Photo credit: Photo by Earl Buck
A ticket for the 1975 Students Arts Council mini-tour of Auckland
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
John hits back at the critics - Hot Licks, February 1975
John Hanlon at the 1976 APRA Silver Scrolls with his then partner and Tim Murdoch. Murdoch signed Hanlon to the boutique Family label in 1973, part of the Pye Records group then headed by Murdoch. By the time this photo was taken Tim Murdoch had moved to WEA New Zealand as Managing Director. John Hanlon recorded one single for WEA, Twenty Six Years, in 1976.
Hanlon's debut album from 1973, recorded for the boutique Family label, a subsidiary of Pye Records, then headed by Tim Murdoch. Featuring all original songs by Hanlon, the album was produced by Mike Harvey.
From 1975, John Hanlon's biggest selling album featuring the No.1 hit Lovely Lady. Hanlon enlisted the help of artist Paul Hartigan in the design of the artwork for the fold-out cover, which was realised by Toby Ling with photography by Phillip Peacocke. The album was produced by Mike Harvey and engineered by Phil Yule, for which he received the Engineer Of The Year Award.
John Hanlon - Lovely Lady
John Hanlon
Auckland Star, May 17, 1976
The back of the Damn The Dam single sleeve noting that all profits were to go to charity
The 1974 APRA Silver Scroll award
Short Stories, from 1988, John Hanlon's sole album for RCA Records
John Hanlon with the 1975 APRA Silver Scroll for Windsongs
Garden Fresh, Hanlon's 1974 Family label album that featured his breakthrough hit 'Damn The Dam'. Hanlon himself designed the cover with photography by Phillip Peacocke and artwork by Lawrie Kidd.
From Hot Licks, May 1976 - Going straight to his fanbase: John playing private parties at $1 a head
The original Phil Warren scoresheet for New Faces, 1974
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
John Hanlon with the 1974 APRA Silver Scroll for Lovely Lady. With him is APRA's Patricia Bell.
John Hanlon on The Beat Goes On
John Hanlon
John Hanlon - I Care campaign
1975 flyer for the Students' Arts Council mini-tour of Auckland tertiary institutes
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
John Hanlon's Higher Trails in the promo for the 1977 movie Off The Edge
The original picture sleeve for the Damn The Dam 7-inch single, designed by John Hanlon
Mike Harvey and John Hanlon, 1970s
Photo credit: Michael Harvey Collection
John Hanlon with his producer Mike Harvey and their partners Vicki Hanlon and Jill Harvey at the 1976 APRA Silver Scroll.
Use Your Eyes, John Hanlon's fourth and final album for Family records, produced by Mike Harvey and originally released in 1975

When Hanlon won an APRA Silver Scroll for his epic track ‘Wind Songs’ in 1975, Max Cryer got behind him in a massive stoush with television. “Max decided they were shits because they wouldn’t put me on (to sing my own song). Everyone had to sing covers to be on TV in those days, and I wouldn’t go on and murder somebody else’s song.”







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