These two clips provide a handy introduction to a Kiwi musical classic. The first clip sees John Rowles showing how he can hold the long notes, as he performs 'Cheryl Moana Marie' on a self-titled live special from 1976, made for state television. In the second clip — an excerpt from 2008 Buto Productions documentary The Secret Life of John Rowles — the singer recalls coming up with the chart-topping 1969 ballad, an array of Kiwi musicians provide their own take on it, and Rowles' sister talks about the ups and the downs of finding fame as a child, through someone else's song.
This episode of TVNZ’s Avalon studio-filmed "mainly country" music show opens with The Toner Sisters, ‘Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain’. Introduced by host Andy Anderson as “the big D on the big P, with the big ballad”, Dalvanius bangs out ‘Just Out of Reach’ on the piano. Sharon de Bont covers ‘When Will I Be Loved’. Anderson kids around with Rob Winch and John Grenell, before Grenell gets wistful on ‘Past Like a Mask’. The Ranchsliders get things moving with Paul Simon's ‘Gone at Last’. Then Anderson leads the team for Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Sweet And Shiny Eyes’.
Probably Graham Brazier's best-known track as a solo artist, 'Billy Bold' didn’t garner much radio play when released in 1981, but would go on to become a staple of Hello Sailor live sets. First appearing on Graham Brazier’s debut solo album Inside Out, the ballad is based on the infamous 1981 riots in Toxteth, Liverpool. The song came to Brazier in a dream; he was drawn to the topic because his working class father came from Liverpool.
Born Kaleena McNabb in Rotorua, K'Lee shot to fame as a 16 year old with her 2001 cover of 1980s Mr Mister ballad 'Broken Wings'. It reached number two in the local charts, and was followed by another three hit singles from the album K'Lee. She was the first female NZ artist to achieve four Top 20 singles off a debut album. K'Lee spent seven years in the US, where she toured with major stars including Coolio and Missy Elliott. K'Lee then returned downunder and joined the announcing team at Mai FM. Her single 'Tables Have Turned' was released in 2012.
Singer/songwriter Sharon O'Neill began singing folk songs in her native Nelson. After singing cover versions on music show Ready to Roll, she began winning attention for her ballads and pop songs. Her singles 'Asian Paradise', 'Maybe' and 'Maxine' were are all included in APRA's list of Top New Zealand Songs. O'Neill also composed the score for classic 1981 Bruno Lawrence drama Smash Palace. With a blonde-shag hairdo and trademark shark tooth earring, she became an Australasian sex symbol, and an early example of 1980s girl power; years later, her look would influence Outrageous Fortune's Cheryl West.
K'Lee was just 17 when this song took the New Zealand charts by storm, peaking at Number two. Her self-titled album produced another three hits for the Rotorua-born teenager. She was the first female NZ artist to achieve four top 20 singles off a debut album. The song is a cover of a 1980s ballad by UK band Mr Mister. The video, directed by Greg Riwai, features multiple K'Lees in the same scene, while singing in sync. Further sharply rendered visual effects work sees doves flying out of torn-up photographs.
This is the final episode in the first series of New Zealand's classic 60s pop show. Host Peter Sinclair seems to have no idea that the show will return for another two years. Meanwhile Mr Lee Grant, Sandy Edmonds, Herma Keil, Bobby Davis, Tommy Adderley, a rocking Ray Woolf and the Chicks run through the big hits of 1967, managing to compress 21 songs into a frenetic half hour. Sinclair promises "big sounds, fun sounds, wild sounds" as the show ranges from blues-rock through ballads and 'Edelweiss', to a nod to the children watching with 'Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead'.
Hamilton hard rockers Knightshade emerged in the 1980s with sweaty, riff-heavy anthems like ‘Out for the Count’, ‘Sheila at the Wheel’ and 'The Physical You'. Led by Wayne Elliott, they spawned two EPs and a 1987 live album, and supported acts from Jimmy Barnes to Guns N’ Roses. They left Glyn Tucker Jnr's Reaction Records for Mushroom Australia, but directives from Mushroom to record ballads soured the deal. A (self-titled) studio album was released in 1995 on Hark Records, before touring pressures saw them disband. Knightshade reunited in 2011 and 2014. Elliott died in 2018 after a battle with cancer.
In 1979 Jon Stevens arrived from nowhere (actually Upper Hutt) to score the first of two consecutive number one singles: 'Jezebel' and 'Montego Bay'. Keen to develop a roster of local acts, Stevens' label CBS paired him with their first local signing, singer/songwriter Sharon O'Neill. The result was ballad 'Don't Let Love Go'. Stevens and O'Neill were both soon living in Australia, where Stevens formed rockers Noiseworks, and O'Neill got into extended contractual battles with the Australian arm of CBS.
“When I kiss your lips I don’t feel alone no more…”. Vince Harder’s tribute to that very special person marked the second single on the X Factor finalist's 2011 album The Space Between. The R&B ballad features Harder's Illegal Musik labelmate, rapper K. One. Prolific promo director Ivan Slavov (Katchafire, P Money, Deep Obsession) directs the romance (loving looks, fireside kissess). The object of Vince’s affection is played by Shushila Takao (Filthy Rich, Rarotongan-set BBC series Tatau).