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 1976 concert sees Kiwi entertainment great John Rowles bring his cabaret show to His Majesty's Theatre in Auckland. Back from a hotel residency in Hawaii, Rowles belts out the ballads in his booming baritone. Tanned, in pastel blue flares, wide lapels, and plenty of bling, Rowles (here nearly 30) croons about wahine from Mandy to Sweet Caroline, to his iconic "island sweetheart" Cheryl Moana Marie. Memorable moments include tributes to Norman Kirk and singer Inia Te Wiata, a haka with Dave from Palmerston North, and a rousing finish with 'Mr Bojangles'.
By 1978 UK chart success and an extended club residence in Hawaii were behind John Rowles; he was broke and looking for a hit. His earlier smash 'Cheryl Moana Marie' had been named after two of his sisters. For his comeback Rowles reprised the gesture, penning a song to sister Tania. The single topped the New Zealand charts for four weeks. This clip sees him donning a green suit to mime 'Tania' for local music show Ready to Roll. His 1978 album This is My Life did well on both sides of the Tasman, priming a 20 year stint in Australia performing on the Leagues club circuit.
A wandering fortune teller parks her house truck in Hokitika on a mission to find the daughter she gave up for adoption. This is Magik. One of her first clients, a young happily married chemist's assistant, is seeking a solution to her infertility. This is Rose. Magik, too, is resolved to have another child, but without having to keep the father around. They embark on a joint odyssey for love, sex and pregnancy in writer/director Vanessa Alexander’s feature debut (made when she was 28). David Stratton in Variety praised the film’s "disarmingly sweet treatment".
Elam graduate Paul Swadel showed his eye for the artistic and the eyecatching both in his own award-winning work as a director — short films, arts programmes (Colin McCahon: I Am), commercials — and as producer: through collaborations with animator James Cunningham and on digi-feature incubator Headstrong. Swadel died in March 2016.
Comedian, actor and singer Pio Terei, MNZM has shown his talents across a host of TV shows — from comedy (Pio!, Pete and Pio! , The Life and Times of Te Tutu ) and variety (Big Night In), to fishing (the long-running Tangaroa with Pio) and food shows (Pete and Pio's Kai Safari). Twice judged best comedy performer at the NZ Film Awards, Pio has also acted in Toa Fraser drama No. 2, and written and acted for anthology series Mataku. In 2009, he took over presenting duties on iconic quiz show It's in the Bag. Later he set off through Aotearoa on foot, for two seasons of Māori TV series Te Araroa: Tales from the Trails.
His name was synonymous with entertainment in New Zealand. Dubbed Ol' Brown Eyes — Māoridom's version of Frank Sinatra — Howard Morrison's voice and charisma carried him through decades of success both here and abroad. From the Howard Morrison Quartet to time as a solo performer, Morrison's take on songs like 'How Great Thou Art' ensured his waiata an enduring place at the top of local playlists.
The multitalented Hinewehi Mohi, MNZM, is arguably best known for a single moment from her musical career — singing the national anthem in te reo at a 1999 rugby game. After getting a Bachelor of Arts at Waikato University in 1985, Mohi jumped into reporting for primetime Māori slot Koha. In 2004 she set up Raukatauri Productions, and launched long-running waiata programme Moteatea. It was nominated for two screen awards. Her TV work also includes producing Marae DIY and Matariki Awards coverage, and directing a documentary on Merata Mita. In 2016 Women in Film and Televison named her Te Reo Māori Champion.