Although The Tumbleweeds toured beyond Otago only occasionally, they provided many New Zealanders with their first exposure to country music. Almost 40 years into the band's career, Stephen Latty (Opera in the Outback) got some of their songs and memories down for this half-hour film. The band describe influences, costumes, and their own mid-tour double wedding. Country music expert Garth Gibson praises the "quite famous harmony sound" of sisters Myra and Nola Hewitt. Then The Tumbleweeds hit the road for Gore's Gold Guitar Awards, to perform 'Maple on the Hill'.
Occasional Heartland host Maggie Barry visits the Southland town of Gore, where she checks out horse-shoeing with the New Zealand Farriers Association, visits the local freezing works, and attends the legendary Gold Guitar country music awards (with performers including Suzanne Prentice). Not such a controversial visit to Gore by a TV crew as the one some years later by Havoc and Newsboy's Sell-Out Tour.
The NZ Music Awards ceremony now fills Auckland’s Vector Arena and is a major social and music industry event. In 1978 the awards were broadcast in this 16 September Ready to Roll special, cobbling together finalists at Avalon Studios. Stu (Nice One) Dennison is the host (in brown overalls); and there are performances from John Rowles, newcomer Sharon O’Neill, the Rodger Fox Big Band, Hello Sailor, Toni Williams and Golden Harvest (who feature teeth-picking lead guitar in best Hendrix style). Just two awards are covered here: for single and album of the year.
The daughter of an ex All Black, Brooke Fraser skipped the playing field for piano lessons at seven, began crafting her songwriting skills at 12 and was learning acoustic guitar at 15. In 2003 her debut album What to Do with Daylight topped the NZ charts and went gold. It was followed by Albertine (2006), which provided a global launch pad. Third album Flags (lead by single ‘Something in the Water’) achieved global success, and reached number three in Australia. Brutal Romantic followed in 2014. In 2018, under married name Brooke Ligertwood, she shared a Grammy Award for christian song 'What a Beautiful Name'.
Andrew Brough was the McCartney to Shayne Carter's Lennon when Straitjacket Fits led the southern charge during Flying Nun's late 80s golden age (notably on single 'Down in Splendour'). After leaving the Fits, Brough rolled back into the spotlight in 1995 with Bike. 'Save My Life', from their debut EP, was a songwriting finalist at the 1996 Silver Scrolls, and Bike were nominated as most promising new band at the NZ Music Awards. Album Take In The Sun affirmed Brough's status as an eminent crafter of yearning, liquid guitar pop.
Ray Columbus, OBE, began hosting television shows at the tender age of 19. After Columbus and the Invaders topped Australasian charts with 1964 single 'She's a Mod', Columbus spent time as a musician in America. The song was covered multiple times. He later returned to Aotearoa to resume a long career as recording artist, TV presenter and talent manager. Columbus passed away in late November 2016.
Kevin Smith was the multi-talented actor who appeared in a host of television shows, starting with eighties soap Gloss. He also starred in three tele-movies as maverick private investigator John Lawless. His feature films include period melodrama Desperate Remedies, and offbeat drama Channelling Baby.
Clive Cockburn has composed music for a host of Kiwi television shows, and the occasional movie. Since devoting himself to soundtrack work in the early 80s, Cockburn has provided sounds for iconic programmes from Wild South and Country Calendar, to the theme for the TV One news.