In the first episode of this Kiwi rock’n’roll chronicle, New Zealand is woken from its post-war suburban slumber by the revolutionary new music coming from the USA. The thrill of discovery leads to the rise of a youth culture, and record labels, promoters and musos quickly jump on board. Unlikely rocker Johnny Cooper provides a tentative start but fans soon have their own stars in Johnny Devlin, Max Merritt, Ray Columbus and Dinah Lee (with her 'mod' look). A failed Napier film mogul provides magical 1950s footage. Two decades later, Merritt has the final say with his timeless 1975 hit 'Slippin’ Away'. Read more on the show here.
Ten shirts ripped to pieces by excited fans ... the first shirt went in Christchurch, and from then on in the South Island, the losses have been regular.– Newspaper article on one of singer Johnny Devlin's first tours
Visionary Film & TV
Clearances for online viewing made possible with funding from the NZ Lottery Grants Board and NZ On Air
Original programme made with funding from NZ On Air
NZ History section on The Beatles touring New Zealand in 1964