One of New Zealand's hardest working musicians, Sonny Day (John Hone Wikaira) was born in Rawene in 1942 and grew up in the Hokianga settlement of Motukaraka. He moved to Auckland as a 5-year-old and played in bands from an early age. His first major exposure was in the Sundowners, who played at Sydney's Jive Centre rock'n'roll club from 1962 to 1964. After a stint in the Māori Kavaliers (touring the Pacific and France), he became increasingly recognised as a soul and blues musician. He had his biggest hit in 1985 with the single 'Savin' Up'. Sonny Day died on 9 August 2007.
Sonny Day was a working musician from the late 50s to the early 90s, but recorded infrequently. 'Savin' Up', his first solo single, was a soulful cover of a song Bruce Springsteen gifted to his sax player Clarence Clemons — and an appropriate counterpoint to the glitz of 80s materialism. The video, shot in Auckland's Vulcan Lane plus the legendary Birdcage bar, has Sonny in his element, while performing with a band that includes Neil Edwards (ex-Underdogs), Tama Renata (ex-Herbs) and backing vocalists Annie Crummer, Beaver and Josie Rika.