Directed by Tainui Stephens, this 1990 TVNZ series surveyed Māori contemporary music. This second episode looks at the showband era (1950s - 70s), when musicians mixed genres (electric guitar, rock’n’roll) with Māori culture, to make a unique contribution to Kiwi show business. Acts like The Howard Morrison Quartet, The Māori Volcanics, The Quin Tikis and The Māori Hi-Fives took songs from marae to international cabarets. Music historian Chris Bourke praised the series for marking the role of showbands in the whakapapa of entertainers from Billy T James to Rim D Paul.
Such was the success of their stylish combination of musical talent and humour, that foreign promotors would routinely sign up Māori showbands without even auditioning them; simply that they were Māori was a good enough guarantee of popularity. And one of the first and most famous was the Māori Hi-Five.– Narrator Elle Hughes