Old New Zealand


Pop Music

The first pop song wholly produced in New Zealand was Blue Smoke, a Ruru Karaitiana composition, performed by one Pikiteora Maude Emily Gertrude Edith Williams, better known as Pixie Williams.

Johnny Devlin, "New Zealand's answer to Elvis Presley" had a number one hit in 1958 with a cover of Lloyd Price's Lawdy Miss Clawdy.

Successful acts of the 1960's include The La De Das, Ray Columbus and the Invaders, Max Merritt and the Meteors and The Fourmyula, while in the '70s and '80s N.Z.'s runaway pop success was undeniably the group Split Enz. Other successful acts around this time were Hello Sailor and Dragon. Later came Th' Dudes which launched the songwriting career of one Dave Dobbyn who would emerge as one of the country's most successful songwriters, and The Swingers, featuring former Split Enz front man, Phil Judd.

In 1981 record store manager Roger Shepherd founded Flying Nun Records promoting the music of Christchurch though it soon became a major portal for bands further south in Dunedin and the so called (much debated) "Dunedin Sound". The first release on Flying Nun was The Pin Group with the 7" Ambivalence but it was The Clean achieving chart success with Tally Ho! and the EP Boodle, Boodle, Boodle that really put the label on the map.