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Season one

Mockin Bird Hill labelPart one: Canaries and Crooners

Part one looks at the early stars of New Zealand recording: singers such as Pixie Williams, Mavis Rivers, Esme Stephens, Pat McMinn, and vocal groups such as the Knaves and the Stardusters.

Johnny Cooper and his Range RidersPart two: Cowboys and Hawaiians

Once the recording industry was established in 1949, besides novelty pop, the two genres that dominated were both of American origin, but enthusiastically adopted by New Zealand artists and record companies. This episode includes artists Tex Morton and the Tumbleweeds, Rex and Noelene Franklin, and Johnny Granger. The Hawaiian style was hugely popular, featuring the lap steel guitar of Bill Sevesi and the creamy vocals of singers such as Daphne Walker and George Tumahai.

Howard Morrison QuartetPart three: Beneath the Maori Moon

The earliest "pop" recordings were of Maori and throughout the development of New Zealand pop, Maori musicians continued to dominate the industry. This episode includes pioneers such as the Tahiwis and the legendary Campbell brothers Phil, George and Lew. It also touches on the early days of the Maori showband and the biggest act New Zealand had yet seen: the Howard Morrison Quartet.

Mavis LPPart four: Radio and New Zealand Pop

Part four looks at the radio dance bands of the 1940s and 50s, which showcased the country's top jazz players performing swing and standards live to air. Artists featured include Dale Alderton, Esme Stephens, Freddie Gore, Martin Winiata and the doyen of music broadcasters, Arthur "Turntable" Pearce.


Season two

Noel McKay EPPart one: After Hours

Part one looks at early recordings of New Zealand musical comedians, cabaret acts and solo artists. Among the performers featured will be Kahu Pineaha, Lou and Simon, Noel McKay, Bas Tubert and Ash Burton.

NZ Jazz Trio hits from the showsPart two: Sunsets and Sunrises

Part two covers early mainstream pop acts, small jazz combos, and the role played by radio in disseminating New Zealand popular music. It looks at the changes in pop radio, from the conservative approach of ZB in the 1950s to the dawn of pop radio as we understand it now. Archive clips of The Lever Hit Parade will be included.

Keil Isles LPaPart three: Pie Cart Rock'n'Roll

The arrival of rock’n’roll in New Zealand, the reactions of musicians, and the Twist phenomenon. Among the acts featured will be Johnny Cooper, Johnny Devlin, Eddie Howell, Teddy Bennett, the Keil Isles, the Supersonics and Max Merritt and the Meteors.

Manawatu Willam Clauson EPPart four: Kiwi Rhythm Calls

Original songwriting in New Zealand in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in pop, country and folk. Among the writers and performers featured are Sam Freedman, Ken Avery, Jay Epae, Rex Franklin Val Murphy, Willow Macky and Pat Neho.


Season three

Neketini Brass albumPart one: Combos and Comedians

7pm Sunday 4 December 2011

Chris Bourke looks at small jazz groups, musical comedy acts and cabaret.

Rod Derrett Rugby Racing Beer EPPart two: Beat Groups, Bobby Soxers and Bohemians

Part two looks at guitar bands, teenage pop and folkies.

Keil IslesPart three: These Kia Ora Islands

New Zealand original songwriting and cover versions of overseas hits.