Howard Morrison Quartet: Rioting in Wellington/Mori the Hori (1962)

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Howard Morrison Quartet: Rioting in Wellington/Mori the Hori (1962)

Recorded live in concert in 1962, these two tracks by the enormously popular Howard Morrison Quartet show just how little things have changed in New Zealand, and how much they have.

The reference to Aunt Daisy in Rioting in Wellington won't mean much to anyone who wasn't there, but it is a reference to a radio star making the move to television.

Ironically in New Zealand right now many television "stars" and "personalities" are moving over to radio, notably Radio Live, to supplement their obviously meagre incomes.

But the rest is much the same: politicians bad mouthing each other in Parliament, land prices and ownership, problems with public transport (trains, as always), overseas imports and . . . rugby (although Auckland seemed to have a decent team at the time, not like now).

Mori the Hori which follows however shows a very different New Zealand of half a century ago. The word "hori" (Maori) now has pejorative connotation in most circles although the Maori trickster character -- which came to its peak with Billy T James -- has always been a popular one in Aotearoa. Corny humour from a more innocent time perhaps?

But capacity crowds came out to hear those big Italian ballads like Granada, songs in te reo, standards like The White Cliffs of Dover and Deep in the Heart of Texas, and their ever-popular parodies and impressions.

Different music from a different time for a different people?

There is more on the late Sir Howard Morrison here

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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