Events In History
15 December 1995OMC release ‘How Bizarre’
It may have been the mariachi trumpets, the gently rapped lyrics or that ‘making-me-crazy’ chorus, but whatever the cause, ‘How Bizarre’ by the south Auckland group Otara Millionaires Club (OMC) went on to become one of the most successful songs ever recorded in New Zealand. Read more...
2 October 1986'Slice of Heaven' hits no. 1
Written for the movie Footrot Flats: the dog’s tale, based on an iconic New Zealand cartoon series, Dave Dobbyn’s hit single featured reggae band Herbs singing an unaccompanied cappella. It topped the charts for eight weeks. Read more...
7 December 1984Queen Street concert ends in riot
‘Tears, terror at the concert that made history’ was one of the newspaper headlines the day after the Queen St riot of December 1984. Read more...
14 March 1980Split Enz hit no.1
The Kiwi group’s first New Zealand no. 1 hit, from their album True colours, also topped the charts in Australia and Canada. It reached no. 12 in Britain and no. 53 in the United States. Read more...
18 January 1980'Montego Bay' hits number one
Upper Hutt’s Jon Stevens achieved back-to-back no. 1 singles when ‘Montego Bay’ bumped ‘Jezebel’ from the top of the New Zealand charts. Read more...
27 June 1975Mark Williams hits no. 1
'Yesterday was just the beginning of my life' topped the New Zealand music charts for three weeks. Williams successfully combined soul and pop with an image that merged glam rock with disco. Read more...
8 May 1970'Cheryl Moana Marie' hits no. 1
Pop singer John Rowles established himself as an international star in the late 1960s. His hit single ‘Cheryl Moana Marie’ sold a million copies worldwide. Read more...
21 June 1964The Beatles land in New Zealand
Beatlemania hit New Zealand when 7000 hysterical fans greeted the Fab Four in Wellington during their ‘Far East’ tour. After concerts in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, the lads from Liverpool finally touched down in New Zealand. Read more...
18 October 1954New Zealand Opera Group's first opening night
Soon to be renamed the New Zealand Opera Company, the Group performed The telephone in Wellington. The performance was broadcast live on radio. Read more...
6 March 1947New Zealand Symphony Orchestra debuts
Classical music lovers packed Wellington’s Town Hall for the debut performance of New Zealand’s first national orchestra. Read more...
9 February 1900Wanganui Opera House opened
Opened by Premier Richard Seddon, this large wooden building has been one of Whanganui's finest entertainment venues for more than a century Read more...
17 April 1880First inter-city brass band contest
About 2500 people attended the first inter-city brass band competition in the Christchurch Drill Hall. The inaugural winners were the Invercargill Garrison Band. Read more...
29 September 1862New Zealand's first professional opera performance
Dunedin's Royal Princess Theatre was the venue for a performance of Donizetti's Daughter of the regiment by the visiting English Opera Troupe, supplemented by local performers. Read more...
1 March 1862Charles Thatcher gives first NZ performance
The British-born tenor Charles Thatcher gave his first New Zealand performance at Shadrach Jones' Commercial Hotel in Dunedin. Read more...
Recommended links relating to New Zealand arts, literature and music
- Page 1 - Arts, literature and music linksRecommended links relating to New Zealand arts, literature and
New Zealand Music Month was developed to support the New Zealand music industry by creating a commercially successful platform for local performers. To mark New Zealand Music Month in 2007 we compiled 31 reasons to love New Zealand music.
Page 2 – 31 reasons to love New Zealand music
What do Kiri Te Kanawa and 1970s punk legends Suburban Reptiles have in common? Both feature in the 31 daily stories celebrating New Zealand Music Month. It’s a rich mix
Page 3 – Best New Zealand songs ever?
In 2001, to celebrate 75 years of its existence, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) invited its members and an academy to vote for what they believed to be
Page 4 – About New Zealand Music Month
In 1995 New Zealand songs made up just 1.6% of the airplay on commercial radio. Campaigners began to urge the introduction of a quota system that would force commercial radio
When four young Liverpool musicians landed in Wellington on a lazy Sunday afternoon in June 1964, seven days of pandemonium erupted. Young New Zealanders flocked in their thousands to hear or just catch a glimpse of the famous 'Fab Four'.
Page 2 – Setting the scene
The Beatles' 1964 tour occurred as New Zealand was undergoing a cultural shift, and many young people swapped their old image for the new 'mod' look.
Page 3 – Wellington
Seven thousand screaming fans waited as The Beatles touched down at Wellington airport on 21 June 1964. As the band stepped off the plane, the fans' shrieks drowned out the
Page 4 – Auckland
Auckland fans were as riotous as those in Wellington. The Beatles' music went almost unnoticed as everyone commented on the audience.
Page 5 – South Island
The Beatles' concerts in Dunedin on 26 June were some of the wildest of the New Zealand tour.
Page 6 – Further information
This web feature was written by Redmer Yska and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team. Links The Beatles official website The Beatles (Wikipedia)
After a hesitant beginning in the early 1970s, rock festivals hit their stride with Nambassa, Sweetwaters and a string of smaller events in the early 1980s. Following a period of decline, festivals are today as popular as ever with Laneway, WOMAD and others catering to a wide range of musical taste.
Page 2 – Beginnings
The early rock music festivals held in Auckland and Ngaruawahia reflected the troubled emergence of teenagers as a distinctive group and economic force in the second half of
Page 3 – Nambassa
No-one predicted the success of the 1979 Nambassa Festival which drew over 65,000 fans.
Page 4 – Sweetwaters and beyond
Sweetwaters - Festival of Music, Culture and Technology. There was a lot to that new tagline. It had the future in it. A modernity echoed by the band line-up. Having come
Page 5 – The lights go down
From the late 1980s into the 1990s small scale and sharply focused rock music festivals would be the norm, though there were some notable exceptions
Page 6 – Festivals galore
As the new century dawned it was clear music festivals were now a viable and often long-running proposition. WOMAD, the Big Day Out and others continue to attract huge crowds
Page 7 – Rock music festivals 1970-2010
List of the main rock music festivals held in New Zealand from 1970-2010
Page 8 – Further information
Links and books relating to New Zealand's rock music festivals
Café culture has become integral to Wellington's identity. This culture began in the 1930s with the emergence of the milk bar, followed by coffee houses in the 1950s. After a period of decline in the 1960s and 70s, the city's café scene has grown in spectacular fashion over the last 20 years.
- Page 5 - Music and cafe cultureEntertainment generally and music in particular have always been a part of the Wellington cafe scene.
New Zealand’s first non-experimental television transmission went to air on 1 June 1960. To mark five decades of TV, in 2010 we presented five snapshots of Kiwi TV history. Explore pre-1960 experiments, TV news, music shows and modern election coverage - and discover how our own history has been showcased on the small screen.
- Page 4 - Kiwi music shows on TVNew Zealanders can now view music videos over the internet or on music channels C4 and Juice TV. But after TV was introduced in 1960 several generations of New Zealanders kept up
Seventy years ago, in June 1942, the first American soldiers landed on New Zealand soil, to begin an 'invasion' which would have a profound impact on both visitors and hosts over the next 18 months.
Page 6 – Having fun NZ Style
For many people of both nations the most memorable aspect of the American invasion was the home visits. Often these were arranged formally, with New Zealand families signing up
Five decades ago most Kiwis enjoyed a standard of living that was the envy of other nations. During the 1960s the arrival of TV and jet airliners shrank our world, and New Zealanders began to express themselves on a range of international issues, including opposition to the Vietnam War.
- Page 11 - 1968 - key eventsA selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1968
Morrison, Howard Leslie
Performer Howard Morrison was one of the legends of New Zealand show business.Read more...
When nine-year-old Vincent Aspey persuaded his mother to buy a violin he had spotted in a second-hand shop she was dubious that he would practice, let alone come to be described as ‘synonymous with orchestral development in New Zealand’.Read more...
Cheesman, Oswald Astley
Oswald Cheesman was a pioneer of music radio broadcasting who directed the Kiwi Concert Party in the Second World War before helping to establish New Zealand's first national orchestra.Read more...
Lilburn, Douglas Gordon
Douglas Lilburn was an influential composer and music teacher who inspired and promoted later generations of local composers.Read more...
Rivers, Mavis Chloe
Mavis Rivers was a notable cabaret and jazz singer, who attained success in Hollywood, where she recorded for major record labels.Read more...
Hofmann, Frank Simon
Frank Hofmann was an influential photographer, both commercially and artistically, introducing interwar European modernist ideas and practices into New Zealand.Read more...
Lane, Robert William ('Tex Morton')
Tex Morton was a Kiwi country and western singer, also known as the ‘Yodelling Boundary Rider’.Read more...
- queen street
- auckland city
- dave dobbyn
- coal mining
- west coast
- WW1 home front
- oswald cheesman
- douglas lilburn
- tex morton
- radio broadcasts
- historic places
- music festivals
- brass bands
- military bands
- mavis rivers
- split enz
- te awamutu
- roadside stories
- frank hofmann
- famous firsts
- john rowles
- popular culture
- mark williams
- whanganui city
- commonwealth games
- music month
- western front
- passchendaele offensive
- vincent aspey
- wellington city
- american forces
- new plymouth
- war memorials
- battle of the somme
- national war memorial
- rainbow warrior bombing
- alternative lifestyle
- state housing
- maori music
- te arawa
- howard morrison
- rolling stones concert
- wahine disaster
- walter nash
- allen curnow
- kiri te kanawa
- kiwi records
- the who
- nuclear free
- mururoa protest
- suburban reptiles
- fat freddys drop
- mabel howard
- johnny devlin
- americas cup
- ruru karaitiana
- all blacks
- johnny cooper
- ray columbus
- national anthem
- anzac day
- don mcglashan