Six iconic Kiwi acts to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame

music news 22/10/2020

Media release Aotearoa Music Awards

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa is this year inducting six of Aotearoa’s pioneer artists, with their inductions acknowledged and celebrated at the Aotearoa Music Awards in Auckland on 15 November.

Johnny Cooper, Max Merritt, Peter Posa, Dinah Lee, The Chicks and Larry’s Rebels will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame in November, recognising their individual contributions to New Zealand’s music scene, the inspiration they provided to local artists and audiences alike, and their importance in shaping Aotearoa’s popular culture.

Starting in 1955, though to the Sixties and beyond, these artists were trailblazers. Johnny Cooper kicked things off 65 years ago; his self-penned track ‘Pie Cart Rock ‘n’ Roll’ became the first homegrown rock ‘n’ roll track.

His baton was picked up by Max Merritt who became a local legend and a spokesperson for the rock and roll generation. Max and his band The Meteors toured and played on singles by fellow Cantabrian, and our most successful female artist of the 60’s, the ‘Queen of the Mods’ Dinah Lee.

The explosion of local talent on stage and on our television screens, saw Dinah joined by the likes of Peter Posa whose albums of instrumental guitar inspired a generation of players and sold by the container-load all over the world.

Peter discovered sisters Suzanne and Judy Donaldson, their up-tempo harmonies soon to make them household names as The Chicks.

As a country enthralled with the moptops, Larry’s Rebels arrived at the perfect time in the mid-60’s with the swagger of Jagger and the growl of the Animals to set teen hearts on fire with their incendiary live shows and stage presence.

This year’s inductions are bittersweet, with Johnny Cooper, Max Merritt and Peter Posa no long with us.

Mark Roach, kaiwhakahaere of the Hall said, “It’s an honour to welcome these acts into the NZ Music Hall of Fame to remember their legacy and contributions to Aotearoa music.

“Our communication with Max began almost a year ago. We mourned his passing last month, but we take comfort from the fact that Max left us knowing of the honour, and that he was thrilled and humbled to be inducted.”

Presented by NZ Music Hall of Fame Trust, the inductions are undertaken in a private ceremony whereupon inductees are gifted a tapu taonga, in accordance with tikanga Māori. All six artists inducted this year will be acknowledged with video tributes and live performances at the 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards.

The event will take place Sunday 15 November at Spark Arena and will be broadcast live on The Edge TV from 7pm and continue on Three from 8.30pm. The entire broadcast will be streamed on ThreeNow.

Thanks to the official Aotearoa Music Awards audio streaming partner Spotify please check out a selection of the inductee’s music at: https://spoti.fi/33PwPrI