simongriggdotinfo
Zodiac 45s

I don’t think there’s much argument that Eldred Stebbing’s Zodiac label, which operated under that name, and then as Key, from 1957 to the early 1980s, is likely the most important record label to have set up shop in New Zealand.

Eldred Stebbing

Eldred Stebbing at Saratoga Ave.
Simon Grigg collection.

There was, of course, an earlier label operated by the Stebbing brothers, Eldred and Phil, under that name, which released 78s from the 1951 to 1952, but this page is mostly concerned with the later, post rock'n'roll, label of the same name. Eldred and Phil worked as partners until September 1952 when they went into receivership, in large part because of distribution difficulties caused by the refusal of HMV, the Wellington based major who controlled the NZ recording industry, to allow shops to stock non-HMV releases. They continued to record until 1953 before the company was liquidated in March 1954. The pressing plant they had earlier set up in Grey Lynn (near Western Springs park in the old Laundry Building – it's still there) was sold to Wellington firm Green & Hall Limited (who operated it until 1970 and pressed most Zodiac records until then). The Zodiac label took a break until August 1957 when Eldred started releasing discs on his own using the brand. Thereafter it was Eldred, with wife Margaret, and, later, his sons who owned the labels. His sons, Robert & Vaughan, still do in 2020.

Not only did Zodiac record and release countless important New Zealand acts, they also provided recording facilities to many other acts that appeared on other labels, many in Eldred's basement studio at 10 Saratoga Avenue, Herne Bay, but more-so, after 1970, in the purpose-built state-of-the-art Jervois Road, Herne Bay studio, which they still occupy. They were, with like-minded pioneers like Phil Warren and the earlier Tanza and contemporary Viking and Allied International, the beginnings of a New Zealand owned recording industry which has exploded in the decades since.

Before Saratoga Ave, recordings were done in the Stebbing home in Methuen Rd in Avondale, a hall in Mays Rd in Mt. Roskill, Balmoral Primary School, the Pacific Building in Auckland's Queen Street (where the ASB now is near Wyndham Street) and just about anywhere else Eldred could fit his Grundig recorder.

They were the first New Zealand label to have an identity outside the national shores (Zodiac was launched in Australia in 1964 with The Invaders' 'Ku-Pow'), and the first to have a number one anywhere else ('She's a Mod' via that Australian label). Throughout the years, Eldred was very, very, hands on – he built the equipment, he managed several of the bands, selected songs, produced or co-produced many of the records on this page, and owned clubs where the acts played.

Independent music in NZ owes a huge and often unrecognised debt to Eldred Stebbing. Indeed, there are many in the NZ industry who felt that it was an unforgivable oversight that Eldred, who died in December 2009 aged 88, was not the first person inaugurated into New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, in 2008. I'd agree with that sentiment.

The catalogue is filled with iconic New Zealand singles and songs that have become part of the national landscape, and it’s obvious that taking risks was a big part of what Eldred did, whether consciously or instinctively.

But for all that, the catalogue below is patchy in places – there are many singles that make the casual viewer step back a little, but I guess there were bills to pay, and Eldred’s willingness to record the novelty and the MOR often turned into huge money-spinners. The Hawaiian fixation of the early years was reflected in the big crowds at the dance halls in Auckland in the mid to late ‘50s.

Eldred at C'mon

Eldred Stebbing on the C'mon set in Auckland's NZBC Shortland Street Studio.

Which makes another point: despite the presence of big non-Auckland names on the roster, this was primarily an Auckland label, with many of the singles from 1963 onwards reflecting what was big in the Auckland beat club scene that Eldred both had an interest in, as a club owner, and was immersed in. Some of these singles were never easily available outside the Auckland area.

And it’s from 1963 onwards that the label really got interesting and where its reputation largely lies. One wonders who would’ve recorded many of these acts if Eldred hadn’t. The answer is mostly no-one, as the other labels that followed were all very much in the shadow of Zodiac.

Not enough historical credit is given to Englishman John Hawkins, who learned his art with the mighty (and mightly eccentric, albeit tragically) Joe Meek, who, with Eldred engineering, produced many of the key Zodiac tracks of the sixties and gave them that raw tension that still sets them apart. Witness the famed intro on 'How Is The Air Up There?', or the timpani on 'Till We Kissed' (recorded upstairs at Saratoga because they couldn't get it downstairs into the custom built studio). John is rarely credited but can often be identified by a boxed J/H Prod on the label.

Other engineers of note in the 1960s and early 1970s included Tony Moan (from 1964) and Phil Stebbing, both of whom are usually uncredited.

Howard Morrison EPHoward Morrison EP

I’ve not tried to provide extensive bios for those acts, for that I’d point you at AudioCulture, John Dix's Stranded In Paradise, Roger Watkin's essentail books, Hostage To The Beat and When The Rock Got Rolling (all three sadly out of print at the time of writing), plus, of course, Grant Gillanders and Robyn Welsh's magnificent history Wired For Sound (see down-page).

A few acts though, simply defy my research, but I am adding and updating as I go.

Notes on the discography

I’ve not really gone beyond the Zodiac NZ singles roster, the z-1000+ series. The Key singles will follow at some stage as there were only a handful.

This does, however, include the Viscount label singles (indicated by a Viscount next to the catalogue number), which was a sub label owned and operated by Gary Daverne, Eldred's cousin, under the wing of Zodiac and was, I understand, partially funded by Zodiac. There was also the Zodiac Icon label, co-owned by promoter Dave Dunningham and two Zodiac International labels, as below. Again, these are indicated by (Icon) and (International).

S118Z102

Stebbing and Zodiac 78s from the early
1950s

Also included are The La De Da's and other singles Eldred licensed to Philips in NZ, as these may not have carried the logo but are Zodiac releases and this list would be incomplete without them.

For the trainspotter, the catalogue prefixes on the singles varied over time. Z45- on 7” singles was the most common, but Z- alone (also used on the 78s), 45Z, Z/45, Z (no dash) and other variations were common, some records using several on different pressings. To simplify matters I've just used Z-.

The earlier 78 series (the ones from the 1949 to 1954, as pictured above) used a number sequence in the range Z-100 upwards. However, later 78s carried numbers from z-1000 upwards and seemed to clash with many 45s in their numbering. And there are are one or two cases of duplicate numbers being given to 7"s.

There was also a second Zodiac International label from 1970, existing outside this series which was created for licensed foreign acts, including James Brown and Tom T. Hall. They were in the ZISP500+ series and are not as yet listed here.

There are inevitable mistakes here, especially on the early releases, but I’ll correct as they come to light. The single images are mostly of my copies (I’ve got many more but they’re unscanned to date) but I’ve borrowed one or two, however since these were publicly released records I’m hoping that’s not an issue.

Apapa SistersEddie Howell

One needs to take the term 'chart' or 'hit' here with a large grain of salt. Many of these records sold very large numbers both by the standards of the day and, more, by those of today. But the charts as an accurate representation of what was being sold in NZ didn't exist during the Zodiac era. They were mostly compiled by radio and print-media and reflected what was being played on radio or personal bias. Many of these big sellers, most in fact, hardly hit a sales chart but were public hits and regarded as such. New Zealand did not have reliable natiowide sales charts until 1975.

Radio was always a problem for Zodiac (and other NZ labels) especially in the beat era and beyond, until Radio Hauraki arrived in 1966. Even then, state owned radio ignored NZ music by and large unless it came from HMV and Philips. Radio in NZ needs to hang its collective head in some shame at the way it treated NZ popular music through to the forcing of its hand by the Labour government in the early 2000s. Lest we forget.

This too, is completely unofficial. I've had no contact with Stebbings, the family or anyone else, partially as I thought that might (or might not) taint the words below, if it was to be officially sanctioned and groomed as such. Edit: The Stebbing family have approved this page and I've been able to verify dates and releases that I was unsure of from Zodiac documents. Thanks to Vaughan and Robert Stebbing and to Steve McGough.

I created a page devoted to Zodiac label artwork at AudioCulture, like this, it's continually updated.

But to the Zodiac singles:

z1001 78Z-1101 45

The 7 inch and the 78 of the first Zodiac release in the new series.
Z-1001 The Hulawai'ans - Hawaiian Rock'n'roll / Isle Of Fair Hawaii (1957) (released on 7" 45 & 10" 78, pictured above)
The first release issued in August 1957, when Eldred restarted the label in his Avondale home.
Eldred seemed fascinated by the Hawaiian sound that the likes of Les Paul and many others championed. His early releases both reflected and drove the Auckland ballroom/hall scene. The sound had some resonance with the large, and growing, Polynesian audiences filling many of the live venues around Auckland at the time. The A-side of this featured Morgan Clarke on vocals and was penned by Phil Stebbing, the B-side's vocals were by Joanne Newdick and the song was by Calypso Brook. This was recorded at Pt. Chevalier Yacht Club in Auckland.
Z-1002 The Hagar Sisters with Bill Wolfgramm's Hawaiians / Bill Wolfgramm’s Hawaiians - Manu Rere Ai Ai / Malie (1957) (released on 78 only)
Tongan born, Bill Wolfgramm and his band were a huge ballroom / community hall drawcard in the late 1940s & 1950s when, partially as a result of the massive influx of Pacific Islanders into the city over the decades, the Hawaiian craze swept Auckland. His vocalists included Morgan Clarke, Paul Linklater and Joy Yates.
Bill worked and recorded with the Hagar Sisters extensively. The A side of this 78 was first issued in 1953 on Z-1056.
Z-1003 The Hagar Sisters with Bill Wolfgramm's Hawaiians / Bill Wolfgramm's Hawaiians - Maui Girl / Maui Chimes (1957) (released on 78 only)
The A side was a reissue of the 1953 A side of Zodiac 78 Z-1057. Performers with Bill Wolfgramm's band, the sisters had also appeared on Bill's 1955 10" LP recorded for Tanza, South Sea Rhythm, the first NZ recorded album.
Daphne Walker

Daphne Walker
Z-1004 Daphne Walker & Bill Wolfgramm's Hawaiians – Polynesian Love Song / Hawaiian War Chant (1957) (released on 78 only)
The clearly successful Hawaiian phase continues. The B side was a cover of an American song from The Playboys. Most of the pre-Saratoga Ave recordings were done by Eldred on a Grundig recorder in living rooms and other improvised places.
Bill Wolfgramm was a huge live and recording star in NZ in the 1950s, on the Tanza label before Zodiac, playing lap steel guitar. He recorded through to the 1970s and much of his catalogue remains in print on a variety of labels.
Z-1005 Benny's Five With Morgan Clarke – Hawaiian Boogie / Haka Boogie (1957) (released on 45 & 78)
A classic. The B-side (pictured) was probably the first Rock'n'Roll record sung in te reo (by Morgan Clarke), when first recorded in 1956, this record underlines just how important Māori bands, singers and musicians were to the rise of rock'n'roll in New Zealand. This, deservedly, was Zodiac's first sales hit single but is still very hard to find. The Benny in Benny's Five was steel guitarist Ben Tawhit and both sides were written by Lee Westbrook, with Phil Stebbing co-writing the A-side.
Z-1006 Benny's Five With Morgan Clarke / Morgan Clarke with Zodiac Paradise Islanders – Ninety-Nine Ways / Dusky Polynesian (1957) (released on 78 only)
'Ninety-Nine Ways' was a Charlie Gracie song from 1957 and a minor hit on the Philly Cameo label. 'Dusky Polynesian' dates back to 1940 and was a hit for Irish-Hawaiian singer Ray Kinney, written by Ray and J. Leon Collis.
Z-1007 Johnny Granger With The Rock'A'Billys – I'm Stickin' With You / Empty Arms (1957) (released on 45 & 78)
In 1958 the Stebbing family moved to the famous Saratoga Ave property in Auckland's Herne Bay, and it was there, in the converted downstairs rumpus room, that Eldred set up his home studio, where he would record most of the records on this page until 1970. However, in 1958 that was still in the future and this record, from the country singer who had earlier recorded eight 78s for the first Zodiac, was likely recorded in Mays Road in Mt. Roskill. or in the earlier Stebbing home in Avondale. The A-side was a Jimmy Bowen and Buddy Knox song (first recorded by Knox in 1956), whilst the B-side was written by Ivory Joe Hunter for an Atlantic 45 in 1957. An attempt to jump on the rock'n'roll bandwagon, this was Johnny's final release and he returned to the farm in Whitford.
Z-1008 Bill Sevesi & His Novelty Five . Vocalist: Morgan Clarke – Christmas Time / Go Man Go (December 1957)
Bill Sevesi, the legendary Tongan Hawaiian steel guitar player (who had formed his first danceband as far back as 1940) was a massive drawcard around Auckland in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s but this was his only 45 for Zodiac. This was also the first Zodiac single to be released only on 7" 45. The B-side, recorded in May Road Primary School's hall, was Bill's first attempt at rock 'n' roll and was self-penned. Shortly afterwards he moved to Viking and then to his own label, Ampar. Bill would, in 2000, record his final album for Stebbings.
Z-1009 The Howard Morrison Quartet – There's Only One Of You / Big Man (1958)
The first single for these guys (they had released two EPs both called The Fabulous Howard Morrison Quartet on Zodiac (EPZ-100 and EPZ-101) three months earlier), originally called The Ohinemutu Quartet (it was Eldred who suggested a change of name to the Howard Morrison Quartet), from the Rotorua region and the via earlier touring Māori concert troupes Aotearoa Concert Party and Te Awapuni Concert Party, both of which featured a young Howard. Little did the nation know what was about to break.
They were bought to Auckland, and to Zodiac by the Auckland promoter, Benny Levin after he found them at a talent contest in their home town.
Side one was written by Al Stillman and Robert Allen and first recorded by The Four Lads earlier in 1958 (Zodiac's pattern of covered as yet unknown in NZ big offshore songs continued for years and I'll try to point to the originals here when I can) and side two was a Four Preps song from the pen of that quartet's Bruce Belland (here credited as Bruce Roland) and Glen Larson. Larson went to to a big TV career as a producer of shows like Magnum, P.I. and Battlestar Galactica. This 45 came in both yellow and lime green labels.
Z-1010 The Howard Morrison Quartet – Haere Ra E Hine / Marama Pai (1958)
Single number two and there is conflicting evidence as to whether it was released on 78 too, perhaps a recognition of the fact that this single was aimed very much at the Māori audience outside Auckland, where 78 players were still supreme but the balance of evidence is that it was 45 only. Both sides were traditional waiata and the quartet was backed by Auckland jazz combo the Paul Lestre Group (misspelled on the labels as Paul Lester.
Much of the quartet's Zodiac repertoire was recorded by Eldred in the living room of the Morrison home in Rotorua, live to tape.
Z-1011 Bob Paris And The Auckland Jive Centre Band – Rebel Rouser / Rumble (1958)
Bob Paris's band was the resident at The Jive Centre in Auckland and were also known as The Devils, the band put together by Bernie Allen to back Johnny Devlin, both live and on many of the incredibly successful run of singles recorded for Phil Warren's Prestige label. They signed to Zodiac and their first release was this, followed by an EP in early 1959. This covered Duane Eddy and Link Wray tunes.
Z-1011 The Howard Morrison Quartet – Deep Purple / Marie (1958) (78 Only)
This catalogue number was used twice. For some forgotten reason Zodiac had two identical catalogue numbering systems running at the same time: 45 & 78. Oddly, there were no 78s numbered numbered 1008 and 1009. It can't have helped sales of either 1011 surely and must have caused some confusion. The first LP issued by Zodiac was ZLP 1009 (and there were at least 5 earlier LPs on the Stebbing label in a similar sequence) so it seems that 78s and LPs shared a sequence.
This was only on 78 and featured Peter de Rose's standard 'Deep Purple' on one side and Irving Berlin's 'Marie' on the other. Both songs would stay in the quartet's repertoire for years.
Z-1012 The Howard Morrison Quartet – Po Kare Kare Ana / Hoki Mai (1959) (also issued on 78 as Z-1010 but after the 78 of Z-1011)
The A-side was the te reo standard and quite a hit for the Quartet. The B-side, credited to Traditional here, was based on a song composed by Henare Waitoa in Ruatoria in 1946 to welcome home survivors of the 28th Maori Battalion. The quartet recorded it at least three times and both the songs remained in Howard's live repertoire until his death in 2009.
This was the last single issued by Zodiac on 78.
Z-1013 The Howard Morrison Quartet / The Howard Morrison Quartet Featuring Jerry Merito – Goodbye Baby / Short Fat Fanny (1959)
The band goes (almost) rock'n'roll and targets a completely different demographic to the last two singles. The A-side was a 1958 single from Canadian rocker Jack Scott and the B-side was an almost Pacifican cover of the 1957 classic by Larry Williams.
Z1014
Z-1014 Eddie Howell With The Bob Paris Combo – Kansas City / Bob Paris Combo - Big Girl (1959)
Two acts on the same 45, with the Leiber-Stoller tune on the A-side and a brassy instrumental on the flip, a cover of Jimmy Giuffre's US bop hit first recorded by Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars in 1952. Prior to this, Eddie (who was still only 18) was briefly a touring member of the Howard Morrison Quartet (Howard apparently didn't like the attention Eddie received so he had to go) and had a concurrent EP release with this, marketed as 'Mr. Excitement'. A great rock'n'roll 45. Zodiac was hitting its early stride with these records, Bob Paris and the next 45.
Z-1015 Red Hewitt And The Buccaneers – The Girl With In Teddy Bear Coat / Betty Lou's Got A New Pair Of Shoes (1959)
One of the first rock'n'roll bands in Auckland in a scene that coalesced around the Jive Centre in Hobson Street, they recorded this single for Zodiac then went off to do three others for Audion, a label centred around Auckland University. Red wrote the A-side, and the B-side was a 1958 self-written single by US rocker Bobby Freeman.
Bob Paris Combo

The Bob Paris Combo: Mick Dawson, Bob Paris, Brian Smith, Keith Graham and Tony Hopkins.
Z-1016 The Beatnik and The Peter Posa Combo – Juvenile Delinquent / Dirty Feet (1959)
The first time Peter Posa's name appears on a record, but unfortunately not a very good one. The A-side is a novelty attempt to cash in on rock'n'roll outrage, whilst the B-side is worse, badly parodying contemporary songwriting. Not funny, and Peter Posa's fine guitar is obvious by its almost total absence from the tracks (until the last 3 seconds of the B-side).
The Beatnik was recent UK immigrant Patrick Flynn and was likely his first record too. At the time of recording he was on the run from the NZ navy, from which he had recently deserted, hence the pseudonym (he was arrested for this in 1964 and spent 42 days in jail). Despite this, he would go onto a stellar career as a composer, producer, conductor and showman in NZ, Australia and then the USA where he passed away in 2008.
Z-1017 Eddie Howell With The Bob Paris Combo – Summertime / I Need Your Love Tonight (1959)
Eddie was a highly regarded Māori vocalist from near Whakatane on the East Coast of the North Island (where he still lives). He performed there with his band, The Quads, who were added to Johnny Devlin's Western Springs show in January 1959. Another Springs show followed and Eddie went solo, launching himself onto the Auckland scene and into some pretty credible rock'n'roll. He also recorded the big ballads, like these, which his audience loved. The Gershwin/Heywood A-side needs litte introduction. The other side was the Elvis smash by Sid Wayne and Bickley Reichner.
Z-1018 unknown
PR-18 Nell Clinch – Home, Sweet Home / I Love You Truly (1959)
An out of sequence number which may well be Z-1018 under a new guise. It states that it is a vocal in Māori and English on both sides. The PR numbers usually only appeared on paid-for custom recorded records but this has a full Zodiac label which is unusual and seems to have been released.
Z-1019 Eddie Howell with the Bob Paris Combo – Primrose Lane / Just A Closer Walk With Thee (1959)
More ballads from Eddie, including the very often recorded B-side, written by an unknown author in the 19th Century but arranged and copyrighted by Kenneth Morris in 1941. This version seems to owe a debt to the 1957 recording by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Given the number of secondhand copies of this still around, it must've sold very well. The A-side was written by Red Callender and Wayne Shanklin for US singer Jerry Wallace.
Z-1020 The Bob Paris Combo – Time Bomb / Theme From Peter Gunn (1959)
Two surf-rock style instrumentals from Bob and band. The band split after recording these and Bob followed Johnny Devlin to Sydney for 18 months. Other sites list this as 1960 but Zodiac's records say 1959. Uncredited A-side but written by Tom King aka Harry Balk for Johnny And The Hurricanes. The B-side is the Henry Mancini number of course.
Z-1021 Eddie Howell and The Cute-Ees with The Bob Paris Group / Eddie Howell with The Bob Paris Group – (Seven Little Girls) Sitting In The Back Seat / I'm In The Mood For Love (1960)
Eddie first came to Auckland for school (Sacred Heart), and, after a quick trip back south, returned and was discovered by promoter Benny Levin who passed him to Eldred. Benny produced this and other Howell discs. His career was brief but for that brief moment he sold rather well. Who were the Cute-Ees?
The Bob Hillard/Lee Pockriss A-side was a US hit for Paul Evans And The Curls. Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields wrote the other side in the 1940s but this version seems to be inspired by the 1957 45 by the great Fats Domino.
Z1022
Z-1022 Herma Keil And The Keil Isles – Don't You Know / Blue Guitar (1960) (Icon)
The Keil Isles were formed out of the Samoan Keil family in Auckland in 1956 and were an immediate live hit, with flamboyant stage shows and instrumental virtuosity, especially from guitarist Olaf. Vocals were shared by Herma (also guitar), sister Eliza, and cousin Freddie and they recorded six singles for the Tanza label before signing to Zodiac. The first release on the new Zodiac Icon imprint.
The vocal A-side was a Bobby Worth song first recorded by gospel singer Della Reese. The instrumental B-side was by the obscure Ronnie and The Renegades in 1959, but then a minor hit for UK guitarist Bert Weedon, which is where this was found one imagines. It was written by US writers Larry Fotine (here as Fontaine) and Frank Stanton.
Z1023
Z-1023 Jerry Merito And the Howard Morrison Quartet – Battle Of The Waikato / Granada (1960)
The mega-hit which took both the Quartet and Zodiac to the next level. Recorded live at the Auckland Town Hall, it sold over 40,000 copies. Both sides credited Gerry Merito (as Jerry). The A-side was a rework of Jimmy Driftwood’s 'Battle Of New Orleans' as made famous by Johnny Horton and was the subject of a notorious legal battle the legend of which doesn't quite ring true.
The story goes that the quartet's new label La Gloria re-recorded this and Zodiac forced the courts to destroy all these as they had somehow breached copyright. However, in copyright law, there is nothing to breach as a compulsory license would cover it – unless Zodiac somehow scammed a poorly informed judge. The publishing was not held by Zodiac in any case. It's a good story and that may be all it is.
Z-1024 The Howard Morrison Quartet featuring Jerry Merito – Hawaiian Cowboy Song / Little Darlin' (1960)
In which Howard and co. take one last stab at the dying Hawaiian craze. Recorded at the same concert that Waikato was taken from, and their 2nd to last for Zodiac (they moved to La Gloria, owned by Harry M. Miller, their manager, much to the chagrin of Eldred – see above).
There are various claimants to the authorship of 'The Hawaiian Cowboy Song' including Sol K. Bright and Charles King, but it seems it was first recorded in the 1940s. 'Little Darlin'' was The Diamonds hit written by Maurice 'Stay' Williams.
Z-1025 Owen Griffiths And Clive Weir with The Rockettes / Owen Griffiths With The Rockettes – Out Of The Blue Gums / Waltzing Matilda (1960)
People from Hamilton singing rock'n'roll versions of songs about Australia, for some reason. Owen had earlier recorded a single for Auckland's Audion label and in Hamilton his band were billed as the “diggin’, swingin’, mad, rockin’, rollin’ Rockettes”. 'Out Of The Blue Gums' was a George Trevare song recorded in 1943 by Johnny Wade. 'Waltzing Matilda' was written by Banjo Paterson (words) and Marie Cowan although only Marie is credited here.
Z-1026 Apaapa Sisters With The Down Town Boys - Mail Man, Bring Me No More Blues / Guess Things Happen That Way (1960)
The sisters, Lyn and Cheryl from Tauranga, cover Buddy Holly on side one and a Jack Clement song written for Johnny Cash on the other. They released an EP for Zodiac too in 1960 (EPZ-111), but oddly spelled their name Apapa on the sleeve of that.
Bob ParisAnne Holmes
Z-1027 Jan Linden with the Jock Nisbet Group and Ann Holmes – Among My Souvenirs / Blue Skies (1960)
Jock Nisbet was a Scottish-born pianist who immigrated to NZ in the 1940s and played prolifically with both his own group and others. Jan was the younger sister of (then) famous entertainer Don Linden, and was just out of Mt. Roskill Grammar when this was recorded. Ann was the organist at The Civic Theatre.
Eldred signed them all individually and as was his way, also recorded them in various combinations. Ann, who was a pakeha also recorded an EP of Maori tunes for Zodiac around this time. The A-side was the Connie Francis hit penned by Edgar Leslie and Horatio Nicholls (whose real name was Lawrence Wright and he founded Melody Maker) but actually dates back to The Caroliners in 1927. The other is Irving Berlin's standard from 1939.
Z-1028 The Voices of Eddie Howell featuring the Jock Nisbet Group / Eddie Howell with The Choir Of The Auckland Choral Society – Teenage Baby / When Its Springtime In The Rockies (1960)
Jock again. His band backed Howard Morrison live in the early sixties and, as an aside, someone of that name pops up in the minutes of the Taupo Lions club a few years back - was it the same guy? Perhaps it was. Either way, the prolific pianist and arranger found on these records also ran a musical importing business - sheet music, supplies - that sort of thing, from his house in Titirangi in the 1960s and was well known in the Auckland scene for many a year. As the credit on the A-side suggests this is Eddie multi-tracked to produce a typically pre-Beatles pop sound.
'Teenage Baby' was an Australian hit for Col Joye written by fellow Australians Ray Melton and Tony Withers. The other side was a Milt Taggart and Robert Sauer song that dates to 1930.
Z-1029 Red Hewitt With The Buccaneers / The Buccaneers – Midnight Special / Beatnik Fly (1960)
The Buccaneers returned to Zodiac with this single after their spell at Audion. Their line-up included Gary Daverne, who was later to set up the Viscount subsidiary of Zodiac. This, in a Lonnie Donegan style on the A-side and a rockabilly instrumental on the B-side, was a very big seller and no doubt would've charted well if there were accurate charts available. Both sides are credited as Traditional with their authorship lost in time (but oft-claimed, not least by Leadbelly and Johnny & The Hurricanes respectively).
Z-1030 The Keil Isles Be My Guest / Do You Miss Me (1960) (Icon)
A scrap between cousins led to Freddie leaving the group (and signing to Zodiac directly) but the band continued although as time passed there were less and less Keils and original members in the Isles with even Herma having a parallel solo career (here he is sub-credited as Vocal: Herma Keil). The band retained their place as one of the kings of the Auckland live scene in the years before The Beatles turned the world upside down. A Fats Domino tune (co-penned by Tommy Boyce and John Marascalco on the A-side and a J.D. Miller song first released by James O'Gwynn on the flip.
Z-1031 Red Hewitt With The Buccaneers – Boston / Blues Stay Away From Me (1960)
In a period of not much for than 12 months, these guys released some 6 singles. This track was a cover of a Freddy Cannon B-side issued in the same year in the US and co-written by Bob Crewe, the man behind The Four Seasons. It was originally 'Boston "My Home Town"'', but clearly Boston was not Red's home town. The B-side is a rockabilly blues co-penned by the great Henry Glover a decade earlier for a country act called Owen Bradley And His Quintet, but in this case clearly lifted from the 1960 version by Johnny and Dorsey Burnette.
Z-1032 Luke Dalton – Outside My Window / Wedding Bliss (1960)
Very clearly not the same Luke Dalton that appeared before U2 in 1987 (that was The Edge in disguise). I know nothing else about this though and It may be unreleased.
Z-1033 Eddie Howell And The Buccaneers – Lonely Blue Boy / By The Light Of The Silvery Moon (1960)
Two acts teaming up, for a couple of tracks of countrified rock'n'roll (the A-side was a Conway Twitty tune, the B-side, and old standard recently popularised by Doris Day). Either rare or unissued.
Z-1034 Glyn Tucker With Ian Lowe & The Tornadoes – Carol / I'm In Love (1960)
Glyn Tucker was also known as Glyn Conway. Live, the band was called Ian Lowe And His Stereotones and this was their only single, having made their way out of the suburban dancehall circuit in Auckland. It's widely regarded as an early NZ garage rock'n'roll classic and can be found on a variety of collections although it's one of the rarest Zodiac 45s. The A-side was the Chuck Berry tune (and also the name of Glyn's then-girlfriend and later wife). Tucker, who wrote the B-side, went on, with guitarist Paddy McAneney, to form the very popular The Gremlins, and became a central player in the NZ recording industry as a producer and studio and label owner through to the 1990s.
Z-1035 The Keil Isles, Vocal: Herma Keil / The Keil Isles, – Boogie Boy / Shakey (1960) (Icon)
The A-side was an uncredited Gene Vincent cover (and a radio hit apparently) whilst the B-side was a similarly uncredited instrumental.
Z-1036 Eddie Howell With The Jock Nisbet Group – Little Bitty Girl / If I Had A Girl (1960)
Eddie goes doo-wop with a Clint Ballad song as recorded by Bobby Rydell on the A-side and an obscurity first recorded by US wannbe-heartthrob Rod Lauren in 1959 on the flip. In 1960, Eddie headlined the Extravaganza 1960 show which sold out Carlaw Park.
Z-1037 The Keil Isles, Vocals: Herma Keil – Country Boy / Poor Man's Riches (1960) (Icon)
The first single without Freddie in the band, and yet another Fats Domino song. Production was credited to their manager and Icon label co-owner Dave Dunningham. The B-side was, oddly, a George Jones cover. All but one of the Keil Isles 45s for Zodiac Icon were recorded in one session at a Mt. Roskill School in 1960.
Z-1038 Howard Morrison and the Quartet / The Howard Morrison Quartet – Because Of You / Hoki Mai (1961)
The last HMQ single on Zodiac and yet again recorded at Auckland Town Hall. They had already moved on to even bigger hits, on La Gloria, before splitting in the mid sixties and this was simply Zodiac spiking their new label with a release using earlier-recorded tracks. They reformed a few times over the years, but would never enjoy the huge success again they had in the brief half decade when they ruled the NZ airwaves and town halls.
The standard on side one written by Dudley Wilkinson and Arthur Hammerstein. The B-side needs no introduction.
Z-1039 Eddie Howell With Ben Tawhiti And The Matonaires – Hippy Hippy Shake / Stuck On You (1960)
Rock'n'roll from Eddie and crew, with an Aaron Schroeder written Elvis cover on the flip, Eddie doing a very credible Presley style live apparently. The A-side was a Chan Romero hit from 1959 later made famous when almost every Merseybeat band covered it.
The Keil Isles

The Keil Isles
Z-1040 The Keil Isles, vocals: Herma Keil – Made To Be Loved / Come And Get Me (1960)(Icon)
The A-side was originally by someone called Johnny Yukon, a stage name for a Texan called Ben Gabus who was still playing as recently as 2017. The B-side was a Fabian B-side – not, one would imagine, a prime source.
Z-1041 Charlie Couch With The Toko Sisters and The Jack Nisbett Group – Starlight Starbright / If I Had A Way (1960)
The future Auckland jazz pianist made two singles for Zodiac as a rock'n'roller, this being the first. He was, at one stage, quite a live drawcard in Auckland, playing the Town Hall in the early part of the '60s for Benny Levin. The Toko Sisters may or may not have been related to The Yandall Sisters who later signed to Zodiac in their own right as well as providing backing vocals on a great many Zodiac recordings, having a hit of their own in the 1970s with 'Sweet Sensation' (on EMI).
The A-side was a song by US writer John Marascalco performed in a Buddy Holly-ish style similar to the original 1957 recording by Portuguese Joe With The Tennessee Rockabillys. This was one of the first recordings in Saratoga Ave.
Z-1042 Danny Robinson and The Toko Sisters with Ben Tawhiti And His Islanders – King Tawhiao / Pamai (1960)
Danny was a member of the showband, The Maori Castaways. The A-side was penned by pioneering Hawkes Bay jazz musician Walter Smith and first recorded by 1ZB broadcaster Lou Paul (Uramo Paora) in 1939, whilst the B-side is an Alfred Hill song, which seems to date to the 1930s.
Z-1043 The Three Lads With The Jock Nisbet Group – Seabird / Drunken Sailor (1960)
An Auckland trio who had earlier recorded seven 78s for TANZA between 1954 and 1957, plus an EP on Zodiac in 1958 (EPZ104). Both sides composed/arranged by Geoff Hemingway who, with Reg Spence and Lyn Peoples, were The Three Lads on this release.
Z-1044 The Voices of Eddie Howell with Ben Tawhiti and The Matonaires – Cathy's Clown / Well, Don't You Know (1960)
The Everly's song of course, a very current sound at the time. The B-side is uncredited but is a cover of an obscure US rockabilly tune written and performed by George Weston ‎in 1958.
Z-1045 Zodiac Paradise Islanders with vocal duet by Leigh Westbrook and Steve Francis – Hawaiian Boogie / You And I On Our Lanai (1960)
You get the feeling that the Hawaiian thing had well and truly run its course by this stage but Eldred tossed out one more with his house band, who had earlier recorded 78s for the label. The song was the same one recorded by Morgan Clarke on Z-1005 but this time sung by the co-composer Lee Westbrook (credited as Leigh) and Steve Francis.
Z-1046 Owen Griffiths With The Rockettes – Swingin' School / Angela Jones (1960)
I guess Owen must've had some success as he was bought back for a second and, later, third single, now teamed with The Rockettes. The A-side was another Bobby Rydell US pop-lite tune from earlier in 1960 whilst the B-side was penned by the great John D. Loudermilk and first released by someone called Johnny Ferguson the same year.
Z-1047 The Multiple Guitars Of Peter Posa – Sweet Georgia Brown / Some Of These Days (1960)
Peter Posa, from West Auckland, was a phenomena, if only for the sheer number of records he produced for, mostly, Zodiac and Viking. However, it was much more than that as Posa was a virtuoso guitarist who was able to create a mesmeric multi-guitar sound and New Zealand, rightly, fell for him and he sold countless records in the 60s and early 70s. In 1960 he approached Eldred after his combo had featured earlier backing other artists (they are credited on Z-1016) and this, his debut single, was the result.
The A-side was recorded by another band from Liverpool in Hamburg about this time. The B-side was penned by Shelton Brooks, now largely forgotten but one of the most successful songwriters of the 20th Century, for Cab Calloway in 1943.

Peter Posa, Ray Woolf, Eldred Stebbing

Ray Woolf, Peter Posa & Eldred Stebbing. Posa was one of the most successful NZ recording artist of the 1960s,
although much of it was for Viking Records. This was taken in Wellington on the Helen Shapiro tour in 1961.
Z-1048 Bill Morton – The Hanging Tree / Riders In The Sky (1960)
A very rare Zodiac single. Morton was a country singer who also recorded for Viking, where he made an album with the Al Paget Sextet.
Z-1049 Esme Stephens And The Silhouettes With The Peter Posa Combo - Sixteen Reasons / Paper Roses (1960)
Esme Stephens was an Auckland singer with a fairly long and successful career from the 1940s through to the 1970s. She could often be heard singing live on Auckland radio shows over this period. Esme was the vocalist on the very first pop disc recorded by the NZ HMV combine. She then recorded a dozen 78s for Zodiac in the early 1950s. This record made number five on The Lever Hit Parade (the closest thing we had to a chart back then).
Z-1050 The Buccaneers – Down Yonder / Goofus (1960)
A Johnny And The Hurricanes instrumental cover on the A-side and a 1950 novelty from 1950 on the other. Not a great record. This band featured Gary Daverne on piano and saxophone. His involvement in the Zodiac story was substantial in the years to come. Aside from the Viscount sub-label, he worked on many Zodiac releases and also became a distinguished composer, arranger and conductor. His own site is here.
Z-1051 The Silhouettes with Ben Tawhiti and The Matonaires / Terry Morrison And The Silhouettes with Ben Tawhiti and The Matonaires – My Tani / Alley Oop (1960)
This band recorded mostly for Allied International but worked as a backing band extensively with Zodiac and Viscount acts. They were from the North Shore of Auckland. The A-side was a cover of a tune that first appeared as an instrumental in 1959 but this vocal version was via The Brothers Four. The B-side is the Hollywood Argyles (aka Kim Fowley and friends) tune.
Z-1052 The Apaapa Sisters With The Peter Posa Combo - Train Of Love / Sentimental Kid (1960)
The sisters harmonised their way through quite a few singles until at least the late 1960s, on several labels. Neither side here has a writer's credit however 'Train Of Love' was on old Johnny Cash tune and 'Sentimental Kid' was a Four Preps' B-side from earlier in 1960.
Z-1053 Eddie Howell With The Silhouettes With Ben Tawhiti And The Matonaires – Tell Laura I Love Her / Trouble In Paradise (1960)
Eldred seems to have opted for covers of US hits for Eddie, and often had access to the new US hits before they were released in NZ, thus ensuring that his acts had the first version on the market. 'Tell Laura I Love Her' was, of course, a global smash for both Ray Peterson and Ricky Valance (penned by Brill-stalwarts Ben Raleigh and Jeff Barry) so one wonders how Zodiac thought they could compete. 'Trouble In Paradise’ is uncredited as a song but was a Top 20 hit for US group The Crests earlier in the year.
Z-1054 The Keil Isles, vocals: Herma Keil – Don't Come Knockin' / My Heart Crys For You (1960) (Icon)
Another single for the Samoan supergroup, but this time not recorded at the 1960 session as the other single. This was live at Auckland Town Hall. This was a quite a radio hit and was a Fats Domino tune on the A-side and a 1950 Dinah Shore B-side penned by Carl Sigman and Peter Mars on the flip.
Z-1055 Charlie Couch & The Silhouettes with The Peter Posa Combo – Look For A Star / The Shrine On The Second Floor (1960)
This was Charlie's final single for Zodiac. The A-side was penned by UK writer Tony Hatch under the name Mark Anthony for a 1960 movie called Circus Of Horrors and first released by Garry Miles. The B-side was taken from Cliff Richard's Expresso Bongo film and issued by Cliff & The Shadows on an EP earlier in 1960.
z-1056 Rusty Greaves – Mule Skinner Blues / Fraulein (1960)
An iconic NZ country singer, comedian and yodeller from the town of Patawa in the Manuwatu, Rusty, whose real name was Trevor, recorded on and off for Zodiac for years with quite some sales. This was his first single and launched quite a successful recording career. The A-side was the well-known Jimmie Rogers tune (spelled as Jimmy on the label) first recorded in 1931 as 'Blue Yodel No.8', and the other side was a Lawton Williams song released by Steve Lawrence in 1956.
Z-1057 Red Hewitt And The Buccaneers - Dreamin' / It Is A Bluebird (1960)
The Buccaneers singles have become very collectable in recent years, as have many early NZ rock'n'roll singles and this is perhaps the hardest to find. They also recorded for HMV. The A-side of this was a Barry DeVorson and Ted Ellis song penned for Johnny Burnette earlier this year whilst the flip was written by Dan Penn for Conway Twitty who issued it as a single also in 1960.
Z-1058 The Apapa Sisters – E Waka E / Tehia Māori Welcome) (1960)
Their final for Zodiac, but their name could be found in the credits on a variety of records over the next years. Both sides were traditional waiata.
Z-1059 Rod Derrett with The Jock Nisbet Trio – Teddy Boy's Picnic / The Jester (1960)
Rod was a schoolteacher from Christchurch where he'd also played in big bands in the 1950s. Skinny and bespectacled, he was an unlikely star, but I guess it worked for Buddy Holly. By the late 1950s, he also had a popular live comedy show in his hometown and he took this to Auckland when he moved north in 1960. There, her signed to Zodiac and this, his first for Zodiac, was a rock'n'roll novelty, as were all his records.
The A-side was an adaptation of the kid's tune from the 1930s, lamely targeting rock 'n' roll, the B-side was even less funny. Rod's day would come ... Both sides were recorded at Auckland Town Hall and note an association with the Christchurch Robbins Recordings perhaps indicating an existing contract between them and Rod.
Z1060
Z-1060 Happi Hill - The Full Pack Of Cards / Pine Trees To Toothpicks (1960)
Happi Hill (real name Peter Hill) was a Canadian born radio host from the South Island, very popular in the 50s. Like the last record, this notes that a relationship with Robbins who are credited with the original recording of the A-side. This was a version of the 'Pack of Cards' tune, a perennial NZBS/NZBC Sunday request session favourite, which added a rugby flavour. How could it fail, so, yes, it too joined 'House Of Cards' every Sunday for years.
Z-1061 The Multi-guitars of Peter Posa - Josephine / Steel Guitar Rag (1960)
Posa was a multi-instrumentalist but mostly he was a guitarist who was inspired by the Nashville pickers of the 50s. He recorded all his tracks himself, overlaying tracks in a way that was quite revolutionary for the time and sold increasing numbers of records. This A-side was first recorded back in 1927 by the Southern Rhythm Kings but Peter and Eldred probably took this from the 1960 remake by Bill Black's Combo on the Hi label from Memphis. The B-side was first recorded by Pee Wee King And His Golden West Cowboys in 1947 but made famous by Les Paul in 1954.
z1062Alt label
Z-1062 The Voices and Instruments Of Rod Derret - Bongo Train / The Kiwi Train (1960)
Rod had a very big hit with this, so much so it was repressed on three labels, the last of which dates from mid-1965. The public loved it, and it was often heard on the radio nationwide especially the B side, with its references to the oft-testing joys of NZ Railways at the time. The lyrics are here. After the success of this, Rod was signed to HMV and there he more had huge novelty hits with 'Rugby, Racing and Beer' and the non-PC but funny 'Puha and Pakeha' in the mid 1960s (where he had two ts in his last name). This was recorded at Auckland Town Hall. Despite the fact Rod sold many thousands of copies of this, he's been largely written out of the Zodiac story because, one imagines, he jumped ship.
He later moved to Australia where he passed away in 2010.
z1063
Z-1063 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers – I Found A New Love / Three Nights A Week (1960)
The first of a string of very successful singles from Freddie's new band, originally called The Zodiacs. The Kavaliers first lineup was a seven piece with no other Keils, although their matching outfits were made by Eliza and Helga Keil. This single was another Fats Domino tune, a US B-side from 1960, whereas Freddie's B-side was a little closer to home, penned by Australian-based US producer Nat Kipner for the flip of Lonnie Lee's 'Defenceless' also in 1960.
Z-1064 Dawson Rata / Dawson Rata with the Jock Nisbet Group – Im Amorata / Little Corner Of The World (1960)
Dawson was an 11 year old discovered by Eldred in a talent quest. This seems to have been his only record as Stebbings had huge plans for him, taking him to the US and trying his luck there, but his mum said no. Side-A, the Harry Warren song 'Innamorata' incorrectly credited, was with Peter Posa, Ann Holmes and Bruce Mowat. The B-side is an Anita Bryant single from early 1960 written by Bob Hilliard and Lee Pockriss.
Z-1065 Claude Papesch and The Peter Posa Combo – In Apple Blossom Time / Danny Boy (1960)
Claude was a blind Māori keyboardist from the Taranaki who played with just about everyone, including Bob Paris and Johnny Devlin. He recorded an album for Zodiac in the 1970s, Hammond Electrique (ZLP 1055). He had a very successful career in Australia, where he was Entertainer Of The Year one year and a local body politician. He died in Australia in 1987.The A-side is the Harry Von Tilzer and Neville Fleeson 1920s composition, whilst side two needs no introduction.
Z-1066 Bill Wolfgramm And His Hawaiians – Hawaiian War Chant / Daphne Walker with Bill Wolfgramm And His Hawaiians – Gay Hawaiian Party /(1961)
And just when you thought the Hawaiian songs were in Zodiac's past here comes Daphne with the 'Gay Hawaiian Party', no less. The Walker side was reissue of a 1953 78 (Z141). Side-A was penned by the very prolific Hawaiian writer Johnny Noble. The B-side is uncredited here but was written by Canadian Jack Pitman around 1952.
Z-1067 The Keil Isles, vocals: Herma Keil – Little Too Much / Yes Sir That's My Baby (1961)(Icon)
The last Keil Isles' single for Zodiac before they moved to Viking where they recorded successfully until 1967, when finally, as there were no longer any Keils in the band, they split. Herma had a parallel solo career for most of the 1960s hence the way he was credited here. Herma is still living in Australia and the rest of the surviving family are largely in the US.
The A-side here was a Johnny Burnette song first released by Ricky Nelson in 1958, the B-side, the old Water Donaldson penned chestnut dating back to the 1920s.
Z-1068 Red Hewitt - Girl With The Story In Her Eyes / I Don't Care (1961)
The band this time was Ann Holmes on organ, Jock Nisbet on piano, Bill Jones on drums and Peter Posa played guitar. The last single for Zodiac before the Buccaneers moved to HMV for one single and then split as their time was almost past. Red joined the flood of NZ musicians to Australia. The A-side was (uncredited) a tune penned by Bob Roberts for The Surfaris and a 1960 US single.
Z-1069 Laurie Morrison And The Del-Kings – Sweeter As The Days Go By / Nobody But Me (1961)
Howard Morrison's elder brother and his band. The song seems to be an old one but there is no credit.
Z-1070 Rex Jensen Featuring Jock Nisbet – Portrait Of My Love / April Showers (1961)
Rex Jensen was a trumpeter in Auckland who played the club circuit but this was a vocal ballad. He was, his family tell me, later a registered valuer and owned a few successful race horses which saw him on the Ellerslie Racecourse board. The song itself is uncredited but is the recent UK hit by Matt Munro written by Cyril Ornadel and David West. The B-side was penned by Buddy De Sylva and Louis Silvers for Al Jolson in 1921 for the musical Bombo. As well as Jock's piano, the songs both clearly feature the piano accordion of Silvio De Pra.
Z-1071 The Multi-Guitars Of Peter Posa – Wheels / La Paloma (1961)
'Wheels' was a massive hit for Posa (and Zodiac) and remained a commercial radio staple for over a decade. The original was first recorded by a Texan group called The String-A-longs and originally called 'Tell the World' credited members Richard Stephens and Jimmy Torres. It was produced by Buddy Holly producer Norman Petty he wrote a B-side for it he called 'Wheels'. Somehow the credits and names got confused by the record company and to this day Petty is credited with a song he didn't write (Petty had a history of such things). Posa's version is one such credit.
To confuse things even more, Posa credits Johnny Flamingo (real name Melvin Moore) too. Flamingo wrote words for a version recorded by Johnny Duncan and this credit somehow found its way onto instrumental versions like this. Bizarre. The B-side is the Sebastián de Yradier composition from the 19th Century.
Freddie Keil & The Kavaliers

Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers
Z-1072 Trevor Coe with Peter Posa, Johnny Bradfield and Rhythm Accompaniment – The Blizzard / The Coming Home (1961)
Yet another act I know nothing at all about except that he was a former soldier and wrote the B-side, a kind up update of 'Blue Smoke', whilst stationed in Malaysia. He'd also recorded in 1959 for Phil Warren's Prestige label. Harlan Howard wrote the A-side and for Jim Reeves. Johnny Bradfield was an Auckland guitarist of some note who passed away in 2007.
Z-1073 Owen Griffiths & The Rockettes – But I Do / Blue Suede Shoes (1961)
Owen's last single before returning, I guess, to Hamilton. Very rare and perhaps unissued.
Z-1074 The Multiple Guitars of Peter Posa – Listen To The Mocking Bird / Sheik Of Araby (1961)
The first of three singles by Posa issued at the same time. The A-side was written by the 19th Century writer Septimus Winner under his pseudonym Alice Hawthorne and was first recorded as early as 1909. The B-side has been recorded countless times, not least by The Beatles on 1 January 1962 at their Decca audition but dates to 1921. The credit here misses two of the three writers: Ted Snyder is listed but not Francis Wheeler or Harry Smith, perhaps because it's an instrumental and the last two wrote the words.
Z-1075 Jeff Hemingway, piano, Peter Posa, guitar, Gene Blaser, bass and Bill Jones, drums – Playing Possum / Passion Flower (1961)
And the second Posa single, this time credited to a quartet of musicians. Playing Possum was penned by Geoff (AKA Jeff) Hemingway was UK born pianist and comedian who was still working in recent years in Auckland. Gene Blazer (aka Baser) was a rock 'n' bassist who played with Bob Paris and others. Bill Jones drummed with Red Hewitt. A lightweight jazzy piano led instrumental.
Z-1076 The Multiple Guitars of Peter Posa – San Antonio Rose / Should I (1961)
And the third. These were all solid sellers as Posa was a commercial radio favourite especially in rural and small town NZ. The A-side was written as an instrumental by the US country singer Bob Wills, he first recorded it with his Playboys in 1938. A Bing Crosby version was a US million seller in 1940. The B-side was written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown in the mid-1940s.
Z-1077 The Voices Of Rusty Greaves With The Multi-guitarist Peter Posa – I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door / The Great Snowman (1961)
A teaming of two big names in the country and pop scene likely paid dividends in sales at the time. The A-side was the tune penned by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wayne for The Isley Brothers in 1959 but made a hit by Eddie Hodges which is where this is borrowed from. The other side was written by the great John D. Loudermilk and first used on the German B-side of one of his 45s there.


The Mystics: John Kelso, Stu Wilson, Peter McGregor, Al Hardie-Neil and Don Stehr.
Z-1078 The Mystics – Phantom Train /Panic (1962)
From Auckland, The Mystics recorded just the one single for Zodiac, written on both sides by guitarist Don Ster. Apparently it sold some 1,200 copies which was a decent number but there were no more. The record is a passable Shadows pastiche. Stehr later started a successful Auckland building company with his brother, also a musician.
Z-1079 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers – What About Me / Take Good Care Of Her (1962)
After the fallout with his cousin, Herma, Eldred, having lost the Keil Isles, signed Freddie's new band without hearing a note but insisted they change their name to The Kavaliers to prevent confusion. 'What About Me' was the Don Gibson song and 'Take Good Care Of Her' was penned by prolific songwriters Arthur Kent and Ed Warren possibly for Adam Wade but it had previously been much recorded before the Keil version.
As an aside, guitarist Olaf also left the Keil Isles in '61/62, moving to the US where he made custom guitars for Fender for, amongst many, Jimi Hendrix, Buck Owens and Johnny Cash.
Z-1080 The Multi-guitars of Peter Posa / The Multi-guitars of Peter Posa featuring The Hi-Brows – Berlin Melody / Guitar Boogie (1962)
There seemed to be an endless market for Posa's guitar instrumentals and he was happy to supply it. He toured relentlessly around Australasia, the Pacific and into Vegas, which must've made his labels very happy. Heino Gaze's 'Berlin Melody' was a massive early 1960s MOR instrumental radio hit and timely given the politics of the time. The hit was by Billy Vaughan’s Orchestra who also had big hits with both 'Wheels' and 'La Paloma', both also covered by Peter. 'Guitar Boogie' was the Arthur Smith standard.
z1081
Z-1081 Mina Foley With Massed Choir of St. Mary's College And School Of Music – Nun's Chorus From "Casanova" / La Virgine Degli Angeli (1962)
The Auckland Opera diva of course. One of her few recordings. Both tracks were taken from her 10" LP Miniature Concert recorded at Auckland Town Hall and released in 1960. Why a single was issued two years later, I don't know.
Z-1082 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers – The Twist / Tossin' And Turning (1962)
Freddie's cover of the Chubby Checker tune. Eldred recorded this and rushed it out before Allied International could reissue (on their Top Rank label) the Chubby Checker version which had just gone to No.1 in the US for the second time (two years after the first). However, just before, cousin Herma and The Keil Isles issued their version on Viking. Thus the Keil versions got the jump on the radio play and sold big numbers, although it was Herma's that was the very big hit. The B-side was a 1961 US No.1 single for Bobby Lewis written by Ritchie Adams and Marcou Rene.
There were three pressings of this. One, presumably the first, got the writing credit wrong, crediting Chubby Checker instead of Hank Ballard who wrote it and first released it in 1959. It also credited vocal group The Hi-Brows along with Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers. Another corrected that writing credit but for some reason dropped The Hi-Brows. The third version had the A-side just credited to Freddie – now Kavaliers or Hi-Brows. All three were on the yellow label.
Z-1083 The Hi-Brows Featuring Billy Muriwai And The Multi Guitars of Peter Posa / The Hi-Brows Featuring Billy Muriwai and The Kavaliers – The Blue Water Line / Girl Of My Dreams (1962)
And talking of The Hi-Brows... a superstar lineup of pre-Beatles Auckland based talent with Peter Posa on side one and The Kavaliers on side two. It even came with a picture sleeve. The Hi-Brows were a vocal quartet in the style of the Howard Morrison Quartet, who played at the famed Maori Community Centre in Fanshawe Street and were managed by Benny Levin.
The B-side was the old Sunny Clapp song first recorded by by Blue Steele And His Orchestra in 1927 and since covered literally hundreds of times. The A-side, on the other hand, was an uncredited cover of US folk quartet The Brothers Four' 1961 minor hit written by Martin Seligson and Dora Graff.
Z-1084 The Kini Quartet with The Peter Posa Combo - Hard Times Are Comin'/ The Kotahitanga (1962)
The Kini Quartet came from Gisborne and offered up sweet, almost perfect harmonies matched with that classic Pacific strum. Like most of their early releases, this was recorded by Eldred in Gisborne on his portable Grundig recorder in a hall, and written by local songwriter Margaret Raggett. They sold huge numbers of records – on the East Coast! The Kini Quartet sold almost no records elsewhere but Zodiac shipped thousands down country. In late 1962, the Quartet relocated to Auckland, performing regularly at The Māori Community Centre in Fanshawe Street and signed to Zodiac.
The B-side was also a Margaret Raggett song and both were heard on the radio regionally for years. This single exists on the yellow, white and black Zodiac labels.
Z-1085 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers With The Hi-Brows – The Wanderer / Twisting The Night Away (1962)
All of the Kavaliers songs were covers, but given that particular warm Polynesian twist on rock'n'roll that so dominated the scene in the pre-Beatles days. This time it was the Dion And The Belmonts song on the A-side and Sam Cooke's classic on the flip. Neither had writing credits.
Z-1086 Peter Posa - Percolator (Twist) / Rebound (1962)
Even Posa wasn't shy to jump onto the '62 twist bandwagon, in the hunt for a hit. This time, no more Multi-guitars as Peter apparently wanted to move on whereas Eldred was keen to continue with a proven formula. It was to prove a mistake on Eldred's part and within a few months of this being issued he signed to competitor to Viking where he would stay for the next 5 years. This, uncredited, was a cover of a 1962 US 45 by Billy Joe & The Checkmates written by Ernie Freeman and Louis Bideu. The B-side was a rare (then) Posa original.
Z-1087 Lou And Simon with The Peter Posa Combo - Young World / Nancy (1962)
Lou Clauson and Simon Mehana came from South Auckland, and were in equal parts a parody/comedy act and a duo who sang pop standards. And sold lots of records. Much of what they created probably wouldn't past the test of correctness now but in their day they were stars and their Zodiac albums were big sellers. 'Young World' was a Jerry Fuller tune which was a US hit for Ricky Nelson and had also been covered in NZ by Red Hewitt for HMV a year earlier. 'Nancy' was written by someone called Wilson Kau and of him, I know nothing.
Z-1088 Kini Quartet – Jenny & Johnny / Storm Girl (1962)
The second single from Gisborne's quartet, both sides again written by local songwriter Margaret Raggett and recorded by Eldred in a local hall. Issued on both the yellow and white labels.
Kini Quartet

Margaret Raggett, composer of many of The Kini Quartet's recordings, in Gisborne with Peter Posa (who played on the early ones) in 1961 at the time the first singles were recorded.
Photo: Gisborne Photo News
Z-1089 The Hi-Brows & The Playdates  – Left Right Twist / Look Around (1962)
This mysterious 45, with The Hi-Brows was The Playdates only Zodiac single. They too were a product of the thriving scene at the Maori Community Centre, and included amongst their members the legendary Danny Robinson. However, there is no evidence it was ever released despite appearing on various collector's Zodiac list.  All the evidence seems to indicate that it was not as even Stebbings don't have a copy.  Both sides were written by manager Benny Levin which means that if it had been issued it would have been unique.
Z-1090 The Multi Guitars Of Peter Posa - Buttons And Bows / Georgia Camp Meeting (1962)
In 1963-4, Posa played 363 gigs in 364 days, something that most contemporary acts won't do in a decade. I guess it's called showbiz, and a hunger to succeed. However, by the time this was issued, Peter was gone, to Viking. The A-side was an old Hollywood tune penned by Jay Livingston & Raymond Evans and made a hit by Dinah Shore in 1948. The B-side is even older, dating back to 1928 and written by Kerry Mills. I doubt Peter was happy this was issued to take sales from his new records. That, too, is showbiz.
Z-1091 Fia Chaplin with Stuart Parson's Quintet – Too Hot To Twist / Twist With The Yeti (1962)
Fiapaipai Faleatuo was still a schoolgirl at Seddon Memorial Tech (now Western Springs College) when she became quite a name on the Auckland club and ballroom scene. She launched her recording career with fashionable twist tune. That she was managed by Phil Warren gave her a major step up. Both sides are written by Allan Fletcher and the neither the internet or Stebbings have any record of him.
Z-1092 The Kini Quartet with the Jock Nisbet Group with Peter Posa - Sealed With A Kiss / I Only Have Eyes For You (1962)
A couple of covers of chart records hand picked by Eldred no doubt, as was the norm. These were the first released songs by the quartet not written by Margaret Ragette. That Peter plays on them indicates they were likely also recorded in Gisborne. 'Sealed With A Kiss' was the Brian Hyland hit penned by Gary Geld and Peter Udell and it's odd that Eldred went up against it but the version here sounds far more, shall we say, local and was likely targeted at the home market on the East Coast. 'I Only Have Eyes For You' was composed by Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin and was first a hit in 1934. The Flamingos version from 1959 would have been the reference here.
Z-1093 Lou And Simon - Old Macdonald Had A Farm / Otangaroa (Beyond The Reef)(1962)
This was a novelty record, as were pretty much all their 45s, but it was also a big hit. I well remember it on the radio as a kid, on those ZB Sunday request sessions. It was recorded live at Auckland Town Hall. The B-side is Jack Pitman's 'Beyond The Reef', first recorded by Bing Crosby. It is retitled as 'Otangaroa' and cheekily credited as Traditional.
Z-1094 The Multi-guitars of Peter Posa - Mr Hibbs Theme / The Breeze And I (1962)
The A-side was from the film of the same name and written by Henry Mancini. Here the credit says "From The 20th Century Fox ..."" except just not this version. The B-side was Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona's 1928 melody, given English lyrics in the 1940s by Al Stillman. Oddly, this instrumental still credits Al.
Z-1095 Ken Farr Featuring Peter Posa - John Kelly The Boy From Killan / Girl In The Wood (1962)
I'm not sure who Ken was but the song itself is an old Irish rebel tune, also performed by, amongst others, The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners. Penned by Patrick McCall in 1898, it was written to commemorate the centenary of the 1798 Rebellion. The NZ version is somewhat hokey country. The B-side, first recorded by Frankie Laine in 1951, was written by Terry Gilkyson who also wrote 'Memories are Made of This' for Dean Martin.
Z-1096 Ray Woolf And The Wooftones – Things / Fortune Teller (1962)
A bit of a classic, Ray Woolf was an English immigrant singer who arrived in NZ in the early sixties and almost immediately signed to Zodiac. Within a few months he was touring New Zealand with Helen Shapiro and on his way to becoming a household name. This is a credible cover of the Bobby Darin song on the A-side, however the B-side is not the Allen Toussaint classic recorded first by Benny Spellman but rather a somewhat naff cover of the lightweight doo-wop number by Canadian Bobby Curtola. Shame. Backing vocals on both sides are by Pat McMinn and Esme Stevens.
Z-1097 Ray Woolf And The Wooftones – Ugly Ducking / Cry And Cry (1962)
The second Ray Woolf single issued in conjunction with the Shapiro tour in September, 1962, is this cover of Alabama country singer Freddie Hart's self-penned (although not credited) 45 from the same year. The B-side, also uncredited, is yet another Bobby Curtola song, written, like the earlier one by his producers, Basil & Dyer Hurdon.
z1096
Z-1098 Nancy Harrie With Bob Paris & Merv Thomas and Neil Dunningham / Nancie Harrie with Les Still and Neil Dunningham - Alley Cat / Fascination Rag (1962)
Ngaruawahia born pianist Nancy's only single for Zodiac but she recorded for many other labels including HMV and TANZA over a very long career. She was resident at many Auckland clubs and cabarets over the years including the now demolished Peter Pan (later Mainstreet).'Alley Cat' was a popular tune around the world at the time, written by Danish pianist Bent Fabric (aka Bent Fabricius-Bjerre). 'Fascination Rag' was composed by Italian Fermo Dante Marchetti and dates back to 1912 (as 'Fascination Waltz').
This sold well enough to be reissued on the black 1965-68 label.
Z-1099 Ray Woolf And The Embers - If You Were A Rock & Roll Record / Little Boy Blue (1962)
Ray's earlier records were far more rock'n'roll than his later 'all round entertainer' career would indicate - but not that rock 'n' roll. Despite the title this is one of those post-Elvis, pre-Beatles swoon-pop records, recorded first by Freddy Cannon in 1962 and written by Jay Goodis. 'Little Boy Blue' was a B-side for UK pop star Mike Berry, written by Geoffrey Goddard and produced by Joe Meek. The Embers, an Auckland band featuring Doug Jerebine, Keith Graham, Gary Daverne, John 'Yuk' Harrison, Mike Kelly, Mike Perjanik and Glyn Tucker Jr. would feature more on Zodiac and Viscount soon.
Ray Columbus & The Invaders

Ray Columbus & The Invaders
Z-1100 Lou And Simon with The Embers - This Time I Would Know / Its Just The Idea (1962)
Both sides written by John D. Loudermilk, the US writer best known for 'Tobacco Road', and featuring The Embers.
Z-1101 The Kavaliers under the direction of Freddie Keil - Chocks Away / Hot Toddy (1963)
A single which this time around was just the band without Freddie, on an sax led instrumental which apparently was the theme from Biggles, a now forgotten UK TV series from the 1950s which first arrived in NZ in 1962. (It has nothing to do with the later song of the same name by Yes singer Jon Anderson for the movie.)
The flip was a song first recorded by UK bandleader Ted Heath in 1953 but the version here owes more to the 1962 version by US band The Secrets.
Z-1102 The Waitemata Brass Ensemble and Chorus / The Waitemata Silver Band - The Longest Day / The President (1963)
The A-side was an opportunistic movie theme written by Paul Anka and the flip was by Scottish composer James Ord Hume under a pseudonym of William German and dates to the early 20th Century.
z1103
Z-1103 The Multi-Guitars Of Peter Posa - Scottish And Irish Medley / Moonlight And Roses (1963)
A last single for Zodiac before Peter headed off to Eldred's main competitor, Viking, where he had his biggest hit with 'White Rabbit', and, later, discovered The Chicks. He'd return to Eldred later in the decade. The A-side is much what it claims to be, traditional Celtic tunes, whilst the B-side is the Ben Black, Neil Moret number (uncredited) from the 1920s, made famous by Jim Reeves.
Z-1104 The Multi-guitars of Graeme Bartlett - Last Stage / West Sombero (1963)
Aside from a novelty hit in the 1970s ('The Ballad Of Rob Muldoon'), hit singles have always eluded Gray in New Zealand, although he is the king of self-promotion and had apparently had some success in China with albums in the 1980s, although details are sparse. However, despite this, he had a hit in Japan in 1965 with 'La Playa'. Exactly how big is unsure although Gray claims 500,000 sold. The record charted in the Japanese Top 5 but in an odd way: the chart combines several different records in that position.
'Last Stage West' was a 1962 45 by UK band The Outlaws (featuring Ritchie Blackmore on guitar) and was written by Chas Hodges later of Chas and Dave, and Joe Meek (under the name Robert Duke). 'Sombrero' was first issued by Johnnie Spence & His Orchestra and was written by Spanish composer Antonio Ortiz Calero. What is of interest us the Multi-guitars credit: Eldred was now grooming Gray to replace the departed Peter Posa.
Auckland Star 21 Dec, 1963

The Auckland Star club guide, Dec 21, 1963. Like a Zodiac who's who of the time.

Courtesy of Larry Killip.
Z-1105 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers With The Turner Sisters – Should I / Its Only A Paper Moon (1963)
There was quite a market for Freddie's particular style of Pacific Rock'n'Roll as he recorded (and was released) prolifically through to the late 1960s, despite the onslaught of the beat groups and beyond. This A-side was a written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown Jack Miller in 1930, but this version was likely lifted from the same band, The String-a-longs, who gave Peter Posa 'Wheels' (Z-1071). 'It's Only A Paper Moon' is the old Harold Arlen song first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1944.
Z-1106 The Hi-Brows With The Embers - Room Full Of Roses / The Language Song (1963)
The Hi-Brows backed by The Embers on a Tim Spencer some released in 1949 by his country band The Sons Of The Pioneers. 'The Language Song' was written by Meredith Willson, who is best known for 'Till There Was You' and comes from a 1960 musical called Molly Brown.
Z-1107 Lou And Simon - Broken Heart / Broken Star (1963)
Their album, Lets Tour With Lou and Simon (ZLP 1019) was a big seller as they filled halls across New Zealand in the early and mid 1960s. It's hard to overstate, and indeed imagine 40 years later, just how big this sort of thing was. This single may not have been issued.
z1108
Z-1108 Anne Murphy And The Kavaliers / Anne Murphy And Jimmy And The Kavaliers - Back In Baby's Arms / Very Few Heartaches And Very Few Tears (1963)
An Auckland singer from the early 1960s backed by The Kavaliers, doing a Bob Montgomery song recorded first by Patsy Cline very much in a lite-country-pop style. The B-side was a sentimental Jim Ware song (uncredited) recorded by a long forgotten Texas duo, Jack And Jill and featuring Jimmy Murphy, a guitarist in The Kavaliers who was Anne's brother. This was the first single to use the new white label design as above, likely designed by Don Couldrey.
Z-1109 Freddie Keil And The Kavaliers - Take These Chains From My Heart / All The Other Boys Are Talking (1963)
The final Freddie Keil 45 for Zodiac (they would appear as a backing band again). The A-side was a cover of the current hit for Ray Charles penned by Hy Heath and Fred Rose and first recorded by Hank Williams in 1955. The B-side is a slightly renamed version of 'The Other Boys Are Talking' written by Fred Carter Jr. (here uncredited) for Leroy Van Dyke, also in 1963.
Z-1110 The Multi-Guitars Of Graeme Bartlett – Skip To M'limbo / Loch Lomand (1963)
Another single from Gray, again in the Multi-guitar style of Peter Posa although without Peter's panache. Ultra-middle of the road covers of The Ventures (on the A) and the Shorty Rogers credited (as Leo Rogers) remake of the traditional Scottish tune by The Ramrods (on The B). Best forgotten probably.
Qunin Tikis

Rim D. Paul and The Quin Tikis in Sydney.
Courtesy of the Rim D. Paul Collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Z-1111 Ray Woolf With The Hi-Lites – Creole Baby / Wait For Me (1963)
Another single from Ray, this time just under his own name, backed by The Hi-Lites, a vocal group who would appear on more Zodiac 45s in the same role. Produced (and written) by Tony Lavelli, an American pianist and piano accordion player (who was also a former baseball player of some note!) who was touring with Helen Shapiro at the time.
Z-1112 Beverley Hill With The Kavaliers and The Zodiac Strings And Chorus / Beverley Hill With The Kavaliers - Love Me Forever / Give Me A Break (1963)
I don't know much about Beverley but I'd guess she was an Auckland club singer. The record itself is an Eydie Gormé styled pop ballad, recorded first by ... Eydie Gormé (in 1957) and much recorded thereafter. It was written by Beverly Guthrie and Gary Lynes. However, this was taken very much note for note from the 1960 Jodie Sands 45 from 1960 which had exactly the same track as a B-side, written by Paul Kaufman and Rose Bluestone. Odd.
Ray Woolf

Jim Chamings
Z-1113 Jim Chamings - Whirlwind / Maori Maid (1963)
A briefly popular country singer, he recorded two 7"'s with Gray Bartlett backing. The A-side was first released by Margaret Whiting in 1949, written by Stanley Davis Jones who also wrote 'Riders In The Sky' and 'Rawhide' but this version may be taken from the UK group, The Barons in 1961. The B-side was a novelty number written by Jim that hasn't aged well.
Z-1114 Freddie Keil With The Zodiac Strings And Chorus / Freddie Keil and The Kavaliers - Don't Try To Fight It Baby / No Signs Of Loneliness Here (1963)
Freddie's first solo disc without The Kavaliers on the A-side, a song written by Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller for Eydie Gormé. The B-side is back with the band and is a Marty Robbins song released in 1963.
Z-1115 Lou And Simon With The Zodiac Strings - Here's Hoping / Blue Star (1963)
The A-side is notable for the Wayne Senior credit, the first for the very important producer and arranger. 'Here's Hoping' was written by UK writers Les Reed and Geoff Stephens for the Carter-Lewis duo in 1962. 'Blue Star' dates back to 1956 and was penned by Victor Young (credited) and Edward Heyman (uncredited).
Z-1116 Anne Murphy With The Kavaliers - My Heart Said Bossa Nova / Pretty Boy Lonely (1963)
Zodiac seemed to be struggling to find a formula that worked in early 1963, and records like this didn't help. They were fine but workman, but largely reflected a less than inspired period in popular music. The Beatles were coming as was Zodiac's salvation, they just didn't know it yet. This was a cover written by Brill songwriting giants Leiber, Stoller, Mann and Weil for the long-past-their-prime The Clovers. The other side was a recent Patti Page song written by Jimmy Radcliffe and Neval Nader.
Z-1117 Lou And Simon With Zodiac Strings And Rhythm / Lou And Simon - My Broken Heart / Poor Joe (1963)
The A-side was a John Shakespeare and Ken Hawker (aka Carter-Lewis as above) first recorded by Carter-Lewis & The Southerners in 1962. The flipside was a Joe Meek (under his alias of Robert Duke) song written for Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers also in 1962.
Lou and Simon

Lou & Simon
Z-1118 The Hi-Brows - Two Time Lover / Near (1963)
Pacific vocal harmonies that could really only have come from New Zealand, very much in a Howard Morrison Quartet style. Hy Glaser, Jerry Solomon and Sam Glaser wrote 'Two Timin' Lover' for US pop singer Bill Courtney in 1962, while Bobby Worth's 'Near' seems to have first been released by the obscure doo-wop duo Ronnie And Hal. Despite the credit, it was really an uncredited adaptation of Strauss' 'Blue Danube'. Both sides were produced by the ubiquitous Jock Nisbet.
Z-1119 Lou & Simon With the Zodiac Strings And Rhythm / Lou & Simon - At The Balalaika / Sit Around And Talk (1963)
Records like this haven't really stood the test of time, but they were likely past their sell-by date when beat music arrived in NZ later in 1963. The A-side dates back to 1937 when it was a hit for Victor Sylvester and several others. It was written by George Posford and Eric Maschwitz (whose other credits include 'These Foolish Things' and 'A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square') and the vocal version was from a 1939 movie called Balalaika, performed by Nelson Eddy. The B-side was penned by Nat Kipner, the Australian based US producer/label owner (and Bee Gees discoverer) who was a friend of Eldred's. This track was first recorded by Australian Lonnie Lee in 1961 as 'Sit Around And Talk To Me'.
z1120
Z-1120 Ray Woolf / Ray Woolf with The Zodiac Strings And Orchestra - That Friday Feeling / Genie (1963)
'That Friday Feeling' was written by Glyn Tucker Jnr. under his Glyn Conway alias and didn't seem to find an audience thus making it one of the rarer Woolf 45s. 'Genie' is doo-wop pop and largely forgettable, written by Joe Seneca and Manuel Villa (uncredited) for US singer Carl Dobkins Jr. in 1960. The backing band on this was The Invaders who had just signed to Zodiac and was their first appearance on vinyl.
Z-1121 Lou & Simon - When I Met You (1963)
This seems not have been released. The song appears on their album Let's Tour With Lou & Simon (ZLP-1019).
The Invaders

Ray Columbus & The Invaders
Z-1122 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - Money Lover / So In Love(1963)
The future arrives. The most famous of all the mid-60s Zodiac bands was formed in Christchurch in 1961 as Ray and The Drifters who in turn had evolved out of The Downbeats. They cut their teeth playing to American servicemen at Operation Deep Freeze.
Moving to Auckland at the suggestion of Howard Morrison, where Phil Warren booked them into residencies his clubs, this was their first single after signing to Zodiac. This record was that almost unheard of beast in New Zealand at the time, a single where both sides were written by the band. I think the only other band doing at the time was Max Merritt's and, of course, they were both from the same Garden City scene. They did things differently in Christchurch.
Z-1123 Rusty Greaves - Hilly Billy Choo Choo / She Taught Me How To Yodel (1963)
Rusty performed and recorded for a variety of labels in NZ and Australia for over 40 years, plus assorted TV on shows like The Country Touch which was, back when country had quite an audience in NZ, a very popular Saturday night show. He'd recorded 78s for Zodiac in the early 1950s. The A-side of this single was a German song, penned by Heinz Gietz and given English lyrics by Charles Singleton for US country act The Appalachians earlier in 1963. The flipside was written in the 1940s by Tom Emerson, Esther Van Sciver (called Van Solver here) and Paul Roberts for Yodeling Slim Clark and has been oft covered over the years including by John Hore in NZ, who had a hit in 1964.
Z-1124 The Multi-guitars of Graeme Bartlett - Dark Eyes / Moon Man (1963)
Both tracks were covers of songs first recorded by the Australian band, The Atlantics. All Gray did was flip the sides of the Australian single. However, this is really notable for the first label credit for producer John Hawkins. John would go on to produce some of the most edgy and sonically impressive NZ records of the 1960s but this is every bit as slight as Gray's earlier work sadly.
Z-1125 Fia Chaplin / Fia Chaplin with The Zodiac Strings And Orchestra - Senora / Am I Blue (1963)
The second single from Fia seems not to have caused much of a reaction, as little trace can be found of it. The A-side's writers seem lost in time but it's an odd Latin thing that was probably unlikely to find an audience in NZ. The B-side was penned by the great US songwriting team of Harry Akst and Grant Clarke and was first recorded by Annette Hanshaw in 1929.
Z-1126 Ray Woolf - You Can Never Stop Me Loving You / That's Why (1963)
This doesn't seem to have been issued and they used the flip side for the next single.
Z-1127 The Invaders - Ku Pow / Autumn Leaves (1963)
Originally the band was mostly instrumental, so it made sense for Zodiac to release a second single with no vocals, at Eldred's suggestion. This was a minor hit, and added to the sensation the group was causing in Auckland with a live show that made many Auckland bands look like something from the last decade (as many were). The A-side was originally by UK band The Outlaws (see Z-1104, this tune was the UK B-side of that, with the same writers) and produced by Joe Meek. Hawkins had worked with Meek and was able to give this a similar sound. The B-side was the oft-recorded standard. A terrific 45.
This, too, was the first release on the new Australian Zodiac imprint, one which issued some 33 singles, one EP and a few albums via Philips, in the catalogue sequence AZ1001-1033 between 1964 and 1966, and a second Australian Zodiac label under the ZF-1 to ZF-5 (some sources say there was a ZF6 and a ZF-7) sequence (1968-69), including at least one by Paul Fisher (It's Better To Have Loved / Happy Again, ZF-2) which looks to have not been released in NZ.
In the period between, a combined Philips / Zodiac brand was used for at least 6 singles (see La De Da's PF338094 below) after a deal was negotiated by John McCready.
Cathy Howe

Cathy Howe
Z-1128 Lee Lingman And The Hi-Lites With The Zodiac Strings And Rhythm - My Little Girl's Come Home / You Belong To Me / (1963)
Who Lee Lingman was I don't know. The A-side was another Joe Meek cover, penned and performed by Geoff Goddard in 1961. The B-side was a Sam Cooke tune. It was the third single credited to John Hawkins.
Z-1129 Cathy Howe With The Silhouettes - Mommie And Daddy Were Twistin' / Then He Kissed Me (1963) (Viscount)
Cathy was from Auckland, Bayswater to be precise, and she recorded eight singles for Gary Daverne's Viscount imprint, most of which were not huge hits, but had credible sales. She could be found many weekends in the clubs, halls and coffee bars that provided Auckland with a strong live scene for decades. The single was named top local pop record of 1963 by 1ZB. She was credited as Kathy Howe on this. The A-side was a 1961 single by Long Island pop singer Susan Summers, whilst the B-side was, of course, The Crystals' record written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry.
Z-1130 The Glendelles - Sally Goes Round The Roses / Ring-Ting-A-Ding (1963) (Viscount)
An all girl group from Glendowie College, put together by Viscount boss, Gary Daverne who was a teacher at the school. They sang backing on most of the Viscount singles but this was their debut. The A-side was first recorded by The Jaynets from The Bronx and went to No.2 in the US. It was written by Lona Stevens and Zelma Sanders. The B-side was penned by label owner and producer Gary Daverne.
Z-1131 Steve Ellis - Mickey's Monkey / Jezebel (1963) (Viscount)
The first of two singles from this guy, this being a cover of The Miracles' recent hit (which wasn't a single in NZ). Perhaps not released or limited release.
Z-1132 The Ridgerunners - Road To Freedom / So High (1963) (Viscount)
A record that Viscount licensed from a US label, which I'm told came out in the US on a cardboard record. Both sides were written by famed singer-songwriter John Stewart (who wrote 'Daydream Believer') as his brother Michael was in the band. 'Road To Freedom' also appeared on a Kingston Trio album the same year this was released. A version of this band was still playing through to the 1980s. How Viscount came to them is a mystery and there was even a second single.
Z-1133 Ray Woolf With The Zodiac Strings And Orchestra - That’s Why / Just Gotta Have You (1963)
The B side of his last single became the A side of this. Did it sell? It seems not enough to chart it, but singles tended to sell over long periods of time in the 1960s, where they were the primary musical delivery format, and often reached fairly respectable, and cost covering, numbers over months or years. Produced again by John Hawkins, the A-side was penned by US country singer Kent Westberry and seems to have been drawn here from a 1961 45 by teen star Danté Storace. The B-side was written by Bodie Chandler for his group Barry And The Tamerlanes which also featured Barry De Vorzon, also a composer of some note.
Z-1134 The Ridgerunners - The New Frontier / Rainbow Bill (1963) (Viscount)
Michael Stewart seems to have left this band after this, joining brother John in We Five who had a US No.1 hit with 'You Were on My Mind'. His later claim to fame was as a producer of some of Billy Joel's biggest hits. The A-side is a cover of the B-side of The Kingston Trio's 'Greenback Dollar' written by John as a member of that band.
z1135
Z-1135 Sonny Day & The Sundowners - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Ke Kalineiau) / Little Lovely One (1963)
Musicians like to hang around music stores and so it was that this influential and important band came together when the staff and customers of long time Auckland institution, Harmony House decided to form a band. Led by Sonny Day, they signed to Viking, releasing a brace of singles and an EP, after a change of name from Sonny Day and The Sharks, to The Sundowners, and then moved to Zodiac.
The A-side of this was written by Charles King in 1926, but rewritten by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning for Bing Crosby. Andy Williams and Elvis also did it. I'd love to be able to report that the Sundowners, who were one of the resident bands at the Jive Centre, rocked it up but sadly no. The B-side is more fun, a cover of US doo-wop band The Jarmels 1961 hit written by Bob Brass and Irwin Levine (who co-wrote 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree' in the 70s).
Z-1136 Lou & Simon- City Driving / I Remember You ( You Gave Me Asian Flu )(1963)
Never one to miss a topical story... This 45 seems to have been allowed to disappear given that it was possibly not in the best taste. It's nowhere online. The B-side is a reworking of the Frank Ifield hit.
Z-1137 John Goodare And The Galaxies - Make Me Know / I Really Love You (1963)
Self-penned country pop from a Hamilton singer.
Eldred and Margaret Stebbing with Sandy Edmonds

Eldred and Margaret Stebbing with Sandy Edmonds in the Saratoga Ave studio, 1966.
Z-1138 Rim D. Paul And The Quin-Tikis - Ol' Man River / Poi Poi Twist (1963)
One of the great Maori showbands that were such a feature of the South Pacific and South East Asian live scene through to the seventies, and produced a wealth of talent and household names, and, importantly, children who continue to make music across Australasia. Rim came from Ruatoria on the East Coast of the North Island, and joined this Rotorua originated band in the early 1960s. This B-side of this single was a very New Zealand mashing together of the Maori classic Hoki Mai with The Twist. 'Ol' Man River' is, of course, the Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein show standard which first appeared in the 1927 stage musical Showboat sung by Jules Bledsoe, although the famous version is by Paul Robeson from the 1936 movie. The Quin-Tikkis' version has an Elvis in the South Pacific richness all of its own.
Z1139
Z-1139 Steve Ellis With The Tallismen - Love And Sorrow / '509' (1963) (Viscount)
Steve was a UK born Auckland singer who was a regular name the dancehall scene of the early to mid 1960s. He lived in Birkenhead on the shore and in 1967 set up the briefly active Treble Clef label from his home. In its two year history it released a handful of singles including The Music Convention and Bobby Davis records. Ellis is thought to have returned to the UK in the 1970s. This single is co-written by Steve and Errol Timbers, one of the most highly regarded guitarists in Auckland in the 1960s (a member also of Terry Dean And The Nitebeats, Bill Wolfgramm's band and much more). The B-side, '509', was penned by Bruce Logan, bassist with the backing band, The Tallismen. Unlike most singles on this page, the Steve Ellis records were recorded at Astor Studios in Newton.
Z-1140 Cathy Howe With The Glendelles And The Silhouettes - I Adore Him / Keep An Eye On Him (1963) (Viscount)
The recent compilation of Viscount tracks states that Cathy was big in the ballrooms and who am I to disagree. This A-side was a cover of a US single by The Angels penned by Artie Kornfeld (who will appear later on this page with more significance) and Jan Berry (of Jan & Dean fame) not Barry Kornfeld as credited, and the B was another originally by The Jaynetts, written by Lona Stevens and George David Weiss (who wrote 'What A Wonderful World,'Can't Help Falling In Love With You' and 'Lullaby Of Birdland' amongst many.
Z-1141 The Kini Quartet With The Graeme Bartlett Combo - Under The Sun / Mother And Child (1963)
The title track of their 1970 later album, and a stunning Margaret Raggett song that has lasted the years as well a decade in the Zodiac catalogue. Sales of this politically tinged song were apparently slow in Auckland and elsewhere in NZ, but it sold many thousands on the East Coast and is the only 45 to have been pressed on the white, black and gold labels. The B-side was also written by Margaret.
Z-1142 Ray Woolf - Living A Lie / Just Like Eddie (1963)
The final solo single for Zodiac for Ray (he would return briefly as part of band in 1966) after he decided he wanted to take a musical break. The A-side was written by Jean Sawyer and Peter de Angelis for US crooner Al Martino. The B-side was a cover of the Joe Meek produced single by Heinz but it wasn't the hit it was for the Englishman. It was another from the pen of Geoffrey Goddard.
Z-1143 Peter Hill - Rugby Solitaire / Big Deal (1963)
A second novelty single about rugby from the Canadian-born Christchurch radio DJ whose previous outing was as Happi Hill (see Z-1060). Both sides were self-written.
Z-1144 Dave Henry And The Sundowners With Fortesque Frog / Dave Henry And The Sundowners Ain't Got No Home / Raindrops (1963)
The Sundowners, with vocalist Dave Henry as featured artist rather than guitarist, Day, as had been the norm before. The A-side was a cover of the Clarence "Frogman" Henry tune (uncredited) and the "frog" credit related to the way they had given it even more of novelty edge than the 1956 original. 'Raindrops' is the 1961 Dee Clark record and both sides were produced by manager (and Jive Centre owner) Dave Dunningham.
Ray Columbus and The Invaders

Ray Columbus And The Invaders in Sydney.
Courtesy of Ray Columbus.
Z-1145 Ray Columbus And The Invaders - I Saw Her Standing There / Just A Dream (1963)
A very timely Beatles cover, which was more of a holding single as the band made their first trip into Australia to check out the lay of the land. The record was, despite the fact there was a version by that other band, a substantial radio hit in Auckland. The B-side was first recorded by Jimmy Clanton And His Rockets in 1958, written by Jimmy and his producer Cosimo Matassa although here the band don't credit that and claim an arrangement credit (and thus the income) which is a little cheeky. They credited it on their hits album in 1965. This may be the last recording they did with Puni Solomon on bass before he was replaced by Billy Kristian.
Z-1146 Jim Chamings with The Graeme Bartlett Combo - Don't Make Sense, Does It? / Kiwi Lullaby (1963)
One last single for Jim, and then he moved to Australia where he was a broadcaster in Townsville and then Adelaide. He passed away in 2002.
Z-1147 Freddie Keil & The Kavaliers - Girls / Learnin', Trying To Forgive (1963)
This seems not have been issued. Freddie's next record would be as a solo artist and The Kavaliers were no more, although the members regrouped later in the decade without Freddie and still play in the 21st Century albeit as The Kavalliers with two 'l's.
Max Merritt

Max Merritt & The Meteors in 1964: Max Merritt, Peter Williams, Mike Angland and Johnny Dick.
Z-1148 The Multi-Guitars of Graeme Bartlett - Jet Walk / Surf Rider (1963)
Gray goes all Shadows (albeit much tougher than the Shads thanks to John Hawkins production), and has the closest thing to a hit he had at Zodiac. A great instrumental nonetheless and both sides self-written.
Z-1149 Max Merritt And The Meteors - Soft Surfie / She's Everything I Wanted You To Be (1963)
A great instrumental from one of the most prolific and respected NZ bands of all time. Why they only recorded one single for Zodiac, I have no idea. Their first recording in Auckland and produced yet again by John Hawkins. The A-side was written by Max whilst the flip was a cover of a Douglas Lapham penned tune by obscure US pop vocalist Ral Donner. Stick with the A-side.
Z-1150 Ray Columbus & The Invaders / The Invaders - I Wanna Be Your Man/ Cats Eyes (1963)
A double A-side, a big radio hit for Ray and the band and arguably the definitive version of this Lennon-McCartney tune locally for years. 'Cat's Eyes' was just The Invaders with Ray on tambourine and a cover of a 1961 record by UK band The Ted Taylor Four.
Z1151
Z-1151 The Glendelles And The Silhouettes / Cathy Howe,  The Glendelles And The Silhouettes - Popsicles & Icicles / Please Mr Postman (1964) (Viscount)
The A-side was the East Auckland girl with group with The Silhouettes doing a David "Bread" Gates tune that was a hit in 1963 for US pop trio The Murmaids. The flip side added label mainstay, Cathy Howe for this cover in those Beatles-happy days (even though it was originally by The Marvelettes, of course).
Z-1152 Jimmy Sloggett - Stompin' South / Crossfire (1964)
One of the most important NZ musicians of the '60s was actually an Australian. He played on and / or produced countless records, including his own big hit 'Yackety Sax' (on Viking). Two sax led instrumentals, this was the first of three singles for Zodiac. The A-side dates back 1924 when it was first released by Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra as simply 'South', penned by Bennie and his trombone player Thamon Hayes. 'Crossfire' is an uncredited cover of a 1959 Johnny and The Hurricanes single written by T. J. Fowler and Harry Balk (under the name Tom King).
Z-1153 Ray Columbus & The Invaders / The Invaders - On My Mind / Theme From "Dr No" (1964)
Two tracks from their debut album, Every Nite (ZLP 1020), once again vocal on the A, a cover of UK singer Mike Berry's just released and self-penned 45, instrumental on the B, an uncredited cover of Monty Norman's new Bond theme.
z1154
Z-1154 The Sundowners - Baby Jane / Keep A Knocking (1964)
The Sundowers solved the lead credit quandary by just not having one. The A-side was a cover of a UK single by The Applejacks written by the great Pete Dello and Ray Cane, whilst the flip was a Little Richard tune arranged by someone called Marsh Cook. A Zodiac rarity.
Z-1155 The Graeme Bartlett Combo - The Wobbly / Roller-Coaster (1964) (Viscount)
Gray's only 45 for Viscount, with the top side penned by label owner Gary Daverne and the flip by Gary and Gray.
Z-1156 Lou And Simon- If You've Got The Money / It's Only The Beginning (1964)
A comedy remake of Lefty Frizzell's 1950 hit on the A-side and a somewhat straighter cover of The Kalin Twins' 1958 US hit, written by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wayne, on the other.
Z-1157 Al Paget Sextet- Stampede / Chariot Stomp (1964)
A popular rock'n'roll band from Auckland who played around the suburban clubs in the early 1960s. They'd released two singles for Allied International and one for Lexian before this instrumental, the first of two singles for Zodiac. Side one is written by Al (real name Alex Patchett) whilst the other side is a rollicking reworking of 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' in a Bill Doggett style.
z1158
Z-1158 The Sundowners - Tell Me Why / Johnny Be Goode (1964)
This 45, in a classic, and then very current, beat style, was written by two of the band, drummer Lionel Kennedy and guitarist Bob Wynyard-Te Hiro. The B-side was the Berry tune. An ever-changing lineup eventually included a young John Rowles and the highly rated drummer Trix Willoughby (father of 80s/90s star Kim).
Z-1159 The Kini Quartet - The Hitch-Hiker / He Didn't Know (1964)
Two more songs from songwriter Margaret Raggett (with a new publishing deal with Viking's Seven Seas imprint, Eldred would not have been happy) and, one assumes, another 45 that sold well in Gisborne and the surrounding regions. This is notable for the the first appearance on a Zodiac 45 of the square box with J.H./ Prod = John Hawkins production, so clearly recorded in Saratoga Avenue.


The Wanderers at Phil Warren's Montmartre in 1964 with singer Karl Moheka. Keith Davis, Karl Tatana, Trevor Davis, Russell Shaw and Bob Hilditch. Phil Warren Archives.
Z-1160 Bob Davis And The Wanderers - Short Fat Horrie (Long Tall Texan) / No Vacancy (1964)
Eldred clearly had some faith in Bobby, an English immigrant who was Christchurch based, as he stuck with him for some four years despite no real hits (but a TV profile). Not a PC title at all, and unsurprisingly not available anywhere online. It was a remake of a tune called 'Long Tall Texan' first recorded in 1959 by The Four Flickers and written by Nashville songwriter Henry Strzelecki. 'No Vacancy' was a 1958 Neil Sedaka B-side.
The Wanderers were a Northland band who were resident at The Montmarte.
Merseymen

The Merseymen with Jet Rink aka Dylan Taite on the right.
Z-1161 Allison Durbin - Count On Me / Lovers Lane (1964)
Allison was only 14 when she recorded this and four years away from her huge success for HMV. She was discovered by Eldred in a talent contest at Dave Dunningham's Surfside Ballroom in Milford. This wasn't a hit but Eldred and John Hawkins (who produced this) could clearly hear talent. The A-side was written by Tony Hatch and first appeared as an EP track by UK singer Julie Grant in 1962. The B-side was a UK hit for John Leyton and written by Geoff Stephens.
Z-1162 Mauri Chan - Istanbul / Grazina (1964)
Mauri(ce) Chan was a Chinese Malaysian immigrant. He'd led a popular club band called the Maurice Chan Sextet around 1963-64 and then played pedal steel with Sounds Unlimited (see below). Both sides of this this were light surf instrumentals arranged by Jimmy Sloggett and produced by John Hawkins. Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon wrote the top side around 1953 for The Four Lads and it was originally called 'Istanbul (Not Constantinople)' apparently written to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans! The other side was penned by Englishman Colin Giffin for his band The Innocents in 1963.
The Glendelles

The Glendelles
Z-1163 The Glendelles With The Sierras - Please Please Daddy / The Four Winds And The Seven Seas (1964) (Viscount)
Final single for the gals from Glendowie. What became of them? One apparently kept singing after she married and moved to the North Shore. The A-side was written by label owner Gary Daverne, the B-side by Canadian Don Rodney and famed lyricist Hal David for Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians in 1949.
Z-1164 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - She's A Mod / Poison Ivy (1964)
And here it comes, one of the defining NZ pop singles. It was, for years, almost an unofficial national anthem. The song, a cover of an obscure single by The Senators, a band from Birmingham which included John Bonham, later of Led Zeppelin, written by that band's Terry Beale. It wasn't a hit in NZ originally but was picked up by radio after it had taken off in Australia. The B-side is the Leiber and Stoller for The Coasters in 1959 (NOT Ray Columbus and The Coasters).
Eventually it sold huge numbers and was the first NZ recorded number one in Australia. I suspect now that Eldred's gone, nobody knows exactly how many records this sold, but it was a hit all over again in 1981, and in a pop-rap version - best forgotten - with Ray, in 1990.
The Mint Chicks did a fairly faithful cover in 2009, but for my money the definitive cover remains that of The Terrorways in 1979. Is there a person alive in NZ who doesn't know the song? Pressed on the white and black labels.
Z-1165 The Andrè Lavelle Trio - Me Que Me Que / Les Amoureux Des Bancs Publics (1965?)
A jazz trio from Auckland. I'm told that Andre lived in Eden Terrace in the late 1970s and made candles??! This seems only to exist with the black 1965+ label, thus the out of sequence date. One assumes it was held up for some months before release for a long forgotten reason. The B-side was an uncredited song written and performed by French singer Georges Brassens in 1964.
Z-1166 Johnny Goodare And The Beatniks - I Begin To Like / Mandee (1964)
Moving to Auckland and changing backing bands still didn't get John a hit. This was written by him and produced by John Hawkins who was doing more and more on the label. Goodare would return to Zodiac a few years later.
z1167
Z-1167 The Merseymen - Great Balls Of Fire / Memphis Tennessee (1964)
Formed to cash in on the all-things-Liverpool explosion and resident at Phil Warren's Beatle Inn in Little Queen Street. The A-side maybe shows that they were already out of time. Featured Bob Paris amongst others. Their drummer, Jet Rink, later changed his name back to Dylan Taite and became an NZ broadcasting icon, after whom a New Zealand music award is named. The A-side is the Jerry Lee Lewis classic wrongly credited to him as a writer (it should be Jack Hammer And Otis Blackwell), the B-side the Chuck Berry tune.
Z-1168 The Multi-Guitars of Gary Bayer - Big Bad Bass / Rumpus (1964)
More Multi-Guitars (it worked before) from a teenager from Wellsford who played bass guitar. His singles were all bass driven instrumentals in a Posa/Bartlett/Ventures style. 'Big Bad Bass' was written by Carter-Lewis for former Shadow Jet Harris and 'Rumpus' was a Floyd Kramer song from Shurelon J. Jones (yes, I don't know him either).
z1169
Z-1169 Cathy Howe And The Sierras - High Noon / True Love Will Come To You (1964) (Viscount)
A change of backing group for Cathy. You have to give the label credit for keeping on with her, clearly there was some belief. The A-side was the theme to the movie of the same name written by Dimitri Tiomkin, and the flip a 1961 Cliff Richard album track written by The Shadows' Bruce Welch and Peter Chester who co-wrote a few other early Cliff tunes including 'Please Don't Tease', played live by no other than Led Zeppelin.
Z-1170 Alan Morrison - Cry Baby Cry / Lovesick (1964)
A singer (and bee farmer) from Dunedin, and a member of The Embassy Six. He recorded an earlier single for Joe Brown Records. Touted in his hometown as 'New Zealand's Pat Boone', he wrote the B-side but the A-side was a credited to Bobby Barce instead of Bobby Bara as per the Mike Berry UK original it was lifted from. Both are wrong, it's actually written by US country singer Bobby Bare for a 1961 single.
Z-1171 Cathy Howe And The Sierras - Meet Me In St. Louis / Easy Come Easy Go (1964) (Viscount)
The only acts on Zodiac who released more singles than Cathy were those with big hits. However the single after the next was to provide just that. The A-side of this had been a hit for Judy Garland in the 1940s but dates back the early 20th Century (recorded by Billy Murray, written by Andrew Sterling and Kerry Mills), while the B-side was a cover of a Helen Shapiro album track from UK bandleader Martin Slavin and his wife Abbe Gail.
Z-1172 The Sierras - Romeo / Heaven (1964) (Viscount)
Centred originally around Viscount owner Gary Daverne's brother, Wayne, and two brothers, Len & Peter Riseborough (who wrote the B-side), this was the first of seven singles they released for the label. The A-side was first released by Petula Clark in 1961, with English lyrics written by Irish writer Jimmy Kennedy from an earlier song by Austrian Robert Stolz.
z1173
Z-1173 The Sundowners - Nitty Gritty / Things Will Be Different (1964)
The final Sundowners 45, as Sonny Day, who was the central figure, left the band to play gigs in Tahiti and the always unstable band broke up soon afterwards. Sonny played continuously in New Zealand from the 1950s through to his death in 2007, which was followed by a 2008 tribute gig featuring the who's who of NZ Rock'n'roll royalty which famously shut down the traffic in Newmarket. US writer Lincoln Chase wrote the A-side and this was likely inspired by the Tommy Roe version although The Hollies did a 1964 version too. The Sundowners' version is better than either of those and this also has a great B-side written by guitarist Bob Wynyard.
Z-1174 The Sierras - The Fall Of The Roman Empire / Tip Toe (1964) (Viscount)
The band backed most of the acts on Viscount including the first recordings of future superstar Mr Lee Grant. Another movie theme from Dimitri Tiomkin on the A-side with the B-side an original by Len Riseborough.
Z-1175 The Merseymen - Jambalaya / Maybellene (1964)
Three quarters of this band, including the vocalist, Mick Leyton, were English and that was a huge advantage in those Fab days, as it was the next decade when punk hit. A Don Williams standard on side one and the Chuck Berry standard on side two.
Z-1176 Fia Chaplin - Johnny Let Me Go / (1964)
Never one to miss a trend, Eldred jumped on the Beatle bandwagon with this. Was it a hit? I can find no reference to it being so. Oddly, the Beatle song was the B-side and was an adaptation of the 1955 'My Boy Flattop' by the somewhat un-hip US swing band Boyd Bennett And His Rockets and the Zodiac single had that title with 'My Beatle Boy' stickered over it. Quite odd. The writer of the A-side, credited as Marella, is a mystery.
Z-1177 Freddie Keil - I've Got My Eyes On You / Move On (1964)
A solo single from Freddie, no longer with The Kavaliers, at least in the credits. The Buddy Holly song, rather out of time one would imagine, and a Dave Burgess (The Champs) song written for Ricky Nelson on the other, equally out of its time. The final single by an artist whose era had largely passed as this single showed.
Z-1178 Rusty Greaves - No Money In This Deal / If I Could Come Back (1964)
Managed for years by Phil Warren, this third Zodiac single featured a George Jones song from 1957 and a Mel Tilis/Buck Peddy (Buck is not credited) penned for Webb Pierce the year before. In the 1970s, Rusty was the first New Zealander to perform at the Grand Ol' Opry, and indeed performed there some 13 times over the years.
Sundowners

The Sundowners at the Jive Centre in Hobson Street, Auckland.
Z-1179 Al Paget Sextet - Maybe Baby / Sea Of Clouds (1964)
The Buddy Holly / Norman Petty tune on side one with an original by Al on the other, and the last single for this group before they disbanded in 1965. Al joined The Newsounds with Ray Woolf.
Z-1180 Fia Chaplin - Gonna Get That Man / That's All I Want From You (1964)
A final single from Fia and a fine one, with the A-side a cover of the 1962 Connie Francis song 'Gonna Git That Man' written by Eddie Curtis, and the other the oft-recorded song by Fritz Rotter crediting both his real name and his alias M. Rotha. Both songs listed her manager Benny Levin as musical director, have been given a then-current Beatlemania edge. After this Fia was finished at Zodiac, apparently heading off to Australia to try her luck.
Runaway promo
Z-1181 Rim D. Paul And The Quin Tikis / The Quin Tikis – Runaway / Theme From The Inspector (1964)
The title song to the New Zealand feature film, Runaway, this was a hugely successful single for the Rotorua born singer. Written by composer Robin Maconie, who did the film's score, and produced by John Hawkins. The B-side was just by The Quin Tikis and was the theme to the 1962 UK movie and written by Sir Malcolm Arnold, where it was just called 'Lisa', also the US title of the movie.
Z-1182 Alan Morrison - Devil In Your Eyes / Dream Girl (1964)
Another single from Alan, the last for Zodiac although he would record an album in 1981 for Music World (with no other releases between that I can find). Both songs were written by Morrison and produced by John Hawkins with Jimmie Sloggett as music director.
Z-1183 Jimmy Sloggett Five - Temptation / It's Gonna Work Out Fine (1964)
Jimmie's second single for the label. Although he worked extensively for the label over the years, it was 6 years until his name graced a Zodiac 7" again. 'Temptation' was a 1945 song by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. 'It's Gonna Work Out Fine' is an Ike & Tina Tuner single written by Joe Seneca and Jim Lee, later remade for the 1966 River Deep ~ Mountain High LP. Jimmy/Jimmie returned to Australia in the 1970s where he still plays, playing for some years with Max Merritt & The Meteors.
Z-1184 The Merseymen - Don't You Just Know It / Talking 'bout You (1964)
Their last for Zodiac. These singles were lifted off their one album A Visit To The Beatle Inn (ZLP-1021), quickly recorded in one day. However, they did get to support Manfred Mann and recorded a couple more 45s for Allied International before calling it a day. The A-side is the Huey 'Piano' Smith single from 1958, penned by Huey and his producer John Vincent, whilst the B-side is, of course, the Chuck Berry tune.
Z-1185 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - Yo Yo / She's Gone (1965)
Very few copies of this seem to exist with the white label, with most having the new black label. It was recorded in late October 1964 in Australia and was released in November there, however, for some reason it seems to have only had a limited, if any, release in New Zealand before early 1965, probably because 'She's A Mod' finally charted in NZ that month (reaching No.3 at the end of the month) and Eldred wanted to sell that. The A-side is a Ray Columbus-Dave Russell song, the B-side is a Shadows song, written by Hank Marvin and Jet Harris.
Z-1186 The Seakers - My Arms Want To Hold You / You Could Have Fooled Me (1964)
The Seakers were an Auckland beat band who who formed in 1964 out of the earlier Gene & The Dynamites and soon scored a residency at The Shiralee, then The Platterack and finally The Top 20. Signing to Zodiac in mid-1964, they recorded this single, the A-side being written by guitarist Gordon Campbell and the B-side by UK pop writer Geoff Stephens for Graham James in 1963. This was quite a big regional hit.
Z-1187 The Freddie Keil Five - Talk / Splish Splash (1964)
The end was nigh for Freddie here, the post Beatles wave meant that his style was now too old fashioned and sales dropped off. This was his last single for Zodiac and he later retired to Rarotonga where he died in 1994. Produced by John Hawkins, the top side was a Mike Berry song and the flip was the Bobby Darin (called Daran here)/ Jean Murray tune.
Z-1188 Gary Bayer - Mod Bod / Gary's Tune (1965)
More bass driven post-Ventures instrumentals from the Wellsford wonder. A which had really passed by this time, at least in Auckland. For some reason this was not issued until mid to late 1965. 'Mod Bod' seems to have first been recorded by former guitarist for Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds, Bobby Taylor in 1964 and was written by soundtrack composer Alan Tew. As the title implies, the other side was Gary's.
Z-1189 Allison Durbin - Rules Of Happiness / Two Shadows (1964)
Single number two for the teenager and still not much of a seller, although she was performing regularly on the ballroom circuit by this stage. Like more and more Zodiac 45s, this was also a Hawkins production of a 1961 Kitty Ford US B-side, written by Paul Evans and E. Karen (no, I don't know any of them either) and a song from Charles Singleton (who co-wrote 'Strangers In The Night' and Guido Castaldo on the other.
Z-1190 Graeme Bartlett Combo - The Harem / Serenade To A Small Guitar (1964)
Gray turned out so many singles it's hard to know what to say about them, although much of his Zodiac catalogue has held up rather well and some are almost garage-punk (although not this one, which is still post-Ventures sounding). The A-side was written by Edward Cooper and Dorothy Hodas for Acker Bilk in 1963 but the biggie here is the flip. Written by Belgian guitarist Jo Van Wetter, it was renamed 'La Playa' and placed in a movie. When released as a single in Japan in 1966, it made the Top 5 there, making it a career highpoint in a six-decade long career that Gray is justifiably very proud of.
Z-1191 released as Z-1237.
Z-1192 Cathy Howe And The Sierras - That Boy / When He Comes Along (1964) (Viscount) (also on Zodiac)
This exists on both the white Viscount/Zodiac label and then black Zodiac itself. The A-side was Cathy's first self-penned recording (and one of the first recordings of an original by a New Zealand female vocalist). The other side was yet another Geoff Stephens song, first recorded by UK sisters The McKinleys. It didn't work sadly, but they hadn't given up on Cathy yet.
z1193
Z-1193 The Bob D Five - High School Confidential / I Go Ape (1965)
This was Bobby Davis' next band after The Wanderers. Sadly the world didn't go ape for this single but sales were, I understand, respectable. The Jerry Lee Lewis classic from 1958 on side one (uncredited) and a Neil Sedaka-Howie Greenfield B-side but in the style of UK band The Rocking Vickers, one which featured a chap called Ian Fraser Kilmister who would later change his name to Lemmy.
Z-1194 The Sierras - The Crying Game / Route 66 (1965) (Viscount, also appears on Zodiac)
The biggest hit The Sierras had, this garnered a lot of airplay. It is, of course, the lovely Dave Berry (and later Boy George) hit. The other side is the Bobby Troup classic. Issued first on Viscount and then repressed on Zodiac.
Z-1195 The Bridge City Jazzmen - Circus World / Po Kare Kare Ana (1965) (Viscount)
An instrumental single by this Auckland Dixieland band, which featured amongst others, Bernie Allen, the legendary composer and bandleader. Dimitri Tiomkin wrote the A-side for the movie of the same name. The Dixie version of 'Po Kare Kare Ana' is an odd one.
z1196az1011
Z-1196 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - C'mon & Swim / We Can't Go Wrong (1965)
By now the band were a phenomena, causing some teen frenzy across Australasia. The A-side was a Bobby Freeman single in the US on Autumn Records and was written by Sylvester 'Sly' Stone and Autumn label owner Tom Donahue (as Thomas Coman). The B-side was penned by Billy Kristian and Ray. Both the NZ & Australian issues are pictured.
Z-1197 Kahu Morrison - Waiata Poi / He Wa Wata (1965)
The matriarch of the Morrison clan cut several records in her own name, including this one for Zodiac. Side A is the Alfred Hill song and the B-side is traditional.
Z-1198 The Invaders - The Cruel Sea / Spanish Holiday (1965)
More Invaders instrumentals, the A-side is a cover of the Merseybeat band The Dakotas' 1963 45 written by their guitarist Mike Maxfield which also appears on the B-side of the Australian and US releases of 'She's A Mod'. The B-side was recorded first by UK band The Innocents and was written by their drummer Don Groom.
Z-1199 The Seakers - A Long Long Time / I've Had It (1965)
Not as big a hit as the first, after this they changed their name to The Rayders. The top side was written by guitarist Danny Campbell. 'I've Had It' goes back to 1958 and was recorded by The Bell Notes, a rock'n'roll band from Long Island, NY, and was written by Carl Bonura and Ray Ceroni from that band. The more beat-band take here, produced by John Hawkins, is uncredited.
Z-1200 Bridge City Jazzmen - Bill Bailey / Hoki Mai (1965) (Viscount)
And another single from these guys. The A-side was a Hughie Cannon song first recorded by Jimmy Durante in 1950, whilst the other was yet another Dixie take on a traditional waiata. The band still plays around Auckland in the 21st Century.
Z-1201 The Sierras - To Know Her Is To Love Her / Stick With Me Baby (1965) (Viscount)
A cover of the much recorded Phil Spector tune plus a Mel Tillis song gave The Sierras another minor hit.
Z-1202 Bridge City Jazzmen - Get Me to the Church on Time / Street Where You Live (1965) (Viscount)
Not Issued
Z-1203 Allison Durbin - Can't You Hear My Heartbeat/ Little Brother (1965)
The third single for Zodiac, and an Auckland regional hit - so much so that it apparently outsold the original from Herman's Hermits in Auckland. Allison was now known as 'Little Miss Emotion' and fronting her boyfriend Mike Perjanik's band. In 1967 they moved to Australia where she has lived more or less ever since, even during the massive hit days with HMV. The A-side was penned by Carter-Lewis and the B-side was a solo single for Jay Traynor, singer with Jay & The Americans, as 'Little Sister' and written by someone called Scott Weston.
Z-1204 Dave Miller and The Byrds - Bright Lights Big City / Little Lover (1965)
These guys, led by Dave Miller, were actually The Byrds but the US group of the same name caused a renaming. From Christchurch originally, but Auckland based, they were a pretty decent R'n'B band. This track has been much compiled on garage collections. The first pressing was simply The Byrds, then second, from 1966, was Dave Miller And The Byrds. The A-side is the Jimmy Reed song written by him and his wife Mary and first issued as a 45 in 1961. The other side has quite a different pedigree – it's a Graham Nash song from the first Hollies album.
Z-1205 Kini Quartet - Maori Is A Loving Tongue / Bye Bye Blackbird (1965)
The last single for Zodiac for 4 years. Produced by John Hawkins in Saratoga Ave, the A-side was the 1925 Billy Simon song arranged by Martin Kini and Barney Taihuka, who also arranged the cover of Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson's standard on the other. Unlike the other Kini 45s this is rather hard to find and may be a limited release.
Z-1206 Mauri Chan - Rickshaw / Skokiaan (1965)
Maurice later, after leaving Sounds Unlimited, formed The Diplomats with Gary Bayer, who were resident at the Royal International Hotel for some years, before disappearing from the music scene although he'd later feature in a TV ad with Clive James. The A-side here is penned by someone called John Egginton who later wrote several songs that featured on Australian singles. I know nothing more. The other side was a tune by Zimbabwean composer August Musarurwa that dates back to 1954 and has been recorded countless times, not least by Louis Armstrong.
Z-1207 Bill And Boyd - Bee Boop / Please Go Away (1965)
This duo from Naenae in Wellington were a popular take on the big early sixties duet thing (think Everly Brothers who were their model) and they'd recorded seven singles and a few albums for Philips before signing to Eldred.
Produced by John Hawkins, 'Bee Boop' was from Tex Satterwhite and Frank Scott from Lawrence Welk's band recorded this as The Bubble Busters. The other side was written by UK singer/writer Barbara Ruskin.
Z-1208 Bill And Boyd - Let The Sun Shine In / Thinking Of You (1965)
This was the closest they came to a hit on Zodiac. Side one was a 1960 hit for US rock'roller Teddy Randazzo who co-wrote it with Bobby Weinstein and Billy Barberis. The flip was a Max Merritt tune that first appeared on side two of his 1964 Viking single 'Many Things'.
Z-1209 The Rayders - Little Egypt / If You Had Love (1965)
The Seakers renamed and with a brand new debut album to promote, Platterack Raid With The Rayders (ZLP 1023) recorded before they changed their name. The A-side was the Leiber-Stoller track recorded by The Coasters in 1960, whilst the B-side was an original penned by the brothers Rick and Danny Campbell although Rick had left the band when this was released.
z1210
Z-1210 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - Till We Kissed / She's Back Again (1965)
1965 saw two albums, Original Numbers (ZLP 1025) and a greatest hits (ZLP 1028, first released by Philips PY863045), and what a hit this was. Selling in excess of 50,000 copies in NZ, and winning the first Loxene Golden Disc (the 1960s equivalent of Record Of The Year), it's become a New Zealand anthem, and I have to admit I'm a sucker for it.
The song itself is complex however and its nobody knows exactly why it's credited to Sidney Gunter here as it's a Cynthia Weill and Barry Mann song penned for the great Arthur Alexander in 1961, covered the same year by The Beatles. The flip was written by Ray and Billy Kristian.
Ray's daughter Danielle was born the same week this was awarded the Loxene Disc. Twenty years later, she performer it live with Ray.
Z-1211 Ian Saxon & The Creditors - I'm Getting Better / He Gives Me Love (1965) (Viscount)
Ian Saxon was an Auckland singer and compère who had been singing professionally since 1961 but this was his first single, 'The Creditors' being an invented name for the studio backing band. The A-side was a Ed Bruce song for US R&B singer Jimmy Hughes in 1964. New York writers Nat Simon and Sunny Skylar wrote the other side and this may be the first recording. Ian's history after this is well documented on AudioCulture and best left there.
The Pleazers

The PleaZers at the Galaxie opening. Grant Gillanders collection.
Z-1212 The PleaZers - Last Night / Poor Girl (1965) (Zodiac International)
There were two bands with this name. The one with a S came from Auckland but were based in Wellington for a spell as resident band on the NZBC's Let's Go. This lot had a Z and were trans-Tasman, in that they came over from Australia (in a nice reverse of the normal flow) and added a New Zealander (well, English expat) as singer, Shane Hale.
Eldred had encouraged them to come over to sign to Zodiac to replace Ray Columbus & The Invaders in the roster (they were either about to split or head to the US) and this, their first, was a big hit in Sydney and sold very well in Auckland (Eldred had recorded it in Australia). Famously, Eldred turned down another young bunch called The Bee Gees to sign The PleaZers.
'Last Night' was first recorded by The Merseybeats and was written by Philip Springer and Buddy Kaye. 'Poor Girl' was a Leadbelly song called 'In The Pines (Black Girl)' with adapted lyrics.
Z-1213 The Sunglows - Peanuts (La Cacahuata) / Happy Hippo (1965) (Zodiac International)
Eldred licensed in this Tex-Mex hit from its US owner, the Sunglow Record Company. An odd record to release. More were to come.
Z-1214 Sandy Edmonds - Oh No Not My Baby / I Don't Understand (1965)
Rosalie Edmondson emigrated from Liverpool in 1963, aged just 15, found herself living in Devonport. By 1965 she was a trainee dental assistant but was 'discovered' at Delmonicos (upstairs in De Bretts in Auckland's High Street) and signed by the bar's manager John Peal to a management contract as Sandy Edmonds. Peal then convinced Zodiac to sign her. This, her debut 45, was arranged by Mike Perjanik and produced by John Hawkins. It is, of course, the Goffin-King tune backed with a cover of fellow Liverpudlian Nola York's 1964 single, written by Nola and Glen Stuart (later the lead vocalist of prog-rockers Magna Carta).
Z-1215 Tommy Adderley - Mr Jinx / Since I Don't Have You (1965)
A legendary figure in the Auckland live scene, from the early 1960s through to his death in the 1993, Tommy was originally from Birmingham and came to NZ in the early 1960s as a seaman, jumping ship in Wellington. Before this 45 he'd recorded for Lexian, Viking and RCA, and even had a regional hit single in Canada in 1964. A wonderful man and very missed. Arranged by Doug Jerebine, who also plays guitar on this terrific single, written by John Madara and David White (also responsible for classics like Lesley Gore's 'You Don't Own Me') first recorded by Dean Christie in 1964. Side two is The Skyliners doo-wop classic.
Z-1216 Brent Brodie - I Ain't Gonna Knock On Your Door / Danny's Dream (1965)
Originally part of The Brodie Brothers trio, they took a shot at the UK and had minor success with one release on EMI's Columbia label. Brent returned to NZ and had solo success including a TV presence. He later recorded for RCA and Viking's Kontact label. His name continues to pop up in revues. This was produced by John Hawkins and arranged by the great Bernie Allen. Charles Blackwell wrote the A-side for as a B-side for the long forgotten UK singer/actress Grazina in 1963. The other side was a US single for similarly forgotten US singer Mike Clifford, written by Bugs Bower and Ear Shuman.
Z-1217 Cathy Howe with The Sierras - Yo Yo Love / He Doesn't Love Me (1965) (Viscount)
A hit at last. Her biggest record. It hit No.5 nationally on Lever Hit Parade and was apparently No.1 in Christchurch for a mighty ten weeks. The A-side was a John Marascalco and John Carson (aka Billy Storm) song for a 1962 single by Californian soul singer Betty Turner. Jimmy Duncan and Johnny Beveridge wrote the B-side for aspiring UK teen star Adrienne Poster earlier in 1965. Jimmy Duncan was best known as the author of The Pretty Things 'Rosalyn'.
Z-1218 Gray Bartlett - Theme From The Munsters / Chips (1965)
A novelty title, but not a bad single – a spooky surf instrumental version of the theme to the hugely popular TV show, written by US guitarist Jack Marshall. The B-side is a Bartlett original. One of the few Zodiac 45s to come in a pic sleeve, and in two colours, purple and grey-green.
Z-1219 The New Sounds - All Night Worker / Over You (1965)
Ray Woolf and Billy Belton from The Kavaliers formed this group, adding Al Patchett on guitar, Ian Laird on drums and Rod Gibson on sax. A soul band, this was a fine cover of a Rufus Thomas tune on the A side and the Aaron Neville classic on the flip (see Z-1241).
Z-1220 Dave Miller And The Byrds - How You've Changed / Wake Up Little Suzie (1965)
These guys were originally called The Playboys when based in Christchurch and their vocalist was a young Dinah Lee, before she blue-beated off. This was issued concurrently with a self-titled EP (EP/Z131) and featured a Chuck Berry tune on the A-side and the Felice and Bordeaux Bryant composed hit by The Every Brothers on side two. A great 45.
Z-1221 Gary Bayer And Ben Tawhiti - Cactus Hop / Froken Fraken (1965)
This time bass-whizz Bayer teamed with guitarist Tawhiti (who wrote the A-side) and for both acts it was the final release on the label. The B-side was an odd one, penned by famous (in his home country) Swedish singer, composer, writer, actor and musician. As far as I can tell this is the only time anyone outside Sweden recorded this. He apparently is the most published Swedish songwriter ever.
Z-1222 Tommy Adderley - Once Upon A Time / In The Meantime (1965)
The second of the two singles (there was an EP too) Tommy recorded for Zodiac (he later turned up on RCA, Pye and Ripper amongst others, and led Headband, one of the greatest NZ bands of the early 1970s) but private demons always cursed him.
Tommy's funeral was a gathering point for many of the musicians represented on these pages. Tommy was much loved and is still much missed. RIP buddy.
A great single with a Gordon Mills tune, for Tom Jones, on the topside and Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames' (penned by John Burch) 1965 single on side two, both arguably better than the originals.
Z-1223 Bridge City Jazzmen - Theme From Moulin Rouge / Get Me To The Church On Time (1965) (Viscount)
Third and last single on Viscount for these guys. Two movie tunes, again, given the Dixie treatment that worked so well in their weekend pub gigs, which no doubt was the market for such releases.
Z-1224 The PleaZers - That Lonely Feeling / Gloria (1965) (Zodiac International)
This was released a week after the band had played their first show at Auckland's Shiralee, a gig which was deemed a success by the band and Eldred.
Technically the B-side, 'Gloria' was the popular hit. It is, of course, is the Van Morrison song for Them, and 'That Lonely Feeling' was yet another Carter-Lewis tune (Eldred must've had faith in these two) first recorded by UK sisters The McKinleys. This appeared on both Zodiac and Zodiac International.
Z-1225 Dave Miller And The Byrds - No Time / Love Is All I Need (1965)
After this single the band split. Dave jetted to Sydney where he eventually formed The Dave Miller Set and found fame in 1969 with the huge hit 'Mr Guy Fawkes'. The A-side was written by UK team Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. 'Love Is All I Need' was a Felice and Boudleaux Bryant tune found on a 1965 Everly Brothers album.
Z-1226 The Rayders - I Cry / You And Me (1965)
The B-side was lifted from The Rayders album and composed by the Campbell brothers (although here just credited to Danny). The others side was a non-album track and a Campbell composition although it's unclear which brother.
Z-1227 Allison Durbin - Mix It Up / Little Girl Go Home (1965)
The final Zodiac outing, and another (minor) hit. She went to Impact after this and then HMV and huge Australasian stardom, before the her sad decline in the 2000s which we don't need to delve into here. The A-side was written by Julius Dixon (who wrote 'Lollipop') and Shirley Hines and may be unrecorded before this, and the B-side was by French composer Jeff Davis and American Mann Davis and was taken from a 1964 Lesley Gore album.
Z-1228 The Sunglows - Popcorn / Alabama Medley (1965) (Zodiac International)
Another single licensed by Eldred from the US Sunglow label.
Z-1229 Silvio De Pra - Angelito / Innamorata (Sweetheart) (1965)
Italian-born Silvio was and may still be a piano accordionist, who had a 32 year recording relationship with Zodiac. He arrived in NZ on a work assignment and simply stayed, recording two EPs for the label Spotlight On Silvio De Pra (EPZ-118, 1962) and Accordiana (EPZ 126, 1964) before this 45. Here, he covers the standard, Jack Brooks and Harry Warren's 'Innamorata' and René Herrera and René Ornelas' 'Angelito', first recorded by its writers in 1964 as Rene and Rene.
Z-1230 Cathy Howe With Ben's Chimes - Selfish One / He's My Boy (1966) (Viscount)
Ben's Chimes was Ben Tawhiti's current band. This was their only recorded outing and the lineup was Ben, Graeme Gibson, Leo Sleeman and Alex Berhans. Carl Smith and Wilfred McKinley penned 'Selfish One' for Chess singer Jackie Ross in 1964. Len Beadle and Robin Conrad wrote 'He's My Boy' for UK pop vocalist Bobby Shafto (as 'She's My Girl' - it was later recorded by Palmerston North band The Ahmed Dahman Group in 1968 for HMV). Conrad was better known as Peter Callander, one of the most successful UK songwriters of the 1960s.
Z-1231 Mr Lee Grant - Doo Doodle Oo Oo / As Long As I Have You (1966) (Viscount)
From Poland via Palmerston North, Bogdan Kominowski as he was named by his parents, was destined to become the biggest male pop star in NZ later this decade. Bogdan, formerly the vocalist with fellow Palmerston North band The Cyclones, had moved to Auckland in August 1965 and found himself a manager, the ambitious Dianne Cadwallader, who signed him to a one single deal with Viscount and this single was the result. Backed by The Sierra and produced by Gary Daverne, it was yet another Geoff Stevens song. The B-side was penned by the great US producer/writer Jerry Ragovoy with Bob Elgin for Garnet Mimms. A great choice considering Lee's big voice.
The single was reissued after Lee's success (see Z-1317).
z1232
Z-1232 Ray Columbus & The Invaders - All Through Pride / Tonight Is The Time (1966)
After the last single there was increasing dissension in the ranks of The Invaders with Ray's increasing profile and they split in early 1966, when half the band joined Max Merritt and The Meteors. This was actually marketed by Zodiac as a solo single perhaps in the hope that Ray would stay with the label but it was not to be. Ray's name was even twice the size of the band's on the label.
Ray signed to Benny Levin's label, Impact, went to the USA and became a solo star in NZ later in the decade, adding artist management and much more to his CV. The much loved 'Modfather', he passed away in November 2016. Billy Kristian had quite a career in Asia, and the UK and returned to produce Herbs in the 1980s. Dave Russell moved into artist management in Melbourne and co-produced Split Enz' Mental Notes in 1975. Jimmy Hill passed away in Australia in 2000, twenty years after Wally Scott in the same country.
Both songs on this great 45 were written by the band and their pioneering in that field is just a tiny part of their immeasurable influence on NZ music to this day.
Z-1233 The Mods - Love, Love, Love / It's In Her Kiss (1966)


The Mods, 1966. Courtesy of Kevin McNeil.
These guys came from Hamilton, and formed in 1963 at Hamilton Boy's High School. Wayne Reynolds, John Bisset, Kevin McNeil, Neil Reynolds moved to Auckland in 1965 and added Clive Coulson (ex-Dark Ages), signing to Zodiac. This single, yet another Geoff Stevens (Eldred surely loved his works) song, one first recorded, again, by Bobby Shafto (see Z-1230). The other side was a great rendition of the timeless Rudy Clark tune 'It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)', a 1963 hit for Betty Everett.
Z-1234 Bobby Davis And The Wanderers – Thanks Anyway / Work Song (1966)
It was back to Bobby Davis and the Wanderers on this, although later pressings had it just as Bobby Davis, indicating that it must've sold reasonably well. Bobby featured a lot on TV shows at this time and was a bit of a national figure so that no doubt aided sales. Who J. Murphy who wrote the A-side is, I don't know but the other side was the vocal version of Nat Adderley and Oscar Brown Jr's much recorded 'Work Song' dating to 1960.
Z-1235 Neil And Susan - Blood Red River / Little Yellow Roses (1966)
An Auckland folk duo with a cover of English group The Silkie's 1965 single. The B-side was a Jackie DeShannon single from 1963 penned by English actor and songwriter Trevor Peacock. Both sides were arranged by Gray Bartlett and produced by John Hawkins.
Z-1236 The PleaZers - Like Columbus Did / Sometimes (1966) (Zodiac International)
Single number three and yet another chart botherer. They were starting to a reputation beyond Auckland by this time and it showed in the sales. One historian described it as a 'shameless Ray Columbus tribute' which it was intentionally: Eldred had suggested that the group write a song about Ray for their next single. The main riff is a sped-up remake of 'She's A Mod''s riff. It was credited to singer Shane Hale who had been hired to replace earlier vocalist Billy London – and to London as both were in the band for a spell. The B-side was by US writer Gene Thomasson who had recorded it himself as Gene Thomas in 1961.
Issued around the same time was the EP Midnight Rave With The PleaZers (EPZ133).
Z-1237 Gray Bartlett - Music For My Lady (Madame De Pompadour) / Give The World A Smile (1966)
The A-side was written by Jo Van Wetter again (see Z-1190), recorded by his group Los Mayas apparently and featured in Doctor Who. The B-side is a 1928 single by US gospel group Stamps Quartet and was written by Marshall Yandell and Otis Deaton although Gray's reference was likely the 1961 Chet Atkins version.
Four Fours

The Four Fours, from left: Trevor Spitz, Bill Ward, Rob Smith and Mike Horman. Keith Newman collection.
Z-1238 Four Fours - This Time Tomorrow / Truckin' Blues (1966)
This, their first for Zodiac, was actually this Tauranga band's 9th single, after 8 for Allied International from 1963. Both sides were penned by the band's two guitarists, Dave Hartstone and Bill Ward.
Z-1239 Gray Bartlett - Thunderball / Runaway (1966)
Gray does 007 and Del Shannon. 'Thunderball' was a John Barry and Don Black recorded, vocally, of course by Tom Jones. Del and his keyboard player penned the classic B-side. This was Gray's last single for Zodiac, many of which were pulled together for his 1966 compilation The Guitars Of Graeme Bartlett(ZLP 1027).
Z-1240 Bill And Boyd - I Wanna Love My Life Away / If She Was Mine (1966)
This duo had an NZ number one, on the radio-determined Lever Hit Parade, in their pre-Zodiac days, with a cover of 'Cathy's Clown'. It was, incidentally, one of only two NZ singles to reach that chart between 1960 and 1965. The NZBS as it was then, was less than supportive of NZ singles that were often selling in their thousands.
'I Wanna Love My Life Away' was a Gene Pitney Song which reached No.39 in 1961 giving the singer his first hit. 'If She Was Mine' was written by Bobby Goldsboro and Buddy Buie as the B-side of a 1964 single.
Z-1241 Ray Woolf and The Newsounds - The One In The Middle / Summertime (1966)
Ray Woolf with The Newsounds again, but this time Ray is featured on the label, perhaps because his TV profile was growing? Ray's last record for Zodiac, and The Newsounds split after this. Nevertheless, a great single, covering Paul Jones' Manfred Mann hit and the Gershwin classic on the other side. A career as a family favourite awaited Ray in future years but, no matter, as his early Zodiac (and later RCA) sides still stand up.
Z1242
Z-1242 The Four Fours - From The Bottom Of My Heart / Stingray (1966)
In February, 1966, the band supported The Rolling Stones on their 2nd NZ tour and by the time this was issued in April, they clearly had aspirations beyond New Zealand. The A-side on this John Hawkins produced 45 was written by Chuck Willis for The Clovers in 1956. The other side is the Günther Heigel penned Shadows hit.
z1243
Z-1243 The Sierras - What More Do You Want / She's The One (1966) (Viscount)
Viscount was notable for sticking with its acts (having the owner's brother in the band likely helped). A brand new Viscount design perhaps reflecting a change in the deal between Eldred and Gary (Zodiac is no longer co-branded). John Carter, Ken Lewis (aka Carter-Lewis) wrote side A with Perry Ford for the debut Ivy League album (Ford was the band's singer) in 1965, and the flip was by Johnny Dubas (credited as Dubos) for his Washington band The Chartbusters in 1964. This band was also known as The Manchesters, a shameless cash-in band who created four albums of awful Beatles themed songs in 1964 and 1965.
This, like many Viscount singles, was also released in Australia on the Zodiac label.
Z-1244 The Layabouts - We'll Meet Again / I Don't Care (1966)
The only single from an Auckland band who'd formed in 1962 as in the mould of The Shadows but mutated into a beat band then a tough r'n'b act. It was also the first band for many important players in the Auckland (and Wellington) scenes including Gus Fenwick (The PleaZers), Brian Harris (The Action) and Bruce Sontgen (Tom Thumb). This 45, at the tail-end of their career, also included guitarist Dave Russell (ex-Invaders) oddly was less than tough, with a Byrds' styled folk-rock styled cover of the Vera Lynn WW2 standard written by Ross Parker and Hughie Green (uncredited) as the A-side. The B-side is credited to Schroeder-King but seems to be unique to this 45.
Z-1245 The Rayders - It's All Over Now Baby Blue / Mother May I (1966)
Rayders

The Rayders, 1966. Courtesy of Kevin McNeill.
In early 1966, the band moved from Auckland to Hamilton, adding bassist Kevin McNeill (on the right) for a residency, issuing this great John Hawkins produced cover of Dylan's song backed by the equally fine reworking of US singer Lemme B. Good’s 1965 single (co-written by someone called Opal Lantz) as they did.
Z-1246 Sandy Edmonds - Give Him My Love / La Bamba (1966)
A fairly lightweight cover of The McKinley's 'Give Him My Love' (the third cover on Zodiac of this fairly obscure UK pop act - see Z-1224 and Z-1192) written by Donovan (although maybe not "the" Donovan) and Barbara Dunn. The other side was an equally slight remake of the Mexican folk-standard 'La Bamba' (credited here to Harry Belafonte and Hector Acosta who created Harry's 1960 live version).
Bobby Davis

Bobby Davis
Z-1247 Bobby Davis - Leaning On A Lamp-Post / Dear Dad (1966)
Now without the Wanderers, covering George Formby (written by Noel Gay) because, I guess, Herman's Hermits were having a US hit with the song. The flip was an obscure Chuck Berry song (a 1965 single).
Z-1248 The Climax Jazz Band - I Want A Girl / When My Sugar Walks Down The Street (1966)
Recorded for The Tauranga Jazz Festival by the Auckland Jazz Club. 'I Want A Girl' dates back to 1913, a Harry von Tizer/ William Dillon song recorded by Kate Willey. 'When My Sugar Walks Down The Street' was written by Gene Austin, Irving Mills and Jimmy McHugh and recorded by Ella Fitzgerald in 1944.
Z-1249 The Mods - I'll Be On My Way / Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble) (1966)
After one last single for Zodiac, these guys split, and keyboardist John Bissett (who wrote this A-side) ended up in The Action. The B-side is the Manfred Mann hit. The band reformed in Hamilton in the late 1987, releasing an EP in 1989 and have played sporadically in the years since.
Z-1250 Sandy Edmonds - Listen People / Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows (1966)
By mid-1966, with her ubiquitous media presence, Sandy was a household name, so her records sold pretty well. This was no exception, helped in no small part by the fact that Phil Warren had placed the B-side as the theme to the very popular Graham Kerr cooking show. She was also touring NZ, Australia and South East Asia seemingly continuously. The A-side was written by Graham Gouldman (future 10CC) and first recorded in 1965 by Herman's Hermits, whilst the B-side was a Lesley Gore single from 1966 written by Marvin Hamlish and Howard Leibling.
Z-1251 The Sierras - Magic Potion / Wine (1966) (Viscount)
The Bacharach-David song on side one and a Mel Tillis song on the other.
z1252
Z-1252 Neil And Susan - Four Strong Winds / Julie Anne (1966)
This second single from these Auckland folkies was their last for the label (they recorded one more for Salem in 1967) and like the earlier this featured Gray Bartlett on guitar. Ian Tyson's 'Four Strong Winds' was a folk staple at the time of course.


The Minutemen. Courtesy of Steve McEwan.
Z-1253 The Minutemen - Lament Of A Clerical Worker / Cinderella (1966)
A band formed by kids living at Auckland's Whenuapai airbase. Wayne Black, Steve and Allan McEwan, Allan Milne and Dennis Shearer were inspired by The Shadows and the Mersey boom to record. Later members were Graham Leaf and Paul Nickless, and Kevin Borich was also a temporary player. This was their only Zodiac outing but they hard recorded two earlier 45s for Allied International.
Dennis Shearer came one of the leading Zodiac collectors in later years and contributed to this page. Allan wrote the B-side, whilst Murray Sutherland was credited with the A-side.
Gremlins

The Gremlins: Glyn Tucker, Peter Davies, Ben Grubb, Roger Wiles and Ces Good.
Z-1254 Soul Agents - For My Woman / If You And I Could Be As One (1966) (Viscount)
The only single for an Auckland R&B band and one of the rarest. Murray Grindlay, Gary Schollem, Kim Raunch, Ross Guiniven and John Donnelly recorded this Van Morrison track (from the first Them album) and backed it with a Vanda-Young tune first found on a 1965 Easybeats EP. It's terrific. Murray went from here to The Underdogs after the band split in 1967.
Z-1255 Bridge City Jazzmen - Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat / When The Saints Go Marchin' In (1966) (Viscount)
Both sides feature vocals by Mark Talent and no doubt sold well to the live weekend crowds. Frank Loesser's tune on one side and the traditional on the other, both songs being associated with Louis Armstrong of course.
Z-1256 The Gremlins - The Coming Generation / That's What I Want (1966) (Viscount)
Glyn Conway AKA Glyn Tucker (see Z-1034)left The Embers in 1964 and was briefly in a St. Heliers band called The Saints. At the end of the year he formed The Adventurers with Paddy McAneney and Roger Wiles. They changed their names to The Gremlins before they recorded their debut single for Allied International. In 1966 they signed to Viscount, releasing this in August. A big national hit (No.2 on one of the unreliable charts of the era) and established these guys as one of the bands of the moment.
The A-side was a written by Annette Tucker, Jill Jones and Nancy Manz as the B-side of the hit single 'Lies' by New Jersey band The Knickerbockers in 1965. Jones and Manz also wrote The Electric Prunes 'Get Me to the World On Time'. The other side was yet another Carter-Lewis tune originally recorded by The Marauders in 1963.
Z-1257 Bridge City Jazzmen - The Sweetheart Tree /Second Hand Rose (1966) (Viscount)
A final single on Viscount for the band, who continued to pop up on recordings over the years and were long a fixture at jazz festivals as well as local pubs. The A-side was written by Henry Mancini for the smash movie The Great Race, and the B-side is the Barbra Streisand hit of course (although it dates to 1921 by Fanny Brice), written by Grant Clarke and James F. Hanley.
z1258
Z-1258 The PleaZers - Is It Over Baby / Hurtin' All Over (1966) (Zodiac International)
The B-side of this (although it's probably better described as a double A-side) is regarded as their finest moment, being a cover of a US-only single by an Irish band called The Creatures, which completely demolished the original. The A-side was recorded by a number of acts but the original was by US jazz vocalist Irene Kral (arguably best known for her work with New Zealander Alan Broadbent) on a 1965 album. That said, this version was borrowed from Chicago soul girl group The Kittens. The B-side was written by Eddie Reeves and Neil Levenson.
z1259
Z-1259 Four Fours - Go Go / Don't Print My Memories (1966)
Much reissued and a garage-beat classic, written by the band's Dave Hartstone and Bill Ward. By the time this was released the quartet had already packed their bags and headed off to the UK, signing to Deram, where they recorded, amongst other tracks, the psychedelic classic A Day In My Mind's Mind. They re-recorded this in the UK, although Zodiac had another single ready to go after this as the Four Fours. 'Go Go' sold extremely well, hence why it's relatively easy to find second-hand these days still.
Z-1260 The Raydars - A Working Man / In Time (1966)
The final 45 by the band. Clive Coulson, the singer moved from here to The Mods and ended up as road manager for Led Zeppelin in the 1970s and managed bad Company before returning to NZ where he was a farmer before dying suddenly at age 58, in 2006. Both sides were written by guitarist Danny Campbell and produced by John Hawkins.
Z-1261 Sandy Edmonds - Come See Me Now / That You've Made Up Your Mind (1966)
Backed by The PleaZers, this cover of a Pretty Things single is justifiably regarded as a bit of a classic and is much sought after. Written by J.J. Jackson, Pierre Tubbs and Sidney Barnes, it was another Auckland hit, and produced by John Hawkins. The B-side was by Val McKenna, who was managed by the ever-present (in the Zodiac catalogue) Carter-Lewis. Val's version featured Jimmy Page on guitar and the cover here is faithful to that.
Z-1262 Bill And Boyd - Edelweiss / Don't Ever Change (1966)
The B-side was a cover of the Goffin-King tune, and the A was of course the then huge Rogers & Hammerstein composed faux Austrian love song from The Sound Of Music. Their last 45 for Zodiac, they went on to huge MOR success in Australia, initially on Nat Kipner's Sunshine label and were still playing together until 1989. Along the way Glen Campbell - yes that Glen Campbell - produced an album for the duo.
Z-1263 The PleaZers - Guilty / Can't Pretend (1966) (Zodiac International)
The A-side was a Alex Zanetis song first recorded by Jim Reeves of all people. Oddly, it's disappeared and unlike other records by the band is not available anywhere online, however it sounds nothing like the Reeves. The B-side is credited to U.S. Gehlmas who hits a big blank. By the time this was in the stores the band was in Australia trying to put together a deal with Sunshine Records. It didn't happen.
Z-1264 Gary Bayer - Tijuana Taxi / Brazilian Summer (1966)
Last Zodiac single for Gary, and this time a cover of the current Herb Alpert hit written by Ervan Coleman. The other side was by Brazilian writer Caetano Zama. He later turned up in PG & The Hot Tips in the 1980s. A by-now rare production credit to Eldred.
Z-1265 Lou And Simon - Around The Pops / Converted Maori Car (1966)
The B-side was sung to the tune of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's 'America' (from West Side Story) and was a huge hit, whilst the A-side was a largely ignored (by radio) medley of 'Clementine'; 'Click Go The Shears'; 'Never Smile At A Crocodile'; 'She Taught Me How To Yodel'; and 'A Lover's Concerto'. Both sides were recorded live. An record perhaps best left in the past.
The La De Da's

The incredible La De Da's, 1966
Z-1266 Fair Sect - Kimberley / Never Again (1966) (Viscount)
An all female group from Auckland, perhaps the first in the country. Sadly, the industry was not ready for this and they battled prejudice and were treated initially as a novelty act, which meant this fine 45 got little airplay. Side one is written by one Tom Turner and the other is by two US songwriting legends, Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Hart, and was a 1966 single for Little Anthony and The Imperials. They left Viscount after this for one singles each on Allied International and Pye, before returning for one more go at Zodiac in 1969.
Z-1267 The Gremlins - Understand Our Age / Ain't That Lovin' You Baby (1966) (Viscount)
A Glyn Tucker song (as Glyn Conway) on side one and a cover of Clyde Otis and Ivory Joe Hunter's 1964 Elvis single (from the movie Roustabout) oddly here credited to Leiber-Stoller.
Z-1268 The Sierras - Big City, / Now And Again (1966) (Viscount)
The Sierra's last single issued just after they split. The A-side was written by Jon Lord for The Artwoods. Wayne Daverne and Kerry Hawkesworth went to The Silhouettes, whilst Mike Balcombe joined the The Hi-Revving Tongues and major future Zodiac success.
Z-1269 Sandy Edmonds - Please Don't Switch Off The Moon Mr. Spaceman / I Love Onions (1967)
Her last for the label, as Phil Warren took her to Festival (licensed from his own James Productions company) where she recorded the classic 'Daylight Saving Time' plus two albums. The B-side (which was the side Zodiac plugged to radio) was a big novelty hit, making this her biggest selling single for the label. It was a cover of a US hit by Susan Christie penned by John Hill and Don Cochrane. The A-side was written by David Henry (a major US music publishing exec at the time) with James Prometheus and was recorded by UK/US actor Nicholas Hammond (best known for The Sound Of Music - this was his only single) with no success.
Sandy famously disappeared in 1970, allegedly walking away from her pop stardom. She turned up in the 2000s as a successful fashion designer in Melbourne, as Rosalie Edmondson-Corner.
Z-1270 The Surfires - I Can't Wait For Summer / Flying Saucers (1966)
The pickings from Huntly are fairly slim but that's where the The Surfires came from. Formed at school as The Sapphires, they would record three great 45s for the label and were centred around Gerard and John aka Shade Smith. Managed by Ray Columbus, this 45 was named the summer theme of 1996/67 by Radio Hauraki who thrashed it generating strong sales. The A-side was written by Shade and the B-side by both brothers.
Z-1271 Four Fours - One Track Mind / Hawaii (1967)
A posthumous single as they'd long since hopped onto the cruise ship to the UK, changed their name to The Human Instinct on the way, under which guise, they'd return to Zodiac some years later to record two of the label's classic albums. 'One Track Mind' is uncredited but was written by Keith Colley and his wife Linda Colley for The Knickerbockers (see Z-1256). 'Hawaii' was a rather slight version of the big Beach Boys hit.

The catalogue numbering sequence jumps some 28 places here. Why? It seems that Zodiac started a new masters index book and someone decided that 1300 was an easy place to start. No other reason.

Z1300
Z-1300 The Gremlins - You Gotta Believe It / I Can't Say (1967)
Back into the Top Twenty once again from Auckland sales to their strong live fanbase. This marked the move to Zodiac as Gary Daverne had left for the UK and Zodiac took over the contract. Both sides are Glyn Conway songs.


The Surfires in April 1966. Courtesy of Grant Gillanders.
Z-1301 Bobby Davis - Nose For Trouble / I'll Remember Today (1967)
A TV presence didn't hurt Bobby's sales. This was a the B-side of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky & Tich's huge hit 'Zabadak', penned by UK songwriting duo Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (credited here as just Blaikley) backed with a song by Garry Berryman who resists research.
Z-1302 The Underdogs - See Saw / Lookin' Back (1967)
The Underdogs came from Auckland and formed in 1965 as the blues purist The Underdogs Blues Band, they soon latched onto the then-hip UK rhythm and blues explosion and dropped the 'Blues Band'. The lineup was fluid over the years but when this was recorded it was Harvey Mann (guitar), Neil Edwards (bass), Murray Grindlay (vocals), Lou Rawnsley (rhythm guitar) and Tony Walton. Their debut single, produced by John Hawkins, was the Don Covay/Steve Cropper penned 1965 hit by Don Covay & The Goodtimers and it's soulful and truly great. The other side a John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers 1966 single, credited here to John but actually written by Johnny Guitar Watson and dating to 1961.
Z-1303 Surfires - Friction / A True Gentleman (1967)
This, their second single, didn't make much of a dent in the public consciousness. Despite that, a great single that again showcased the writing skills of Shade Smith on both sides.


The Action: Jack Stradwick, Evan Silva, Brett Neilsen, John Kristian, John Bisset.
Z-1304 The Action - Romeo And Juliet / I Can't Make A Friend (1967)
A popular blue-eyed soul band, heavily influenced by Tamla Motown, formed in 1966. Two members had been in Peter Posa's band and one in The Mods and added Evan Silva, a great soul vocalist. They held residencies at both The Top 20 and the Galaxie. The A-side was a decent-sized Auckland hit, covering the Bob Hamilton and Freddie Gorman song taken to No.5 in the US charts in 1964 by The Reflections (as '(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet'). The B-side is a cover of US punk band, The Vagarants 1996 hit written by Jeremy Storch and Trade Martin.
This is notable as the last record to feature the JH Prod (John Hawkins produced) box. There were more JH production through to his departure in 1968, but none carried the JH box and he returned to the UK and then to Australia. He returned to Zodiac in the 1970s for a spell but there was a clash with Eldred and he left under a cloud. It's unknown what happened to him and nobody at Zodiac/Stebbings seems keen to talk about the man who produced some of the label's greatest records.
Z-1305 The PleaZers - Here Today / La La La Lies (1967) (Zodiac International)
Back from Melbourne, The PleaZers continued to be a huge live drawcard and vocalist Shane Hales was becoming a star in his own right. The A-side is the lovely Beach Boys song moved from California to the soulful stages of the North Island, the B-side is the Who song.
Z-1306 The Underdogs - Sitting In The Rain / Shortnin' Bread (1967)
The last half of the 1960s was arguably the label's golden age with record after record nailing it and none more-so than this almost perfect rendition of a John Mayall tune found initially only on a 1967 Bluesbreakers 45. This track was a very large hit for The Underdogs, and remains an iconic late '60s New Zealand single (in part because of the Chris Bourn directed video below) and notable for Lou Rawnsley's fuzz guitar. The B-side is a cover of the much-recorded plantation song dating back to the 19th Century. It's equally great.


The Underdogs video for 'Sittin' In The Rain' filmed just outside Palmerston North and funded by the Loxene Golden Disc Awards.
Z-1307 Peter Posa - The Moon Is Making Eyes / Somewhere My Love (1967)
After 16(!) albums for Viking in 4 years, Peter Posa returned to Zodiac for one last album, Internationally Yours (ZLP 1030).
This single was also issued in Australia on an interim combined Philips/Zodiac label as the earlier Zodiac deal with Philips had expired and a new one was not signed. The A-side is a 1965 Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra B-side, written by Bert and famed jazz producer Milt Gabler. The other side is the Dr. Zhivago tune (aka 'Lara's Theme') written by Maurice Jarre and Paul Francis Webster. From here he moved to Joe Brown's label, to Viking and finally back to Zodiac. The hit days were passed though.
Z-1308 Lou And Simon - Edelweiss / Yellow Submarine (1967)
Did the world need another version of either of these songs? Perhaps not, but there was always a market for their live singles which were much more than a cover of a song. This was their last single and they moved to Australia but split in 1969.
Z-1309 The PleaZers - Three Cool Cats / Security (1967) (Zodiac International)
Their last single, with an Otis Redding cover on the flip (it was the side that got the airplay, and was an adaptation of the UK singer Thane Russal's version, produced by one Paul Raven better known to the world as Gary Glitter), before Shane went off to become an NZ pop icon and a household name. Guitarist Bruce "Phantom" Robinson was a major player in the NZ music industry throughout the 70s and worked with Shane until he passed away in 2015. The official A-side was the Leiber-Stoller song made a hit by The Coasters and covered by The Beatles in their Decca audition.
z1310
Z-1310 The Gremlins - Blast-Off 1970 / Sunday Breeze (1967) (Viscount)
A big hit and a classic '60s single with both sides written (and largely produced) by Glyn 'Conway' Tucker. Although Gary Daverne had gone to London, Eldred reverted the band back onto Viscount for this and the next single.
Z-1311 The Action - Never Ever / Something About You (1967)
When The La De Da's went to Australia, their drummer Brett Neilson opted out. He joined The Action and The Action's drummer, Brian Harris, joined the Te Atatu emigrants. Oddly, the A-side here is a cover of a 1967 single by the UK band, The Action, written by the members. It seems to be the only song by the (NZ) Action not have been reissued but it's more soulful than the original (which was produced by George Martin). The B-side is a Holland Dozier Holland tune first recorded by The Four Tops.
Z-1312 The Surfires - Notice Me / When Will The Seasons Bring (1967)
The final Surfires single wasn't much more of a sales hit than the earlier two despite its quality, but in 1969 they re-emerged as The Rumour and released what is one of the biggest selling NZ singles of the 70s. Patience was a virtue and rewards flowed. Produced by John Hawkins and both sides Shade Smith originals.
Z-1313 Cathy Howe - Then He Kissed Me / High Noon (1967)
It was indeed High Noon for Cathy as this was her last outing. She became a writer, basing herself on Auckland's North Shore. Times were a changing and Daverne had already moved to the UK, thus this was on Zodiac, not Viscount. The Spector/Greenwich/Barry Crystals song was a cultural oddity by the time this was released. The B-side was the Dimitri Tiomkin song from the movie of the same name.
The Underdogs

The Underdogs in 1967: Lou Rawnsley, Murray Grindlay, Tony Walton and Neil Edwards.
Z-1314 The Underdogs - Cheating Pt 1 / Cheating Pt 2 (1967)
A terrific 45 recorded live at the Galaxie and split into two parts. Despite the credit (the Animals song written by Chas Chandler and Eric Burdon) it was actually a live medley that took in Wilson Pickett's 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love' (co-written with Bert Berns and Jerry Wexler), and Lee Dorsey's 'Ride Your Pony' (Allen Toussaint). The non-split version is on the EP.
Z-1315 Bob Davis - Have You Ever Had The Blues / When I'm Sixty-Four (1967)
Bobby becomes Bob and tries with a Lloyd Price song. That, plus a Fab Four tune on the B side (everyone was doing it) was a decent shot and it's not bad. His final Zodiac release was via the Philips hookup (see BF338099 below).
Z-1316 Rusty Greaves - Hold On / China Doll (1967)
Rusty was standard Zodiac stuff in the early to mid-1960s but in the last half of decade the label had become home to gnarly garage and R&B and and he seemed completely out of place. One last time with Zodiac and a Red Hayes song first recorded by George Jones in 1956 on side one and a Slim Whitman single from 1952, written by Kenny Cannan and Gerald Cannan on the other.
Lee Grant

Mr. Lee Grant was the biggest pop star in New Zealand in 1967, thus Zodiac reissued the earlier single, formerly on Viscount but now on Zodiac.
Z-1317 Mr Lee Grant - Doo Doodle Oo Oo / As Long As I Have You (1967)
Z-1231 reissued on the parent label to cash in on Bogdan's massive success.
Z-1318 The Radars - Don't Get Around Much Anymore / The Piper (1967)
A blind Māori and Pacifican band formed in 1962 at the New Zealand Foundation for the Blind’s Parnell Institute. They were still playing around Auckland in the late 1990s, notably at The Gluepot and later featured sighted musicians as well, including Billy T. James. 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' is the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn standard, whilst 'The Piper' was a posthumous Sam Cooke B-side.
Z-1319 Gene Pierson - Love, Love, Love / Celeste (1967)


Gene Pierson at The Top Hat in Napier.
An Australian, who's birth name was Giancarlo Salvestrin, Gene Pierson jumped across the Tasman to avoid a spell in the army in Vietnam in 1967. Arriving in Auckland, he sold himself as one of Australia's biggest stars to Eldred, who put him onstage at his club, the Galaxie. Impressed, he signed him and it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. This, the first of four 45s he'd record for the label, was a Bobby Hebb B-side written by Joe Renzetti and Jerry Ross, and was backed by a Donovan tune from his Sunshine Superman album.
Z-1320 The Underdogs - Hey Gyp / Mary Ann (1968)
Another great single from the band, back from the artistically frustrating C'mon tour. An obscure Donovan Leitch song recorded by Eric Burdon & The Animals (where, no doubt, The Underdogs found it), arranged perfectly by Lou Rawnsley, backed by an original from Lou and Murray Grindlay. They had one more Zodiac single to go, plus one of the classic Zodiac longplayers.
Z-1321 The Action - Somethin' Fresh / It's Growing (1967)
The A-side was originally a December's Children single written by Jerry Riopelle, a member of Phil Spector's studio crew (and later a solo artist). The other side was a song, penned by Smokey and Warren Moore, best known as a Temptations single and track from the great The Temptations Sing Smokey album from 1965. The band moved to Sydney around this time, with new drummer Brett Nielsen (ex-La De Da's) apparently for wild times.
Z-1322 The Gremlins - Never You Mind / I Want Your Love (1968) (Viscount)
The last single to appear on the Viscount label. Gary Daverne had already departed to the UK so the label was essentially defunct, although Daverne would revive it in the 1970s. Both sides are Glyn Conway compositions.
Z-1323 Jennie Goodwin - You'd Better Love Me / My Tender Love (1968)
A single from the NZBC continuity announcer, and thus a household name. Jennie was also briefly a lounge singer but this was her only 45. The A-side was written by Des McDonald, from Whanganui. The B-side however, was from the Broadway show High Spirits written by Timothy Gray and Hugh Martin. The band on both sides was the Gray Bartlett band.
Z-1324 Max Cryer & The Children - Talk To The Animals / Pinto Pete (1967)
The Lesley Bricusse song from Dr. Doolittle and a song called 'Pinto Pete' that eludes research. Max Cryer needs little introduction and over the years sold a great many records for Zodiac.
Z-1325 Union Sound Inc - A Girl In The Crowd / A Man And A Woman (1968)
The first of several singles licensed from a Belgian company called Palette, a relationship that survived until the early 1970s. None of the singles set the world on fire and none were particularly exciting.
Z-1326 Troubled Minds - Under My Thumb / Child (1968)


Troubled Minds: Dick Roberts, Len Whittle, Bob Jackson and John Banks.
A band from Napier who formed as The Len Whittle Combo before changing their name to The Deep Set then The Troubled Minds by which time they included former PleaZer Bruce "Phantom" Robinson in their lineup. Managed by Ray Columbus, they became The Troubled Mind recording several two singles for first Festival then, as Dick Roberts And The Troubled Minds, Philips. Bassist Bob Jackson later ended up in Shotgun with Larry Morris in the late 1970s. The Jagger-Richard tune on side one and an original by Len Whittle and Dick Roberts on the flip.
Z-1327 The Loot - Whenever You're Ready / I Got What You Want (1968)
An English band, licensed from Palette.
Z-1328 The Klan - Nobody Will Ever Help You / Alone In The Night (1968)
Another Palette group, a Belgian band.
Z-1329 The Offsiders - I Was Born 100,000 Years Ago / Tears Don't Have To Fall (1968)
A band from Auckland produced by John Hawkins and arranged by the great Claude Papesch. 'I Was Born One Hundred Thousand Years Ago' was also recorded by Elvis as 'I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago' but dates to 1894 as 'I'm a Highly Educated Man' written by H.C. Verner and Harry C. Clyde which started "I was born about four thousand years ago". If that confuses, the other side is much easier and was a B-side by US garage band The Wailers, written by Ron Davis (as R. Wayne Davies) in 1966.
Z-1330 Gene Pierson - You Got To Me / Rainy Day In June (1968)
Another record produced by John Hawkins with a Claude Papesch arrangement. The A-side was a Neil Diamond tune and single. The other was a Ray Davies penned Kinks album track (from Face To Face).
Z-1331 Max Cryer & The Children - Money To Burn / Ave Maria (1968)
A singer, TV host, actor, extremely successful writer and a force of nature, Max continued to record well into the 20th Century. Neither song here is credited but 'Money To Burn' is from the movie Half A Sixpence, where it was sung by the star Tommy Steele (composed by David Heneker) and 'Ave Maria' is the Franz Schubert standard.
z1332
Z-1332 Shane - The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker / Breakin' My Back (1968)
The debut solo single by the former PleaZers singer and cover of an early Gibb Brothers song recorded by Billy J. Kramer in the UK and Jon Blanchfield in Australia (but never by The Bee Gees although they performed on both versions), gave Shane his first solo hit. It's regarded as an underground classic, but his contact was up, and, having been selected for a residency on the C'mon show, and signed to Phil Warren as a manager, he moved from Zodiac after this to Warren's James Productions via Festival, and then to HMV and national stardom. In 2020 he's still playing live.
Z-1333 The Action - Try A Little Tenderness / Hound Dog (1968)
Two covers for their last single, which saw some lineup changes, with Nielson being replaced by expat New Zealander Andy Anderson, ex-The Missing Links, an Australian proto-punk band and later an actor of some note. John Bissett later played with Bon Scott (AC/DC) and Jimmy Barnes in The Fraternity. Two other members became preachers - that's what soul music does to you. The Otis Redding classic on side one (written by Harry Woods, James Campbell and Reginald Connelly in 1933) and Elvis Presley's Leiber-Stoller standard on side two, given a very credible and more contemporary R&B sound.
Z-1334 Toni Williams - Sad Lonely And Blue / Please Send Me Someone To Love (1968)
Rarotongan born but based in Auckland since the age of 11, Toni recorded two albums for Zodiac in the late 1960s and these singles are lifted from them, this being from the first (ZLP 1035). Before Zodiac he'd recorded extensively for La Gloria, but his musical career dated back to his teen years when he formed The Housewarmers, NZ's first skiffle group, in 1956. By 1958, they'd become The Tremellos, a rock and roll group and it was with them that he signed to La Gloria in 1960. This single's A-side was written by Peter Lee Stirling, better known as Daniel Boone, and recorded by Stirling in 1964. The B-side was by Percy Mayfield, a writer well suited to Toni's soulful voice.
Z-1335 Gene Pierson - Toyland / Matchsticks In A Whirlwind (1968)
Single number three by Gene, arranged by Claude Papesch and possibly produced (uncredited) by Eldred instead of John Hawkins. The A-side a cover of a single by UK band The Alan Bown Set (as The Alan Bown!) and was was penned by that band's Jess Roden and Alan Catchpole. The other side was an obscure 45 by US and The Roman Numerals written by the equally obscure John Marsi. This came in a sleeve sponsored by the big Lincoln Toys company (in West Auckland) and featured Gene in the company's store.
Z-1336 The Sound Investment - A Whole New Thing / Oh Pretty Woman (1968)
I have no idea who this lot was but it's a terrific single. Attempts to identify the band by both myself and Stebbings have drawn a blank but the story goes that it was two brothers who told their Dad that the single was a "sound investment", hence the name. We do know that the trombone is by Brian Biddick. The A-side was written by US producer Jerry Goldstein (later producer of War) and Russ Regan for Ural Thomas in 1967 but is uncredited on the release. The B-side was the Albert King / A.C. Williams song, not the Roy Orbison tune.
z1339
Z-1337 The Gremlins / The Germlins - Ballad Of A Busker/ Listen To Me / The Great Drain Robbery (1968)
Back on Zodiac - kinda. A bit of wacky humour or a slap at their label on the B-side title: 'The Great Drain Robbery' was credited to The Germlins, and to Sherlock Gnomes. It was actually the two A-side tracks that would play randomly. The label was credited as Zodiyuk Wecords. This continued The Gremlins sequence of pretty fine garage-pop singles, but the sales seemed to be diminishing (which just adds to their collectability now). 'Ballad Of A Busker' was written by Glyn, 'Listen To Me' by Ces Good.
Z-1338 The Gremlins - Kingsforth Hemingseen / Just Don't Stand There (1968)
One last single before they split. A John Hawkins production, the A-side was written by Glyn and new member Daron Curtiss, the other just by Glyn. Glyn went onto a career as one of the most important figures in the New Zealand recording industry with his Mandrill and Reaction labels and Mandrill Studios, in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. An industry giant and a nice guy.
The band has reformed a couple of times over the years.
Z1339
Z-1339 Gene Pierson - If You Only Loved Me / Just One Tender Look (1968)
This was his final single for Zodiac before heading back to Australia, after his father's death where he had a hit with The Four Tops' 'Reach Out' (backed by The Simple Image from Wellington) and, from the 70s onwards, a major recording industry figure there. His Big Mouth label returned a favour to Eldred by signing Th' Dudes and Hello Sailor in the late 1970s. Possibly his most surreal achievement was a 1983 album by The Woofers And Tweeters Ensemble which featured dogs barking Beatles songs.
The cover of this 45 was sponsored by Cambridge Suits. The A-side was by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (a duo noted for movie themes in the 70s, including the massive 'The Morning After'. Ironically it was a cover of a UK single by The Brodie Brothers, (one of whom was Brent Brodie, see Z-1216) which radio in NZ was playing. Eldred decided to cash in on that. The other side was written by Claude Papesch. The single was also one of the first to feature the new gold and white Zodiac label design.
Z-1340 Toni Williams - There's No Limit / The Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp (1968)
The A-side, penned by Auckland songwriter Kelvin Hair, was the lead single from Toni's Country Tracks (Hits From Studio One) album (ZLP-1039, 1969 - also on the EP EPZ 142), whilst side two was the Dallas Frazier song and was a live version from the earlier A Night At The Park album (ZLP-1035) recorded with Jimmy Sloggett's band The Inn Group at Logan Park in Greenlane.
Z-1341 Toni Williams - I'll Be Your Baby Tonight / Ten Guitars (1969)
Toni covers Dylan on the A-side, arranged by Claude Papesch and from Country Tracks. The B-side also from that, the Gordon Mills NZ standard, this time produced by Jimmie Sloggett and live on Studio One.
Z-1342 Roger Skinner And The Motivation - Hey There (Have You Seen My Baby) / Time (1969)


Roger Skinner and The Motivation: Trevor Gissing, Ron Williams, Dan McCarthy and Roger Skinner.
Roger Skinner was one of the country's most well regarded songwriters going back to The Pleasers (the Wellington band, not The PleaZers) and an APRA Silver Scroll winner in 1967, however this was one one of two Zodiac singles and the only one with him as a frontman (see Z-1356). Naturally, he wrote both sides and it was produced by Tony Foster (aka Tony Moan and Tony Foster-Moan) who had been an apprentice engineer with Stebbings since 1964. Before 1969 was up, he had moved to London and a job at Abbey Road.
Roger Skinner was one of the country's most well regarded songwriters going back to The Pleasers (the Wellington band, not The PleaZers) and an APRA Silver Scroll winner in 1967, however this was one one of two Zodiac singles and the only one with him as a frontman (see Z-1356). Naturally, he wrote both sides and it was produced by Tony Foster (aka Tony Moan and Tony Foster-Moan) who had been an apprentice engineer with Stebbings since 1964. Before 1969 was up, he had moved to London and a job at Abbey Road.
Z-1343 The Dallas Four- Sitting In The Park / Rag Doll (1969)
The Dallas Four were a big part of the Auckland scene for years, from 1963 to 1971 with an evolving lineup and this was the last of their five singles (for five labels). At the time this was released, the lineup was Jim Ford, Leo de Castro, Graham Gill, Rodney Potter and Basil Peterkin (making them The Dallas Five). 'Sitting In The Park' was written by US soul legend Billy Stewart and released by him in 1965 as a single. It was produced by guitarist Rodney Potter under his nickname of Dody. 'Rag Doll' was a Nacio Herb Brown tune dating to 1928, also produced by a band member, this time by bassist Basil Peterkin. This single was recorded at Astor Studios.
Z-1344 The Underdogs - There Will Come A Time / Fine Jung Thing (1969)
A briefly reformed Underdogs, with Murray Grindlay, Harvey Mann, Lou Rawnsley and Doug Thomas, with a single that was supposed to lead into another album but didn't. The A-side was Frank Zappa's 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance' (from We're Only In It For The Money), renamed as 'There Will Come A Time' for radio in NZ, whilst the other was Mike Bloomfield's song for The Electric Flag, found on the soundtrack to The Trip. The second album was not to appear until 1970 (on Pye) by which time it was a radically different band.
Z-1345 Allan Dean - Till Tonight / Jacaranda (1969)
A single licensed by Zodiac (the cat # is ZP45 rather than the normal Z), little is known about this except it may or may not be the same Allan Dean who issued a single in 1960 via HMV in Australia and on a publisher's label in NZ, Castle, the same year. If so, he was an English jazz vocalist. No credits.
Z-1346 Gerry Sword - Now She's Gone / Love Me (1969)
The only single by an Auckland singer and former member of The Newfolk who went on to become a songwriter in Australia and eventually Tenor Australis, a classical/folk cabaret group (!!). Briefly a regular on C'mon, Gerry wrote the A-side and the B-side was by UK team Barry Mason and Les Reed and first appeared on a 1968 album by South African singer Danny Williams. Both sides arranged by Claude Papesch.
z1347
Z-1347 Toni Williams - Dominating Man / Beautiful Smile (1969)
Another single from Country Tracks. Side-A was penned by Kelvin Hair and the flip by Red Hewitt, with Jimmy Sloggett as music director.
La De Da'sUnderdogs
Z-1348 Toni Williams - I Love My Children / Your 're Not The Crying Kind (1969)
The 2nd to last last single on Zodiac. Two more tracks from the Studio One album, another penned by Kelvin Hair backed with a Brian Hurst song (Hurst was a bandleader for the show). Released in Australia with 'Just a Closer Walk With Thee' as the flip (ZF-7).
Z-1349 Hi-Revving Tongues – Baby Come Back To Me / Little Red Rooster (1969)
Zodiac records say this was originally pressed on Philips as BF338102 but it may just have been scheduled as none seem to have appeared. After three singles via the Philips license deal (see below) this was the first back on Zodiac (although Philips were still handling distribution). The A-side was written by Peter Thorp for Simon De Lacy, a UK singer in 1968. The other side is the Willie Dixon song. Great single.
zf5z1350
Z-1350 Hi-Revving Tongues - Rain And Tears / Watermelon Man (1969)
The band's biggest song, a number one, it was a lush cover of a record by Aphrodite's Child, written by that band's Evangelos Papathanassiou (aka Vangelis) and lyricist Boris Bergman. It still gets gold airplay 50+ years on and it's better than the original. They hated it, but a whole generation loved it, myself included. The B-side was a strong cover of the Herbie Hancock classic. Produced by Eldred. Both the Australian release and the NZ original are pictured. The story goes that Philips' boss John McCready suppressed the original to give the Tongues version the space to become the massive hit it was.
Z-1351 Vision - Daddy Sang Bass / Tom Cat (1969)
An Auckland folk group that included Sel Nash and John Steele, produced by Jimmy Sloggett. The A-side was a Carl Perkins song, with an uncredited Lynne Taylor and Erik Darling song on the flip, first recorded in 1963 by The Rooftop Singers. The studio backing band included The Invaders' Jimmy Hill and Dave Russell, so major Zodiac credentials. It was was also apparently the first recording using Eldred's brand new 4 track Ampex.
Z-1352 The Fair Sect - Rattler / Bye Bye Baby (1969)
After a single for Allied International and one on Pye (the same company in reality) and a few lineup changes, the Sect returned to Zodiac for a final 45, somewhat funkier than before in sound. They went to Australia in 1970 and lasted until 1972 (breaking up in Canada) although several had strong post-Sect musical careers. The A-side of this was written by Bruce Woodley from The Seekers and recorded by both Lulu and Herman's Hermits, but this is far better than both. The B-side is by Powell St. Johnn and was recorded by Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin in 1967.
Z-1353 Sea Of Tranquillity - Epitaph / Charlena (1969)
A great single from a pop band that featured Tommy Adderley, Len Whittle, Billy Kristian, Jimmy Sloggett, and Frank Conway. It must've sold fairly well as it turns up regularly in second hand stores. The A-side was written by Billy and Jimmy. The B-side was an old doo-wop tune recorded by The Jaguars in 1960, written by their Manuel Chavez and Herman B. Chaney. The hit version, however was by The Sevilles in 1961 and it's done here in an early Beach Boys style. A second single was issued on Festival. Tommy, Len and Billy would go on to Headband.
Z-1354 Kini Quartet - Care For Me / Mr Jones (1969)
After a break of some years, the Quartet returned to the label, although lineup changes meant there was nobody with the name Kini left in the band. Produced by Jimmy Sloggett. The topside was by Tony Eagleton (formerly of Wellington band Tony and The Initials, whilst the B-side was penned by Murray Sutherland (ex-Minutemen).
Z-1355 Fresh Air - Country Pie / Got To Get Away (1969)
Chaz Burke-Kennedy who'd been in The Underdogs but moved to the Bob Jackson Trio when Bob left. It was renamed Jigsaw and that in turn was renamed Fresh Air when Glyn Mason joined The Rebels. They had a residency at The Tabla but this was their only single, with a Dylan A-side and an original by Chaz and bassist George Barris on the other. In 1971, Bruno Lawrence joined and they eventually evolved into BLERTA.
Z-1356 Tom Bradley with The Motivation - Fly With Me / Once Upon A Moment (1970)
From Hamilton and long before he was the born-again TV newsreader, Tom Bradley was a wannabe singer with a job at Radio Hauraki doing the odd voiceover at Stebbings. Roger Skinner produced this and the band was his group, The Motivation. The A-side was penned by US game show host Chuck Woolery, who wanted to be a pop star with his band Avant Garde. Roger wrote the other side.
z1357
Z-1357 Kini Quartet - Ballad Of Pancho Lopez / Valley Inn (1970)
If the number of copies of this found secondhand is any indication, this sold very well. From the NZBC variety series, Studio One, it had a Gary Stewart penned A-side but it's also a bit of a mystery as the song is often credited to the US country singer but there is no trace of it in his catalogue or registered songs. Neither was this the first version as Brendan Dugan recorded it for HMV in 1969 and that is the only version aside from this on record. Was it a different Gary Stewart, maybe the late 1950s singer with The Coronets who made one single, also for HMV? Unlikely but we may never know. The other side was a local composition by one G. Gerard. The Under The Sun (ZLP 1040) album (produced by Jimmy Sloggett as was this single, although uncredited) was issued simultaneously with this. Their final single for Zodiac, they issued one more via EMI in 1974 as The Kini Trio, the topical 'Don't Leave Us Now (The Ballad Of Milan Brych)'. Original vocalist Martin Kini passed away in 2008.
Z-1358 Hi-Revving Tongues - Take Me To The Pilot / Highway (1970)
Chris Parfitt left (he recorded a couple of solo 45s for a label called Ventura owned by Viking) and The Hi-Revving Tongues became just The Tongues for the second album (ZLP 1041). This was the lead single from that album, although it still used the old name as did the next, one assumes to get radio play and name recognition. A neat version of the Elton John-Bernie Taupin tune backed by an original by guitarist Mike Balcombe and both produced by Tony Foster-Moan.
Z-1359 Hi-Revving Tongues - Aspen Colorado / Goodbye Holly (1970)
The final single and a strong one featuring a lush softly psychedelic remake of Tony Joe White's 1968 B-side and the Tom Feher composed single for The Left Banke on the (non-album) flip side, also from 1968. Uncredited by produced by Tony Foster-Moan. The band split later this year with drummer Rob Noad and keyboardist Bruce Coleman forming Caboose in Sydney.
Z-1360 Jimmie Sloggett and The Inn Group - Midnight Cowboy / Studio 17 (1970)
After a break as a solo act for the label (but a great many productions), Jimmie returns with a sax instrumental of the movie theme written by John Barry backed with a cover of Belgian bandleader André Brasseur's 1966 single.
Z-1361 Toni Williams - Patterns Of Sunlight / Walking In The Sand (1970)
The second to last single on Zodiac for Toni and two more tracks from his Studio One residency (but not from the album) both written by local writers Gwen Walles and Verna McKenzie. Gwen would go on to compose a whole musical called Catchem, self released in 1973.
Z-1362 Ed Knowles With The Peter Posa Trio - Goodbye Girl / Talking Walls (1970)
Ed Knowles was a country singer and no relation that I know of to the same-name guy who was in the 2000s NZ band, The Checks. The single's A-side was written by Peter Posa and recorded in Lou Smith's Henderson studio, not the Zodiac studio. The other side was written by Mattie O'Neil, better known as US country singer Jean Chapel, for Jim Reeves in 1963. Peter Grattan, from The Arch, drummed on the A-side.
Z-1363 Tony Hewitt - I Saw A Stranger/ Isabella (1970)
A lost 45 by a forgotten singer (he wrote the A-side), produced by Terry Haworth. Licensed from an Australian record label called Denke. The B-side was a minor 1969 Australian hit for Xandau (later also on Deneke).
Z-1364 The Arch – Sit By Your Window / Dear Madeline (1970)


The Arch. Left to right, Rob Maginley, Paul Hewson, Rangi Williams, Peter Grattan and Noddy Dawson.
An Auckland group, whose major claim was as the first recorded work of the late Paul Hewson, later the key writer in Dragon, and a huge talent. Formerly Marble Arch. This was recorded a year before it was released and there were possibly only 100 pressed, some in a pic sleeve, thus making it very collectable.
Z-1365 Peter Posa - French Caledonian Blues / Oh Lady Mary (1971)
The last single Posa made for the label. In 1970 he had a serious car crash, which had some unfortunate side effects, notably alcoholism, and the next two decades were not good for the guy. With the help of his new wife he came out of his depression in the 1990s and BMG released an album of his hits which sold huge quantities. He then recorded another, new album for the label. Recorded at Lou Smith's Studio in Henderson, with Peter Grattan on drums. Peter's hits album was te biggest selling New Zealand album in 2013. The A-side is a Posa original and the B-side is by Turkish writer Metin Bükey and Italian Patricia Carli, as recorded by Frenchman David Alexandre Winter.
Z-1366 Flying Wild - Help Us, Help You / Upside Down (1971)
The first of two Zodiac singles for a band from Christchurch who later made their name as most of Ragnarok. Written by John Fielding (A-side) and John, Andre Jayet and Ross Muir (B-side) from the band.
Z-1367 John Goodare - Do Do Bust Or Die / Pretty Lights (1970)
Now just John without a band, and a bit of an NZBC TV face, he still didn't get a hit with this. his last single for the label, with two self-penned tunes. A move to Pye gave him a couple of minor hits. He later moved to Australia and did pretty well for a while before retiring to become a painter.
Z-1368 Mark Pedrotti – (There'll Come a Day When ) Ev'ry Little Bit Hurts / Pledging On Fear (1971)
Two acts do the same songs on successive singles. Why? The A-side here was not the Ed Cobb penned Brenda Holloway classic, but a Bobby Vee A-side from 1964. This guy, from Te Atatu in West Auckland, was a baritone who left NZ in 1974 for Canada where he's been very successful. Prior to this single he had recorded two EPs for Kiwi as a boy soprano in 1963 and 1964.
Z-1369 Yolande Gibson – (There'll Come a Day When ) Ev'ry Little Bit Hurts / Pledging On Fear (1971)
Yolande was a MOR singer who recorded for HMV before her one Zodiac single. However her primary public persona was as a TV presenter and performer on those terrible TV shows the NZBC were so fond of. She later recorded for Key and went to Australia before returning to NZ at some stage in the 21st Century. The backing track on Z-1368 and 1369 was no doubt the same, produced by Jimmie Sloggett. The B-side, penned by someone called Scott Bradford in 1969 for his wife a Belgian singer, Anne Bradford, would have yet another life – see Z-1388.
Z-1370 Flying Wild - She's A Devil / Night Town / Flying Home (1971)
The 2nd and last single for the band, who had moved north to Auckland where they evolved into Sweet Feet and finally, around 1974, Ragnarok, but by then John Fielding, who wrote all these songs (two are on side two) was gone.
Z-1371 The Society Jazzmen - Walk To The Sun / Roses Of Picardy (1971)
A Kenny Ball track on side-A and the Fred E. Weatherly/Haydn Wood standard on the flip, all done in a Dixieland style. Neither song was on either of their Zodiac albums (ZLP 1043 and ZLP 1048).
Z-1372 Pipes And Drums Of Innes Tartan- Amazing Grace / Scottish Soldier- When The Battles O'er (1971)
Pipe band stuff of course. One could sense that Eldred was losing interest in the label as the brand new studio took precedence as you'd expect. These feature organist Denis McComb and both are marked as traditional compositions although 'Amazing Grace' was actually written by a former slave trader called John Newton in 1725 and its history is well known.
Z-1373 Denis Larcombe - The Other Side Of The Rainbow / Will It Ever Be The Same (1972)
Not the Canadian comedian of the same name, but a lounge singer who recorded two singles, this and a second one for Mascot. Both were co-written by Denis and Barry Clewett, a jazz pianist, arranger and big band leader.
Z-1374 Karma - Bygone Days / Minstrel Man (1972)


Karma at Granny's: Yuk Harrison, Johnny Banks, Peter Timperley and Bob Smith. Bob Smith collection.
This band was formed by two members of The Dallas Four, keyboardist Bob Smith and guitarist Peter Timperley who added bassist John 'Yuk' Harrison, and drummer John Banks, formerly of The Troubled Mind. They were resident at Tommy Adderley's Granny's, the club in Durham Lane, in the early 1970s.
Z-1375 Yandall Sisters - Come And See Me / Watch Out Boy (1972)
The Yandalls were a New Zealand institution for some four decades. Their first single was on Bill Sevesi's Ampar label in 1966 followed by an EP with Bill in 1968. They moved to EMI after this 45 and substantial success with an Alan Galbraith produced album. Arranged by Bernie Allen, the A-side was a Harvey Fuqua (here called Fugua) and Johnny Bristol song written for Tammi Terrell in 1966, backed by a Fred Forte/Jimmy Francis song first recorded by The Embers in 1970 as 'Watch Out Girl'.
Z-1376 Larry Small - Love Is Alive (In My Heart) / My Sweet Lady (1973)
Larry Small was from Mangonui in the far north, and at the time he recorded for Eldred he was the resident singer at Surfside in Milford. He could also be seen on TV's Happen Inn. The band here was essentially Headband (without Tommy Adderley). In 1974 this was reissued with the John Denver penned and Barry Clewett produced flip side as the A-side, whereupon it charted briefly. The original A-side was produced by the prolific writer and producer Tony Baker who, despite dozens of credits, only recorded this two tracks for Zodiac. It was written by US writers (and industry execs) Jeffrey Marmelzat and Spencer Proffer and first appeared as a B-side from UK music comedy act Black Abbots, but was later revived by their group Proffer, Marmelzat and Reed as a single.
Z-1377 Toni Williams - Tying The Pieces Together / (There'll Come A Day When) Ev'ry Little Bit Hurts (1972)
One last Zodiac single for Toni (although he had a single and album on Key later).Jimmie Loden's A-side dates back to 1964 when it was a B-side for Sonny James – whose real name was James Loden. Ben Weisman, Dotty Wayne and Marilyn Garrett, a team best known for Bobby Vee's 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes'. This song was also recorded by Bobby, in 1964.
Z-1378 Human Instinct - Down The Hall On Saturday Night / Simple Man (1972)
After five years in the UK and on Pye in NZ, and having recorded some of NZ's most highly rated psychedelic blues-rock, Human Instinct returned to Zodiac for their last released albums. Maurice Greer had pared back the excesses, changed the lineup some, and as the earlier records are classics of their genres, the last albums are now seen as country rock classics. This more-novelty single was a non-album track and was written by balladeer and songwriter Peter Cape for an EP in 1960. The B-side was penned by Martin Hope, formerly of The Fourmyula and now an Instinct member and is found on the 1972 album Snatmin Cuthin? (ZLP 1044).
Ray ColumbusTommy Adderley
Z-1379 Karma - Rock'N Roll Circus / Ruby (1972)
A second 45 for these guys and like the first, written by the band. All their singles are commonly found so, despite their brief lifespan, must've sold OK.
Z-1380 Ken Lemon - Window Number 9 / Crying On The Inside (1972)
A popular country singer who featured on TVNZ's The Country Touch, Ken had recorded extensively for Octagon and Viking over the years. This is from his only Zodiac album, A Slice Of Lemon (ZLP1047) arranged by Barry Clewett and produced by Larry Elliott. The A-side was written by Charlie Craig and first recorded by Johnny Duncan in 1969. The other side was by Ray Pennington and was a 1964 Kenny Roberts single.
Z-1381 Adriaan Vermunt - My Sweet Mama (Ma Douce Mamam) / The Magic Show (1973)
A ten year old From New Plymouth I believe and possibly best forgotten. Written by Belgians Glen Powell and Gaston Houssa with English lyrics added, it was recorded in 1968 by a Belgian child star called Kiki signed to the Palette label with whom Zodiac had a business relationship. The B-side was penned by producer Tony Baker with his writing partner Ed Justin.
Z-1382 Karma - Clear Water Revival / Free (1972)
The final single for the band and a record supporting an attempt by Hamilton City Council to clean up the Waikato River. Both sides were penned by Bob Smith, with lyrics on the A-side from a Mr. Williams connected to the Council. Their final show was at The Great Ngāruawāhia Music Festival where Yuk Harrison famously took his clothes off whilst the band backed Shane. Bob Smith had quite a career in the years after.
Z-1383 Littlejohn Band - Dead And Gone / Turning On To Rock'n'Roll (1972)
Littlejohn Band (named after guitarist Tony Littlejohn) started life as The Movement and also featured Alan Moon, Bruno Lawrence and Corben Simpson and therefore can be seen as a forerunner to BLERTA. They recorded three further singles for the Wellington label Sonic and an album for Polydor. Both songs are credited to Littlejohn but it's unclear if that is the band or Tony.
Mr. KauKau and Eldred

Mr. Eru Kaukau, whose sons were in the band Golden Harvest, signed to Key, and Eldred, at the APRA Silver Scroll awards.
Photo courtesy of APRA.
Z-1384 Lee Patrick And Gemini - Maybe Someday / Love A Little Longer (1973)
An Auckland pop band, largely forgotten. The music sounds like it was a from a bygone era, late 60s lite-psychedelia. Even stranger was the fact the A-side was an album track from a 1972 Partridge Family album (written by John Hill and Austin Roberts). The other side was by Indian writer Apaiah Biddu whose many hit songs include 'Kung Fu Fighting' and 'I Love To Love'.
Z-1385 Glenn Halls - Sitting In The Apple Tree / Super Good Feeling (1973)
A Wellington singer who did this one 45 for Zodiac plus a duet with Ron Halls (his father) on Ron's own label earlier in 1969. 'Sitting In The Apple Tree' was by US writer Douglas Trevor and was an a 1971 album track by ex-Monkee Davy Jones. 'Super Good Feeling' was a 1970 single by US band David And The Giants, written by David Bell, Ken Bell and Sonny Limbo who, at the time, were staff writers for the Fame label. Sonny Limbo went on to co-write the odious 'Key Largo'.
Z-1386 Ginny Peters - Love Is Gone / Satisfy Her Hunger (1973)
An Edgcumbe-based, Scottish-born, Christian country singer. She also recorded for Allied International, RCA, Viking, Innovation and Epic, plus a couple of Christian labels. This was licensed from Innovation and recorded in their studio. Obscure US Christian-country writer Jamie Isonhood and one C. Freeman wrote the B-side. The other side is a mystery.
Z-1387 Lee Patrick & Gemini - More Than Sympathy / Christine (1973)
The A-side was a 1973 single for Belgian singer Ignace Baert and written by him, the other was written by S. Alexandra and seems to be a local writer.
Z-1388 Larry Small - The Golden Age / Pledging On Fear (1973)
A second single from Larry (followed by a re-release of his first). He was later a lounge singer of note around Auckland, for a while performing as Larry Small & Kayde. This was his final single for Zodiac. The A-side was a cover of an obscure Ray Stevens self-released 45 that came with a greeting card, whilst the B-side was a song written in 1969 by one Scott Bradford for his wife Ann that was issued by, again, the Palette label.
Z-1389 Face (Featuring Mark Williams) - Hangin' Around / Mr Postman (1973)
This group from Dargaville came to Auckland in 1971 and were huge in the thriving church and community hall circuit, playing dances into 1972, and recording this. Their lead singer, Mark Williams then embarked on a very successful solo career, on EMI, before heading to Australia where he became a major session vocalist. Mark is now part of Dragon. Also included Willie Hona, later of Herbs. The A-side was the Edgar Winter song, co-written by Edgar and Dan Hartman, whilst the flip is written by Mark. A great single as the Zodiac label winds down, appropriately produced by Ray Columbus and Dave Russell.
Z-1390 Human Instinct - Gypsy Lady / The Hustler (1973)
The final Human Instinct single for Zodiac was backed with the title track from their last '70s album (ZLP 1051) (although the last album, Peg Leg, didn't see release until the 2000s). Pressed as a white label but unreleased. The A-side was by Glenn Mikkelson, later known to the world as Zaine Griff, and the flip was by John Donoghue, both now members of the band.
Z-1391 Lee Patrick - Beautiful You / Sally Anne (1973)
Now without Gemini and a final single for Zodiac. 'Beautiful You' was a somewhat anonymous Neil Sedaka/Phil Cody song issued as a single in 1972 by Neil. 'Sally Anne' was by UK singer/songwriter Phillip Goodhand Tait which seems not have been issued by the writer, or anyone else for that matter.
Human Instinct

The Human Instinct in 1974: Martin Hope, Maurice Greer and Glenn Mikkelson with John Donoghue obscured to the right.
Z-1392 Murray Grindlay - Nova's Song / Thoughts On Returning Home (1974)
Nova was Murray's wife. This was the last release on the Zodiac label for Murray, but he would return on Key and was associated with Stebbings for many years, recording countless jingles and a NZ No.1 under the name Monte Video & The Cassettes in 1983, before sadly falling out in the 1990s. Both songs are Grindlay originals.
Z-1393 Hot Ash - What A Day / Feel It (1974)
The very last 7" single released on Zodiac. Hot Ash came from Auckland. They were centred around Rod McAuley and his wife Pauline and recorded two singles for Dave McKee and Johnny Devlin's Kontact label before this, and one for EMI afterwards. They later changed their name to Cimeron and returned to Eldred with a final single on Key in 1978. Both songs were written by Rod.

Why Eldred killed the label, I don't know exactly and it's unanswered in the recent book but the general assumption was that he felt that Zodiac was simply old-fashioned and within 12 months he'd launched the new Key label, which would be very successful with Hello Sailor, Th' Dudes and others. Eldred also stopped distributing his own records, out of the little shop just down from the Stebbing Studios in 1974 (Zodiac Distribution had taken over from Philips in 1969).

The first Key release was Headband's 'I Get High' in mid-1975, and the label was initially via Pye (until that company folded in 1976), then briefly WEA, and then, with some success, via Festival from 1977 through to the 1980s. Ironically Zodiac is now one of, if not *the*, most iconic New Zealand labels of all time and Hello Sailor were very disappointed that the time that they were not to be on the great label. The Zodiac name was revived in the 2000s for a variety of albums and reissues.

In 1966 John McCready of Philips and Eldred formalised a deal which not only saw Philips putting Zodiac releases through their distribution network but also gave the Dutch company an option to formally release selected records on Philips. The first release to benefit from this was Ray Columbus and The Invaders' Till We Kissed hits album which was issued via the Philips Record Club and sold 40,000 copies. This deal gave Zodiac a much stronger NZ-wide presence to counter HMV's dominance and the Philips brand on selected releases eased airplay with the NZ-music-reluctant NZBC stations.

But to the Philips singles:

La De Das

The La De Da's in the Auckland rain at the bottom of Durham Lane East in 1966.
PF338077 The La De Da's - How Is The Air Up There / Pied Piper (1966)
The second La De Da's (the ' was intentional) single (the first was on the small Talent City label) was the first single licensed by Eldred to Philips. It was, as history records, not only huge, but an era defining record. The original was by a US act, The Changing Times, effectively a front for the writers Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld, but this is the definitive take. Produced by John Hawkins.
The story goes that John McCready shrewdly suggested to the song to Eldred, who then actively sourced a band with a keyboard sound that could do justice to the song, finding the Te Atatu band at the Platterack club after a tip. Initially he had considered The PleaZers. It reached No.4 on the new NZ charts in May. The B-side, also written by Dubof and Kornfeld, was the UK hit for Crispian St. Peters but The La De Da's own this too. As an aside, Kornfeld went on to create an obscure festival in 1969 he called Woodstock.
PF338078 The La De Da's - Don't You Stand in My Way / I Take What I Want (1966)
Single number two was headed by a song composed by the band's Trevor Wilson and Bruce Howard, backed with an Isaac Hayes, David Porter and Mabon "Teenie" Hodges tune recorded first by Sam And Dave in 1965 at Stax. It wasn't a hit (and made Eldred's point about doing covers) but it was still a shithot record and another reason why the band are still, to many, the greatest NZ band of the decade and beyond.
La De Das
PF338090 The La De Das - On Top Of The World / Hey Girl (1966)
Spot the minor typo on the name. Back into the Top 5 and their second classic 45. A John Mayall song released two years before John's – he had played it on live TV and it had been taped by guitarist Kevin Borich. The other side is the Marriott-Lane Small Faces song. They had great taste in covers.
PF338092 The La De Da's - Hey Baby / Other Love (1967)
The record that took the band to No.1 in April 1967. The old Bruce Channel chestnut from the dark days between rock'n'roll and rock (in this case 1962) co-written by Margaret Cobb and suggested by either John McCready or Claude Papesch depending on who you believe, The La De Da's turned this into a funky R&B smash (arranged by Claude) with some (intentional) humour towards the end. The B-side is uncredited but seems to be a band composition. The first 45 I ever bought with my own money. 1967 also saw the EP Stu-Pid-I-Ty (PE420601).
La De Das
PF338094 The La De Da's - All Purpose Low / My Girl (1967)
The band had moved to Australia briefly (returning in September), and a second album was released in May (Philips PL 08792). This was the lead single, both sides having been written by Bruce Howard and Trevor Wilson. Another terrific 45, it peaked at No.3. The Australian release is pictured.
BF338095 La De Da's - Rosalie / Find Us A Way (Sept 1967)
The last single for Zodiac before the band returned off to Australia never to return aside from touring visits. Both sides again are Howard/Wilson songs. After many lineup changes, they split in 1975 with Kevin Borich the last original member. Solo, became an Australian superstar later in the 1970s. They continued to make terrific music (check out some of the videos here), but for me at least, the best of The La De Da's is found in these incredible Zodiac grooves.
Hi Revving Tongues

The Hi-Revving Tongues at the 1968 Loxene Gold Disc show: Bruce Coleman, Rob Noad, Chris Parfitt, Mike Balcombe and John Walmsley.
BF338098 Hi-Revving Tongues - A Tropic Of Capricorn / Baby Need Your Loving (1968)
The debut Zodiac release (they had recorded 3 singles earlier for Allied International and had roots in The Sierras and Species Nine), this Auckland band was resident at The Embers Club and won the national 1968 Battle of The Bands which saw them offered a deal with Benny Levin's Impact label. The band opted to go for Zodiac instead (all their earlier records were recorded in Saratoga Ave with John Hawkins) and Eldred took on their management. They were the right band at the right time, with perfectly recorded psychedelic pop that captured the public imagination. This was a huge record and deservedly so. The A-side was penned by singer Kit Parfitt and the B was a cover of Holland-Dozier-Holland's Four Tops classic de-Motowned for the flower-era.
BF338099 Bobby Davis - High Classed / But I Do (1968)
Bobby's final Zodiac disc. Clearly Eldred had high hopes for 'High Classed' as he licensed it to Philips, but it was not to be. Written by The Hollies' Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks for their 1967 single. The B-side was a remake of the Clarence Frogman Henry hit from 1961, written by Paul Gayten and Robert Guidry but this seems closer to The Walker Brothers version from the 1965. Bobby made a single the next year for Treble Clef before moving into music management (with Mike Corliss). He later owned a carpet cleaning business.
PF338100 Hi-Revving Tongues - Make Yourself At Home / To My Love (1969)
In early 1969, Philips released the Tongues' hit album (PL08794, later reissued on Zodiac as BZLP 104) and also this single and the B-side here, written by Mike Balcombe was found on the album. The A-side was a Chris 'Kit' Parfitt song and was not. Not a hit but a good record nevertheless.
PF338101 Chris Parfitt and The Hi-Revving Tongues - Elevator / You'll Find Me Anywhere (1968)
A one-off that credited singer Parfitt and the band, as did the debut album. Not sure why but it reverted for the next singles (see Z-1349). 'Elevator' was originally by UK band, Grapefruit and written by George Alexander, brother of the famed AC/DC and Easybeats Youngs. The other side was a Chris Parfitt song. A New Zealand pop classic and much compiled over the years.

Where to next

For more detail on the artists I'd recommend AudioCulture. Many of the acts are linked there already but there is a vast amount more on the site, specifically Chris Bourke's The Stebbing Legacy.

Wired For Sound

Grant Gillanders and Robyn Welsh's Wired For Sound is the definitive history of Eldred Stebbing and Zodiac Records and is a compulsory purchase for any student or fan of New Zealand music. It can be bought from and good bookshop in NZ (support the indies please) or from the publisher.

Thanks to Chris Bourke, Adam Gifford, Allan Galley, Colin Linwood, Steve McGough, Dennis Shearer, Mark Matheson, Col Chamings, Peter Grattan, John Pickworth, Robyn Scott, Larry Small & Wai Rata.

Words herein copyright under a Creative Commons license. © 1996-2020 Propeller Lamont Ltd, but feel free to quote (for non- commercial use only) if you give us the credit. For commercial use, please contact Simon. On images all rights are reserved. Please contact for re-use.