May 11, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Remembering Sir Howard

3 min read

His name was synonymous with entertainment in New Zealand and today August 18th would have been his 75th birthday. To remember Sir Howard Morrisons talent, NZ On Screen has published a collection celebrating Ol Brown Eyes on screen

The selection features classic performances (with the Howard Morrison Quartet and solo), riffing with Billy T James, hosting Top Town, Howie’s star turn in 60s musical feature film Dont Let it Get You, and a This is Your Life tribute … Ray Columbus: He was a master entertainer.

The show business legend’s take on songs like ‘How Great Thou Art’ ensured his waiata an enduring place at the top of NZ playlists; his hit ‘Whakaaria Mai’ rendition of that song in Hamilton, 1982, is included in the collection.

In a piece written especially to accompany the selection, singer Ray Columbus offers a heartfelt reflection on his long relationship with the Kiwi show business legend, a friend he revered as The Man. “His voice, humour, ability to ad-lib, his X-factor brand (which I think was iwi based) … made him unique anywhere.”

Watch and enjoy!

Featured content

The Sir Howard Morrison Story

Television, 2002

In this documentary Sir Howard candidly discusses his life and career: his Te Arawa whakapapa, his wh?nau, and his Anglican faith. Includes footage of his knighthood investiture, a visit to his old school – Te Aute, and performances by the Howard Morrison Quartet and throughout his career.

Don’t Let It Get You

Film, 1966

The big ALL FUN show for the whole family to enjoy! was the tagline for this musical comedy feature film. Sir Howard stars as himself in the tiki-flavoured tale, that moves from Sydney to a Rotorua music festival. It features a young Kiri Te Kanawa, Lew Pryme and Aussie star Norman Rowe.

Howard Morrison Special – Hamilton

Television, 1982

Here Morrison is in his white-suited cabaret prime. He pokes fun at his recently-awarded OBE Ordinary Brown Entertainer but this show proves he is anything but, as he belts out the favourites, including hit single Whakaaria Mai, which, following this show, would go on to spend five weeks atop the charts.

Billy T Live

Television, 1990

In April 1990, Billy Taitoko James came back from ill health, and made a triumphant return to performing (sadly his swansong). His mate Sir Howard Morrison was a guest, and in an excerpt here the two brownies are in fine form reading the news and ribbing race relations and economic reform.

Top Town – 1977 Final

Television, 1977

This long-running traveling battle for small town bragging rights was TV light-entertainment gold. This 1977 final, in the Okara Park sun, is presented by Howard Morrison and radio host Paddy O’Donnell. It features short shorts, jockettes, greasy poles, and beautiful scorer Theresa.

An Evening with Sir Howard Morrison

Television, 1990

In the year of his knighthood, Sir Howard performs with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; its a classic big show blend of cabaret, humour and Maori culture. He performs My Old Mans An All Black, with Billy T, and has ex-All Blacks captain Buck Shelford lead a haka alongside nephew Temuera.

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