13 Jun 2009

When Johnny Came to Town: NZ's First Rock Concert

Johnny Cash
© American/Lost Highway // Photo credit: Andrew Earl Johnny Cash © American/Lost Highway // Photo credit: Andrew Earl

In April 1959 New Zealand got its first taste of big time rock & roll, when a show headlined by Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent played at Auckland's Town Hall.

Marty Duda looks back at New Zealand's first international rock 'n' roll shows, talking with performers, journalists and fans that were there.

In April 1959 New Zealand got its first taste of big time rock & roll, when a show headlined by Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent played at Auckland's Town Hall.

In April 1959 New Zealand got its first taste of big time rock & roll, when a show headlined by Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent played at Auckland's Town Hall. Photo: Papers Past

Guests in this programme:

Bruce Kaplan:
then Auckland Star music journalist, now sub-editor for Melbourne Age.

Colin Frederick Jacobsen aka Col Joy:
early Australian rock 'n' roll star.

Johnny Devlin:
early New Zealand rock 'n' roll star.

Lou Clauson:
one half of New Zealand sixties novelty duo Lou & Simon.

Marshall Grant:
bass player for Johnny Cash.

Donny Conn:
member of American vocal group The Playmates.

Programme produced by Marty Duda and engineered by Jeremy Ansell for RNZ National.

Music Details for 'When Johnny Came To Town'

Artist: The Killers
Song: Human
Composer: The Killers
Album: Day & Age
Label: Island

Artist: Green Day
Song: American Idiot
Composer: Billie Joe Armstrong/ Green Day
Album: American Idiot
Label: Reprise

Artist: The White Stripes
Song: Seven Nation Army
Composer: Jack White
Album: Elephant
Label: XL

Artist: Blur
Song: Song 2
Composer: Albarn/Coxon/James/Roundtree
Album: Blur
Label: Parlophone

Artist: Radiohead
Song: Karma Police
Composer: Yorke/J. Greenwood/Selway/O'Brien/C. Greenwood
Album: OK Computer
Label: Parlophone

Artist: Garbage
Song: Queer
Composer: Garbage
Album: Garbage
Label: White

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Song: Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Composer: Billy Corgan
Album: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Label: Virgin

Artist: Nirvana
Song: Smell Like Teen Spirit
Composer: Cobain/Nirvana
Album: Nevermind
Label: DGC

Artist: Metallica
Song: Enter Sandman
Composer: Hetfield/Urlich/Hammett
Album: Metallica
Label: Elektra

Artist: Guns 'n Roses
Song: Sweet Child 'O Mine
Composer: Guns N' Roses
Album: Appetite For Destruction
Label: Geffen

Artist: R.E.M
Song: It's The End Of The World As We Know It
Composer: Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe
Album: And I Feel Fine…The Best Of The I.R.S. Years
Label: EMI

Artist: Dire Straits
Song: Mony For Nothing
Composer: Mark Knopfler/Sting
Album: Brothers In Arms
Label: Warner Bros.

Artist: U2
Song: New Years Day
Composer: U2
Album: War
Label: Island

Artist: Split Enz
Song: I Got You
Composer: Neil Finn
Album: True Colours
Label: WSM

Artist: Sex Pistols
Song: Anarchy In The U.K.
Composer: Jones/Cook/Matlock/Rotten
Album: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols
Label: Virgin

Artist: Ramones
Song: Blitzkrieg Bop
Composer: The Ramones
Album: Ramones
Label: Warner/Rhino

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Born To Run
Composer: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Born To Run
Label: Columbia

Artist: David Bowie
Song: Suffragette City
Composer: David Bowie
Album: Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars
Label: RCA

Artist: The Who
Song: Won't Get Fooled Again
Composer: Pete Townshend
Album: Who's Next
Label: Universal

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Song: Black Dog
Composer: Page/Plant/Jones
Album: Led Zeppelin 4
Label: Atlantic

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Song: Foxy Lady
Composer: Jimi Hendrix
Album: Are You Experienced
Label: MCA

Artist: Bob Dylan
Song: Like A Rolling Stone
Composer: Bob Dylan
Album: Highway 61 Revisited
Label: Columbia

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Song: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Composer: Jagger/Richards
Album: Rolled Gold
Label: ABKCO

Artist: The Beatles
Song: A Hard Day's Night
Composer: Lennon/McCartney
Album: A Hard Day's Night
Label: Parlophone

Artist: The Kingsmen
Song: Louie, Louie
Composer: R. Berry
Album: The Kingsmen In Person Featuring Louie, Louie
Label: Wand

Artist: The Ronettes
Song: Be My Baby
Composer: Spector/Barry/Greenwich
Album: Back To Mono
Label: ABKCO

Artist: The Coasters
Song: Charlie Brown
Composer: Leiber/Stoller
Album: 50 Coastin' Classics
Label: Rhino

Artist: Johnny Cooper & Ken Avery & His Rockin' Rhythm
Song: Rock Around The Clock
Composer: DeKnight/Freedman
Album: Early Rock & Roll From New Zealand Vol. 5 & 6
Label: Collector Records

Artist: Bill Haley & His Comets
Song: See You Later Alligator
Composer: Robert Guidry
Album: The Rock & Roll Era 1956
Label: Time-Life

Artist: Johnny Devlin
Song: Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Composer: Lloyd Price
Album: How Would 'Ya Be
Label: Ode

Artist: Johnny Devlin
Song: Devil's Rock
Composer: Johnny Devlin
Album: How Would 'Ya Be
Label: Ode

Artist: Johnny Devlin
Song: Wild One
Composer: O'Keefe/Owen/Greenan/Withers
Album: How Would 'Ya Be
Label: Ode

Artist: Lee Allen
Song: Walkin' With Mr. Lee
Composer: Lee Allen
Album: The Rock & Roll Era: Axes & Saxes The Great Instrumentals
Label: Time-Life

Artist: Col Joy & The Joy Boys
Song: Oh Yeah Uh Huh
Composer: Robertson
Album: Rock & Roll Complete Vol. 1
Label: EMI

Artist: Gene Vincent
Song: Race With The Devil
Composer: Davis/Vincent
Album: Rock & Roll Legend
Label: Capitol

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: Get Rhythm
Composer: J.R. Cash
Album: The Legend
Label: Columbia/Legacy

Artist: The Playmates
Song: Beep Beep
Composer: Donald Claps/Carl Cicchetti
Album: The Golden Age Of American Rock & Roll: Special Novelty Edition

Artist: Bill Black's Combo
Song: Smokie Pt.2
Composer: Black
Album: The Rock & Roll Era: Axes & Saxes The Great Instrumentals
Label: Time-Life

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: Rock Island Line
Composer: H. Ledbetter/A. Lomax
Album: The Legend
Label: Columbia/Legacy

Artist: The Supersonics
Song: Guitar Boogie
Composer: A. Smith
Album: Early Rock & Roll From New Zealand Vol. 5 & 6
Label: Collector Records

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: I Walk The Line
Composer: J.R. Cash
Album: At Town Hall Party DVD
Label: Umbrella/Bear Family

Artist: Bobby Day
Song: Over And Over
Composer: R. Byrd
Album: The Best Of Bobby Day
Label: Rhino

Artist: Col Joy & The Joy Boys
Song: Bye Bye Baby Goodbye
Composer: McNulty
Album: Jim Sutton Nostalgia
Label: Warner Bros.

Artist: The Playmates
Song: Don't Go Home
Composer: Lehmann/Lebowsky
Album: NA
Label: Roulette

Artist: Bobby Day
Song: Rockin' Robin
Composer: J. Thomas
Album: The Best Of Bobby Day
Label: Rhino

Artist: Gene Vincent
Song: Be Bop A Lula
Composer: Davis/Vincent
Album: Rock & Roll Legend
Label: Capitol

Artist: Gene Vincent
Song: Blue Jean Bop
Composer: Levy/Vincent
Album: The Bop The Just Won't Stop
Label: Capitol

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: Heartbreak Hotel
Composer: Axton/Presley
Album: At Town Hall Party DVD
Label: Umbrella/Bear Family

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: I Guess Things Happen That Way
Composer: J. Clement
Album: At Town Hall Party DVD
Label: Umbrella/Bear Family

Artist: Gene Vincent
Song: Dance To The Bop
Composer: Floyd Edge
Album: Rock & Roll Legend
Label: Capitol

Artist: Bob Paris & The Auckland Jive Centre Band
Song: Rebel Rouser
Composer: Duane Eddy-Lee Hazelwood
Album: NA
Label: Zodiac

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Song: It's All Over Now
Composer: S. Womack/B. Womack
Album: Rolled Gold
Label: ABKCO

Artist: Johnny Cash
Song: Folsom Prison Blues
Composer: J.R. Cash
Album: At Town Hall Party DVD
Label: Umbrella/Bear Family