A Collection of Deane Waretiniís finest recorded moments from the 1980s onwards including "The Bridge" and the soundtrack to "Now Is the Hour", the 7 part series on Maori TV August 2012.
The TV series "Now Is the Hour" is an affectionate and funny slice of real life as Deane Waretini makes a road trip from Christchurch to his Rotorua hometown for the gig he hopes will re-launch his career.
In 1926 the late Deane Waretini Snr, became the first Maori to record commercially in the world. He went on to earn fame in the twenties and thirties singing te reo (Maori Language) duets of European songs with his cousin Ana Hato. Deane Waretini Snr. was also one of the first artists to record on the TANZA record label in 1949.
Deane (Jr)†had recorded several singles during the seventies with only minimal success, and his recording of The Bridge on the small Innovation label looked to be heading towards the same fate as his previous recordings. Deane knew that the song was special and he was not prepared to surrender to the apathy of the nationís radio stations.
A desperate and entrepreneurial Deane (who was supplementing his gig money with part time work as a dustman) took to the streets of downtown Auckland and sold copies of the single.
†"I sold about 80 copies in a week and paid one of the paper boys to sell them as well. Then I approached the Civic theatre in Auckland and the Odeon in Rotorua and asked if they would play the record during the half time interval, which they agreed to. I left them with a box of records each to sell in their foyers and donate the money to charityĒ.
Deane had been a regular visitor to CBS Records in Auckland, hoping to talk them into a recording contract with little success. This time having got wind of the slow but sure momentum being built up by the single, they approached Deane with a view to licensing the track. The might of CBSís distribution and promotion soon saw The Bridge climbing the charts where it reached number One on the New Zealand chart in January 1981 and stayed in the Top 40 for 27 weeks.
For a variety of reasons Deane was never able to replicate or build on the success of The Bridge. With Deaneís own 7-part series on Maori TV, now is a good chance to reflect on the legend of the Waretini family and to highlight Deaneís old and new material.