A recording of the carol “Silent Night” or “Tapu te Po,” sung in te reo Māori and English by men of the 28th Māori Battalion in North Africa in 1942, is one of the many Christmas taonga held in the Sound collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
It is part of a series of recordings made by the National Broadcasting Service’s Mobile Recording Unit, in a New Zealand military hospital. The men singing on the recording had been wounded in the Battle of El Alamein in October and November 1942, and were gathered together by Nurse Wiki Katene (Ngāti Toa) of Porirua, to make the recording which would be broadcast back in New Zealand at Christmas.Continue reading →
Hilda Brodie Smith, of Porirua, wrote, directed and starred in a number of rather incredible documentaries during the 1960s. Her work was so distinctive and professional that she regularly won prizes in cine club competitions.
Hilda’s films have recently been restored by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, and film conservator Richard Faulkner talks about the process in this feature by Radio New Zealand.
“How Bizarre,” the catchy hit by OMC (Otara Millionaires Club), was released 21 years ago today, on 15 December 1995.
“How Bizarre” reached the number one spot in New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, and South Africa, was on the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 for 36 weeks, and won Single of the Year at the 1996 New Zealand Music Awards.
Master copies of the music video are preserved in the collections of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
- By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
A “date that will live in infamy” is how United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described the 7th of December 1941. This week sees the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack brought the United States into World War II and brought the war to the Pacific and New Zealand’s back yard.
At the time of the bombing the United States and Japan were actively in peace talks over Japan’s war with China, with Japanese officials in Washington D.C. for negotiations. However, it soon became clear that this air attack had been carefully planned for months, so the outrage felt by the American public at the Japanese deception was immense.
The day after the attack, President Roosevelt addressed the United States Congress and the American people in this historic radio broadcast. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision holds a recording made in Wellington at the time, from the shortwave radio broadcast, but this version supplied later – directly from the United States – is better quality audio.
The following recording on this compilation tape, is an eye witness account by a US Air Force serviceman, Lieutenant Wallace, who was at Hickham Field airforce base next door to Pearl Harbor. He describes his very brief experience of active warfare.
Another eye witness account of the attack – this time from a civilian perspective – was recorded here in New Zealand a couple of months later, in early 1942, by Thomas Matthews. He was an Englishman, a violinist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was onboard a passenger ship sailing into Honolulu on the fateful morning, on his way to take up a new role in Singapore (which was still a British colony). As he explained to New Zealand radio listeners, at first he and the rest of the passengers thought they were watching military manoeuvres.Continue reading →
By Zak Reddan (Ngā Taonga Cataloguer / Researcher)
Did you know Young Hercules, the title character in the 1998-99 TV series filmed in New Zealand, was played by a teenaged Ryan Gosling?
The US series was the second spin-off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-9), following Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001).
In scripted banter with his The Nice Guys (2016) co-star Russell Crowe at the 4th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, Gosling referred to his time here: “I lived in New Zealand for, like, two years. I’m sweet as, bro.”