Mark Williams

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      Award presented 2010


Mark Williams

Mark Williams was born on August 21st, 1954.  He has been in several groups including Coast to Coast Band, The Face.  He started singing in contests from around the age of 13.  He has recorded for a number of well-known labels including, HMV, EMI, Zodiac and CBS.  He was industed into the NZ Music Hall Of Fame in 2010 with Dragon, and was the face of NZ pop in the late 1970s with the runaway success of two number one singles Yesterday Was Just The Beginning of My Life (1975) and It Doesn't Matter Anymore (1977).  These radio-friendly singles came from three albums produced by Lower Hutt-based HMV in-house producer Alan Galbraith.  His debut album was Mark Williams (1975) followed by Sweet Trials (1976) and Taking It All In Stride (1977).  These albums charted at No.2, No.14 and No.14 respectively.  Tracks from these pop-soul albums are now viewed as rare groove classics by soul music fans.


The Face circa 1972

The Face - Ace Of Clubs

Mark Williams

The Face - Ace Of Clubs

Coast to Coast Band - 1976


By 1977, after two massive New Zealand No.1 hits, and a high profile thanks to touring and television, Mark Williams had outgrown the local market and had to think about being a musician, he said 40 years later.  To do that he had to go to Australia - and learn.  His first trip across the Tasman was in 1976 when Lew Pryme was his manager, and in 2017 Williams recalled that he lasted all of two weeks in Sydney and went "I hate this place. If I ever come back here to live I won't come to Sydney.", so he went to Melbourne.  That was in September 1977.  He stayed here about a year just to acclimatise and it is the perfect city to acclimatise to Australia, then he was ready to handle Sydney.  The groups on the rise when he arrived included The Sports.  Williams went to see them and couldn't understand where the feel had gone to.  It was all wrong and he had to grow up and start again - right from square one.  While still the biggest star in New Zealand, Williams started again in Australia in 1978.  It took him 10 years before he managed to get a song into the charts.


!st Album - 1975

2nd Album - 1976

3rd Album - 1977

4th Album - 1981


After Marc Hunter's death in July 1998, it would be almost a decade before Todd Hunter would play any Dragon material saying "It was never going to happen again.  It was like some lurid airport novel that he'd read once," he says.  Instead, he turned his attention to composing soundtracks for Australian Television, but in 2006, he started rehearsing a new Dragon line-up, featuring former New Zealand pop star Mark Williams in Marc Hunter's old role.  "You get in a room, you start playing the songs ... I could actually feel the goddamn Dragon lift itself out of the primeval mud."  Taking to the road with "a bunch of songs that just about play themselves,"  Hunter realised that "they are not our songs anymore.  The songs belong to everyone."  Yet in playing the old hits - the audience taking over much of the singing - the old Dragon seemed to all but become flesh once more.


Dragon - Kaitaia, Northland 2010

Dragon 2018

40 Years of Dragon


Additional Mark Williams information is available on the Audio Culture website .....


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