Murray Johnston

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      Award presented 2009  

Murray Johnston - seen here with Dion Murphy and The Shamrocks

Murray tells us in his own words .... "I have always been interested in music after a time on the piano as a child, and I commenced drum lessons with the late Leon Jayet during the 1950's.  Leon Jayet was a wonderful encourager of younger musicians and introduced me to Murray Warner an even younger piano player.  This was my start in a "group".  From there I moved to playing with the late Fred Mummery, Robin Hope and Mike Green in a group called The Shamrocks whose real claim to fame was backing Dion and Cecile Murphy at The Copper Cat, one of Christchurch's leading night haunts at the time.  Next came time with saxophonist, the late Charlie Clark and his dance band.  In 1970 with the advent of 10 o'clock closing Tim Ruki, Ed Stanley, Ray Hau and I formed a group called The Townsmen to play at the Papanui Tavern Lounge Bar.  We also played the Ball Circuit - Mount Cook, Woodbourne Air Base, Football Clubs, Weddings and 21sts which were such wonderful earners for musicians in those days.  The group was at times a five piece and included over the years, musicians such as Royce Hutt, Monty Monteath, Neil Pickard and Dimitri Gabara.  After 15 wonderful years the group broke up when key players moved away from Christchurch.  I have never lost my interest in music especially Rock and Jazz and I am enjoying seeing my grandson developing as a drummer and bass player."


Murray Johnston 1971

Murray Johnston with The Townsmen 1971

Murray Johnston crica 2007