Neville Barrie

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      Award presented 2008

John Clarke + Bruce Sergent Collections


Neville Barrie - entertaining children outside the New Brighton Creche circa 1980

Neville Barrie was born in Dunedin in 1942 and is a vocalist and guitarist.  His earliest musical memories are of singing his heart out as a youngster at Sunday School in his home town.  His versatility and knowledge of the entertainment industry make him one of New Zealand's most respected entertainers, and has been a prolific writer of commercial jingles in his time.


At the age of 15 he was in a comedy duo with his mate Ivan Hannah and they toured extensively as Flapjacks Comedy Duo - their activities included doing shows around Otago and Southland with The Howard Morrison Quartet.  Neville also operated as a magician within the Otago Magic Circle for some considerable time, and the art of magic is something which has remained at his fingetips throughout his career as an entertainer.  His pop-vocal career proper began whilst he was in Dunedin, when he formed a group which was known as Neville Barrie and The Deltas - consisting of Neville Barrie (Vocals), Gary Partridge (Piano), Ken Anderson and Peter Light (Guitar), Bevan Rix (Saxophone) and Noel Aitken (Drums).  Together as a group they recorded four songs, Christchurch Rock, Shakin' All Over, Messed Up Blues and Your Cheatin' Heart.  Tragically, these four songs exist only on acetate but have been included on Cees Clop's Collector Records compilation  —  Early Rock & Roll From New Zealand - Volumes 11/12.  In 1960, at the age of 17, he formed a group called Neville Barrie and the Commodores with Neville Barrie (Vocals/Guitar), Keith Harper (Vocals), Kevin Bell (Guitar), Graeme Fairburn (Bass) and Ian Gourley (Drums).  They went into the Broadway Recording Studio in Dunedin in order to record two songs - the studio normally only recorded radio commercials, but decided to release the two tracks as a single which was released in that same year on their Broadway Label.  It is almost certainly the only release on that label.  The songs were You've Stolen My Heart // Keep Walkin'.  Neville later moved to Christchurch where he formed The Footsteps, a pop trio which began recording in 1972, producing five singles on five different labels between 1972 and 1975.  Their original line-up consisted of Neville Barrie (Guitar/Vocals), John Clarke (Drums/Vocals), Eric Robinson (Keyboards/Vocals).  Peter Gillette later replaced Eric Robinson on keyboards, and ultimately went on to relocate to Wellington and become a member of the higly successful Peter Nelson and The Castaways, entertaining around Asia for several years, and subsequently returning to Christchurch for a stint with Chapta and later playing with Moviez and a host of other groups.  Neville's career highlights include writing a theme song for the 1974 Commonwealth Games - Oh What A Day, and he wrote the New Zealand anthem New Zealand Our Home ...  Neville has been a professional musician, entertainer and operated his own entertainment agency for over 25 years.




The five singles by The Footsteps were Maybe // For You in 1972, Oh What A Day // A New Beginning (Rob Guest)in 1973, Christmas Time // Love Is All The Colours in 1973, Do You Care // Streaking in 1974 and Wrist Wrestling // Do You Care in 1975.


The Footsteps - Neville Barrie, John Clarke and Eric Robinson

The Footsteps - Peter Gillatte, Neville Barrie and John Clarke

The Footsteps - Peter Gillette, Neville Barrie and John Clarke