That's Country

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NZBC TV Archive / Chris Grosz

Earlier TV Pop Show ....   That's Country   Later TV Pop Show ....



That's Country  —  1980s Music Television Programme (image shows the cast of the first series of the show) (1980-84)

That's Country was a New Zealand country and western television variety show which was broadcast natioanlly between 1980 and 1984 on TVNZ.  Hosted by Ray Columbus, it featured local as well as international talent and became one of the highest rating shows of the early 80s.  Local stars included Ritchie Pickett, Peter Posa, Dinah Lee, John Hore (Grenell), Suzanne Prentice, Patsy Riggir and The Topp Twins.  American artists Emmylou Harris and Dobie Gray and George Hamilton IV also performed on That's Country.


Dinah Lee

John Hore (Grenell)

Ray Columbus

Jodi Vaughan

Brendan Dugan


Pat Kearns + Ray Columbus

Patsy Riggir

Jade Hurley

Ennylou Harris

Dinah Lee + Ray Columbus


An American offer to buy the show and install a US presenter was resisted, and instead the show was sold to The Nashville Network (a US-based cable TV network), in a New Zealand first - enabling the show to reach an audience of 30 million in the USA when it aired on The Nashville Network whilet punk rock was breaking, and musical styles changing.  In New Zealand, this little splash of country music was required viewing at 7:00pm on a Saturday.  



That's Country Backing Band

That's Country Backing Band
(From left) Gary Sammons, Wayne Allen, Gray Bartlett,
Paddy Long, Murray Wood and Peter Gillette

That's Country Backing Band


That's Country Backing Band

..... those naughty electricians couldn't resist this opportunity