Friday, May 17, 2013

Bunny Walters



Just watched a fascinating documentary on Maori TV about kiwi singer Bunny Walters -  part of their series Unsung Heroes of Maori Music.

He arrived in Auckland at the age of 15 on his own, from Kati Kati, and ended up auditioning for Benny Levin. Apparently a mate had given him Benny's number and told him to call for an audition, and he kept calling til he got a slot.

Then he called the taxi company from the YMCA where he was staying, and asked how much was it to go from there to Herne Bay, for the audition. He was told 60c, and he had a dollar, so off he went. As soon as Benny Levin heard Bunny sing, he sent everyone else waiting to audition home, and signed Bunny up.

One thing Bunny said in the doco was that he got bored with being pigeonholed as a ballad singer and kept getting given ballads to record (trivia - he had a huge hit here with Brandy BEFORE Barry Manilow recorded it as Mandy). One of the Yandall Sisters mentions how much he loved soul, and Motown. 

There's a great clip in the doco of Bunny slaying a Ray Charles number, Night and Day. So, off I go to Youtube to find it, and come up with Bunny doing The Funky Chicken....



....and then I found this. It's called Rangimarie - as one of the commenters  notes " Bunny is singing a tribute to Rangimarie Hetet (Ngati Maniapoto). She was an expert weaver and passed her traditional craft and skills onto her daughter Digger Te Kanawa." The production has a definite 80s/Dalvanius vibe to it, I'm picking.


6 comments:

Joye Huntley said...

I'm listening to a CD of Bunnys & I'm wondering why he stopped recording when he did,? I thought he was Wonderful. I still do What happened to you Bunny??

Joye Huntley said...

I did leave a msg b4 But i don't mind leaving another one. Bunny Walters I thought you were WONDERFUL What happened that took you out of the scene??? Can you please come to Picton & give us some of your BEAUTIFUL Talent Please????

Joye Huntley said...

It's me again We dont care what happened We love yor music & yor stage presence & we want you to PLEASE come & perform for us.PLEASE??????? Contact me Let me organise it plse

Joye Huntley said...

I just did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wot the hell????????? I repeated my request for Bunny Walters To come Picton. Why not??? we Love your music!!! I can sell the tickets!!!

Peter McLennan said...

Hi Joye Huntley - thanks for the comments, but this is not Bunny Walters website. Bunny live in Australia these days - you can watch the documentary I refer to online in full, here on Maori TVs website https://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/unsung-heroes-maori-music/S03E009/unsung-heroes-maori-music-series-3-episode-9

Lichelle said...

If anyone has any information about his where abouts, or contacts please let me know by email? lichellekatipa17@gmail.com | I'd like to meet him.. He's my dads father, and I want to know why he left. Id like him to know he has grandkids!!!!!!