At the recent Waiata Maori Music Awards, held on Sept 12th in Hastings, Rangi Parker was presented with the Iconic Māori Music Industry Award, sponsored by the NZ Music Commission.
Parker was from Porirua and had previously been in the Gaynotes and the Shevelles before going solo. She released her first single for HMV in 1972, Everyday Is Sunday / Turn Around And Love Me.
MormonNewsroom: "The award recognised Mrs Parker for her contributions over many years as a performer. She performed two songs at the awards event held at the Hastings Sports Centre on 12 September: “Mihi Mai E Koro,” a song written by her aunt, Dovey Katene Horvath; and "Home," by Eddie Low.
... Mrs Parker says one quote she heard as a child has always stayed with her, and helped her in her family and community involvement: "He aha te me nui o te Ao ma ku e ki atu, He Tangata He Tangata, He Tangata."
"This means," she says, "What is the most important thing in this world? I say to you, It is People. It is People, It is People."
|Rangi Parker at the Waiata Maori Music Awards. Photo: Mormonnewsroom|
Audioculture: "When interviewed by Radio New Zealand's Chris Bourke, Dalvanius said, "Rangi Parker had this most haunting vocal and to this day I think she is one of the greatest Māori singers that's ever come out of this country, she has the most distinct, incredible voice. Tom McDonald was managing us and Tom had Simple Image, so every Simple Image tour had The Shevelles on it. I became their musical and vocal arranger.”
“.... I jumped on a plane when The Shevelles secured a six-month contract doing all the RSL clubs in Australia. They should have been huge but they weren't, mainly because we had the conflict with their being very religious. They would never sing on Sunday. I left them, I wanted to sing on Sunday, I wanted to travel."
Ironically, the first solo single by Rangi Parker was 'Everyday Is Sunday' on the HMV label in 1972 and it was a finalist in that year's Loxene Golden Disc Awards. Parker also released the single 'He's Not There' on HMV in 1973.
Since the mid-1980s Parker has been actively chasing down the photographs, audio and film recordings of the Māori community made by Latter Day Saints Missionaries, who have visited New Zealand since 1854. By visiting descendants of families of the missionaries, Parker's Kai Nagawari Trust have sourced 36,000 photos, associated written diaries or documents and hours of footage made on 8mm cameras documenting Māori culture and the Mormon Church in New Zealand. "
For more on Rangi's contribution to our musical history visit the Shevelles page on Audioculture.