Maori Hi Five

 

Line-Up:
    Ike Mete-Kingi (Lead Guitar)
    Robert Hemi (Guitar)
    "King" Solomon Pohatu (Piano / Vocals)
    Kawana Pohe (Saxophone)
    Tuki Witika (Drums)
    Wes Epae (Bass Guitar)
    Charlotte Pohe (Vocals)

The Maori Hi Five were a Wellington based Maori rock and roll show band. They arrived in Wellington around the middle of 1955 and were soon at the forefront of the Capital's entertainment scene. They began the era of the Maori Showbands. They played such a wide range of music that they had an appeal to many. They played dance music, country music, Maori songs, musical hits, comedy skits and many other styles. There were a number of similar groups around at the time. Some included the Maori Hi-Liners and the Maori Troubadours.

It is believed that Malcolm Hayman was a member of the group for a short time in 1955 when he was only 15. Malcolm later went on to form Quincy Conserve.

After playing Wellington for a while, the group ventured to Australia and later went to the USA.

During their time some line-up changes occurred. These included Ike Mete-Kingi being replaced by Paddy Tetai, Tuki Witika being replaced by Peter Wolland, and Charlotte Pohe being replaced by Mary Nimmo. When Mary joined they became known as Mary and the Maoris and worked a lot on the American casino and club circuit. In 1972, Frankie Stevens worked with them for a short period.

Their recorded output consisted of singles, "Oasis"/"American Patrol" on Rex in 1962, "Now Is The Hour"/"Putti Putti" on Vee Jay in 1962 and "Hippy Hippy Shake"/"Poi Poi" on HMV in 1963.

They also released two EP's in 1963 and four albums. The first was "Instrumental International" in 1962. This was followed by "Serenade In Blue" and "Maori Hi-Five", both in 1963 and then "Mary and the Maoris" in 1969.

 

New Zealand Music