Cathy Howe was the main artist for the Viscount label when it was first started up in the early sixties by Gary Daverne, who had previously been a member of Red Hewitt and the Buccaneers.
Stella Cathrene (Cathy) Howe was born in Auckland 31st January 1948, the youngest of four. She grew up in a musical atmosphere as both parents played musical instruments and enjoyed singing. So from a young age she was encouraged to sing and play piano. Sadly, just before her fourteenth birthday, her dad passed on, but she was determined to fulfill the promise she made to him, by pursuing a singing career.
Cathy began getting the occasional engagement around a few Auckland clubs eventually securing a regular spot at the Takapuna Friday Night dances run by Gary Daverne. Gary also owned and operated Viscount records so it was a natural progression to end up in the recording studio and Gary becoming her manager.
After some six months and a couple of promising releases, Cathy started receiving offers for TV work and engagements throughout the North Island. However, most of her singing was within Auckland. At the Surfside Ballroom in Milford, she sang at the inaugural opening, this resulting in an eighteen month residency backed by many different bands, including the Silhouettes. From Surfside she went to a residency at the Crystal Palace Ballroom in Mt. Eden, backed by the Sierras.
Her voice and style had been compared to that of Helen Shapiro. She found her busy lifestyle to be a little daunting, as deep down, she was just a good old fashioned family girl and eventually began to plan her schedules at a more comfortable pace. But on saying that, she admits that being on stage with a good backing band and a microphone in her hand, gave her a cloak of confidence that was not normally present in her make up. She openly acknowledges the wonderful support of her family members.
Her cvareer spanned just over four years, when she decided to get married, eventually raising a family of three children, this becoming her top priority. During this time she did however continue with her singing and song writing, but at a slower pace. In 1990, an opportunity presented itself for her to record some more of her own material with Ode Records.
Today she is a published author and entertains through her creative writing. Although only on the scene for a short time while compared to some of her contemporaries, her recorded output was quite prolific and definitely earned her an esteemed place in the New Zealand musical scene.
The above from the Music Vaults Volume 1 liner notes by Dennis Shearer, a member of The Minutemen.
She released eight singles on the Viscount label between 1963 and 1966. Backing her on the singles were other Viscount recording groups, which included the Silhouettes and the Sierras. Her female backing vocalists were the Glendelles.
Her eight singles were as shown below. Notice that her first single was released as "Kathy", not "Cathy".
Cathy also sang on the single "Please Mr. Postman", but her name wasn't credited, so a correction was released.
Cathy Howe can also be found on the following compilations:-
New Zealand Music