Ken Cooper was one of the important promoters, club owners and band managers in Wellington for many decades, and in 2016 is still active. His story can be found here.
He is also an archivist who has kept large parts of his past stored safely over the years. Ken Cooper allowed AudioCulture access to his archive and what follows – over two pages - is a selection of images from this. Most of these have never been published online before. Indeed, many have never been published anywhere before.
The Ken Cooper photographs Part 1
The Avengers with Mr. Lee Grant rehearsing on the 1967 Golden Disc Spectacular
Christchurch band Peter Nelson and The Castaways were based in Wellington between 1965 and 1966, where this shot was taken. In 1966, they moved to Sydney where Nelson left in 1967. They replaced him with Frankie Stevens and continued as a major club band in Australia for some years.
The Chicks' Suzanne Donaldson with Ken Cooper. To the left is Jim McNaught.
Auckland brother and sister duo, Anne and Jimmy Murphy. Anne was earlier signed to Zodiac and Viking as a solo act. They moved to Australia in the mid-1960s and then to the USA.
Singer Alan Galbraith, later an HMV/EMI producer
The Avengers with their Silver Disc for 10,000 sales of 'Everyone's Gonna Wonder', December 1967
Bridgitte Allen fronts a band that includes Mike Harvey on piano and guitarist Paul Bennett
Brian Hands, the composer, bandleader, bassist and arranger whose name appears in the credits of many New Zealand pop records in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as recording under his own name
The Cascados, an early 1960s Wellington band that included Tom McDonald on bass and guitar (as in this picture). McDonald would go on to become a major promoter in the city in the decade with his UBA company booking many of the venues and managing bands. In the 1970s he moved to Sydney to do more of the same.
Ray Columbus and The Invaders in an unknown TV studio c.1964
Bari and The Breakaways just after they moved from New Plymouth to Wellington: Tim Nuku, Bari Gordon, Midge Marsden and Bryan Beauchamp
Jim McNaught, HMV producer Nick Karavias and Allison Durbin on WNTV-2's Studio One, 1968
Teddy Bennett was a major star in Wellington and surrounding regions in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Here he is playing to a full Lower Hutt Town Hall.
Bruce Sontgen and Mike Farrell with Tom Thumb and a guest vocalist in Wellington's Cuba Mall
Wellington radio DJ and a nationally known household name, Neville "Cham The Man" Chamberlain. Cham was the host of various chart shows and presenter of the first Loxene Golden Disc shows.
Teddy Bennett and The Premiers with the leader of the Labour Party, Walter Nash, and Leon Götz, National Party MP
Singer Jim McNaught, a huge star in the 1960s. Jim died suddenly in 1977, aged just 42.
Few bands were photographed in colour in the early to mid-1960s as it was expensive to process. Wellington band The Librettos seem to be an exception as we have a number of colour images.
A vote for The Avengers in the 1967 Loxene Golden Disc
Part two is here.