Allison Durbin Profile

David Herkt
1 Jul 2013

Allison Durbin’s ‘I Have Loved Me A Man’ is one of the finest recordings ever made in New Zealand, period.

With a versatile, powerhouse voice, Durbin rose to the top of the charts during New Zealand’s golden age of female pop singers. Her career included a dramatic rise to Australasian success, followed by an equally dramatic and darker fall.

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World Of Music
He's Bad, Bad, Bad - HMV studio, Wellington, c.1968
Allison Durbin with her 1968 silver disc for I Have Loved Me A Man
He Don't Want Your Love Anymore
Allison Durbin - Can't Get Over You (1992)
Allison Durbin (left), providing free entertainment at Levin North School fiesta. Standing beside her (right) is Brian Blenkhorn of Levin.
Photo credit: Horowhenua Historical Society Inc
The cover art, with photography by Geoffrey Harris, for Allison Durbin’s Amerikan Music, her third and final solo album for EMI. Produced in Sydney by Howard Gable, with engineering by John Sayers, Ernie Rose and Roger Savage.
Allison's Howard Gable produced 1968 album is regarded as something of classic, with vocal performances that set new standards in New Zealand pop.
A story on Allison Durbin's first single in Countdown magazine. Discovered by Eldred Stebbing at Dave Dunningham's Surfside Ballroom in Milford, Auckland, this single was issued in September 1964 but failed to chart.
NZ Woman's Weekly, 1968
Photo credit: NZ Woman's Weekly
Words Of Love (They Don't Come Easy) (1972)
A young Allison Durbin at a talent quest
Esso Besso (1969)
River Deep Mountain High
Allison Durbin sings Eso Besso on 1969 TV show A Girl To Watch Music By
1968 tour programme
Allison Durbin at soundcheck in the Top Hat, John Lindsay on guitar.
I Have Loved Me A Man (Australian live performance)
Allison Durbin - Put Your Hand In The Hand
Allison Durbin
Allison Durbin and Johnny Farnham - Green Green Grass and Nobody Knows
Looking Through A Tear
Allison Durbin, in a publicity still given to the Top Hat's Bernie Meredith
Photo credit: Lee Pritchard collection
A Man And A Woman
Allison’s second album, Soft And Soulful, recorded in Australia following her move there in 1969. The album was produced by then-husband Howard Gable.
Doug Elliott and Roy Young present The Allison Durbin Show! Special guest star Larry Morris, formerly of Larry's Rebels, now incredible as a solo artist ... Bobby Davis ... George Tumahai ... Knife Dancers ... Quincy Conserve. All on the one big family show. [ca 1968].. Cabot, Charles Henry, 1890-1978: [Collection of ephemera, posters and programmes. 1900-1976]. Ref: Eph-D-CABOT-Music-1968-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22752287
Johnny Farnham & Allison Durbin - That's Old Fashioned (1972)
I Have Loved Me A Man
2003 interview and career overview
Allison Durbin, 1968
Photo credit: Gordon Wong collection
Elton John, Liberace, Allison Durbin, Johnny Farnham - Australian King of Pop Awards, 1971
1967 Impact Records tour programme
Allison Durbin at soundcheck in the Top Hat
The 1968 Loxene Golden Disc
Allison Durbin sings Looking Through a Tear on 1969 TV show A Girl To Watch Music By
Allison at Wellington's Downtown Club, 11 January, 1969 with dancer Barbara Deans at the end of the Loxene Golden Disc Tour
Photo credit: Courtesy of Barbara Fraser






Allison Durbin's single 'Don't Come Any Closer' was originally recorded by UK singer Samantha Jones. There's also a French version by Francoise Hardy.