Bruce King


There are few drummers in the country who can look back on a successful career lasting more than 60 years of continuous work, and also lay probable legitimate claim to being the most recorded drummer in the country.

Bruce King is that drummer – he’s our Hal Blaine. His recording legacy is extensive and covers many genres, from pop to rock to jazz and country. His recording dates, with every booking for every session and live gig recorded faithfully in diaries, amount to around 10,000 tracks.

The Gray Bartlett group, 1965. From left: Warren McMillan, Robin Ruakere, Gray Bartlett, Bruce King and Graeme Summers
Photo credit: Gray Bartlett collection
Bruce King at a Cotton Club gig, Auckland, 1990s.
Photo credit: Dennis Huggard
Watch: Radio Times - Series One, Episode Two, 1980, with Bruce King on drums.
Judy Donaldson on stage at Fisherman's Wharf, Auckland, backed by Roger Williams on Hammond organ, Bruce King on drums, and Kevin Haines on bass.
Photo credit: Judy Donaldson collection
The Swingsters, 1957 Magness Recording Studio in Auckland. Kevin Paul, Bruce King, Ron McDonald, Dick Blundell.
A rehearsal for guitar club, at the Auckland Musicians Club. From left: Johnny Bradfield, Tuhi Timoti, Bruce King drums, Chuck Morgan guitar, and Bob Jackson bass. 
Bruce King with his multi-drum studio kit, in the RNZ Radio Theatre, Auckland, 1970s.
Photo credit: Bruce King collection
Suzanne Prentice performing at the Variety Artists Club awards night 27 Oct 2010, Bruce King on drums. 
Photo credit: VAC
Carl Doy, Tina Cross and Bruce King with the Pacific Song Contest award for 'Nothing But Dreams', 1979.
Mike Walker Trio backing Ray Woolf: Mike Walker, Pete McGregor, Ray Woolf and Bruce King
Graeme Bartlett, Clyde Scott, and Bruce King at Colony Club in 1961.
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries, Rykenberg Collection, 1269-D566-19
The Al Hunter Band on the set of Saturday Live, late 1980s. Left to right: Red McKelvie, Bruce King, Al Hunter, Cath Newhook, Alastair Dougal
The Jimmie Sloggett Inn Group, 1967: Kevin Haines, John Pickworth, Jimmie and Bruce King
The Mike Walker Trio, 2011: Mike Walker, Pete McGregor and Bruce King
Bruce King recently playing his favourite drum kit. 
Photo credit: Bruce King collection
Watch: The Ray Woolf Show Christmas Special, 1979 - Ricky May medley 'Blue Suede Shoes'/'Personality' with Bruce King on drums.l
Merv Thomas (trombone) and the Bridge City Jazz Men, 1998. Bruce King on the snare drum.
Photo credit: Merv Thomas collection
Merv Thomas (trombone) and the Bridge City Jazz Men, 1998. In front: Bruce King.
Photo credit: Merv Thomas collection
Trivia:

Bruce King has won a number of Variety Artist's Club awards over the years: a 1979 Scroll of Honour (with the Neophonic Orchestra), 1982 Scroll of Honour, 2011 Top Group Award (with the Mike Walker Band), 2012 Top Musician, and the 2017 Agnew Award. In 2016 he was awarded a diploma for long service to the NZ Country Music Association.

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