Dave Dunningham


In the early 1960s there was a trio of major dance-hall entrepreneurs working in Auckland: Phil Warren at the Crystal Palace and Oriental Ballroom, Joe Wheelhouse at the Orange Ballroom, and Dave Dunningham, who ran the Jive Centre in Hobson Street and the Surfside Ballroom in Milford. They were good friends. In 1963 they founded the National Entertainment and Ballroom Operators Association (NEBOA) to support the interests of entrepreneurs in the music and hospitality industries.

David A Dunningham was born in 1925, into an entrepreneurial family in Auckland. His father Charles Almond Dunningham – after spending time in China with Rewi Alley – returned to New Zealand, married Katherine (née Daly) and opened a jeweller's shop in Queen Street.

The Keil Isles - from the Dave Dunningham collection of promotional photos of artists he represented. 
NEBOA's NAC 737 passenger list, for the in-flight announcement of the nominations for the 1972 Entertainer of the Year awards. On board are venue operators Cliff Trillo and Joe Wheelhouse, showbiz columnist John Berry, and singer Tommy Adderley. NEBOA stalwarts Benny Levin, Lew Pryme, and Phil Warren must have had previous engagements. 
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham (in bowtie) and revellers aboard the 1972 flight aboard a 737 to announce the nominations for the Entertainer of the Year awards.
Dancing with Mr D: The Surfside Ballroom at Milford on Auckland's North Shore, described in 1967. 
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham's invitation to the 1972 Entertainer of the Year awards. 
Clarence "Frogman" Henry, the first international act promoted by Dave Dunningham in New Zealand, 1962.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
The Keil Isles' debut album for Viking, Take Off, issued in 1961 when they were managed by Dave Dunningham.
Dinah Lee, the inaugural NEBOA Entertainer of the Year, 1965. The award ceremony was held at the Peter Pan Cabaret, Queen St, Auckland.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
The Keil Isles at Rugby Park, Hamilton, 1960s.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Allison Durbin with her New Zealand Entertainer of the Year award in 1969, which she won even though she was based in Australia. 
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
The Keil Isles at Auckland's Jive Centre in Trades Hall, 1960. From top left: Bill Fairs, Herma Keil, Lou Miller, Klaus Keil. Bottom row: Brian Henderson (seated at left), Eliza Keil, Olaf Keil.
Photo credit: Bill Fairs collection
Surfside Ballroom, Milford, Auckland's North Shore.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham's Surfside Ballroom in Milford on Auckland's North Shore had capacity crowds of 1000 most evenings in the 1960s.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham, 1970s. 
Mr Lee Grant, left, being presented with the Entertainer of the Year award, November 1967. Making the announcement, at right, is Dave Dunningham, president of NEBOA. Holding the award is US comedian Shelley Berman. 
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington; PAColl-5679-25.
Auckland singer Anne Murphy, who made recordings in the early 1960s backed by the Kavaliers and the Sundowners (and with her brother Jimmy).  
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham and his son Grant, 1970s.
Dave Dunningham and friend aboard the promotional 737 flight to announce the 1972 Entertainer of the Year nominations, 14 September 1972.
Johnny Devlin at the Jive Centre, Auckland, c. 1958. 
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
The original line-up of The Ensigns, resident band at the Surfside Ballroom in Milford from 1964 to 1966. At the back (from left to right) Jason Hiko (rhythm guitar), Lou Miller (bass guitar), Hugo Spemann (lead guitar); front row - Graham Watson (tenor saxophone), Bruce Fuller (drums), Dave Adams (saxophone).
Photo credit: Cantouris Studios, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1740-1
Marlene Tong - a promotional photo from the collection of promoter Dave Dunningham.
Jive Centre newspaper advertisement.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham, early 1960s, around the time he established the Surfside Ballroom in Milford, on Auckland's North Shore. 
Lou Clauson and Simon Mehana - Lou & Simon - from the Dave Dunningham collection.
Group advertisement for Auckland nightclubs, 1960s.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Newspaper advertisement for the Clarence "Frogman" Henry tour, 1962, promoted by Dave Dunningham.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Eddie Lund and Daphne Walker at the Festival of the South Seas Islands, Auckland Town Hall, June 22 1961. Promoted by Dave Dunningham in association with Viking Records and TEAL airlines.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
The Keil Isles, managed by Dave Dunningham - Four New Powerful Hits on the Zodiac label.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Trades' Hall, 157-159 Hobson Street, Auckland, 1977 - home of the Jive Centre, New Zealand's first rock'n'roll dance venue. 
Photo credit: Philip Doyle, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 435-09-19
Eliza Keil and the Keil Isles - from the Dave Dunningham collection of promotional photos.
Pop-picking is a fast and furious business: Keil Isles' manager Dave Dunningham, as pictured on the back cover of their 1961 album Take Off.
An invitation to the 1972 announcement of the nominations for the 1972 Entertainer of the Year awards, an event held in-flight on a 737. Tickets - champagne and cocktail party included - were $15. 
Advertisement for the carnival opening of Surfside Ballroom, Milford.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Mr and Mrs David Dunningham's invitation to the 1981 Entertainer of the Year awards, Trillo's Cabaret, Auckland. 
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Pass-out stamps were an exciting and bewildering new development for Mt Maunganui, 1960s.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham giving the 1968 Band of the Year Award to Barry Leef and the Simple Image.
Photo credit: Dave Dunningham Collection
Dave Dunningham's invitation to the Entertainer of the Year awards, Auckland, 1972.
Disco fever: Dave Dunningham, president of the New Zealand Entertainment and Ballroom Operators’ Association, describes 1979 as a difficult year for the industry.  
Labels:

Zodiac

Trivia:

Joe Wheelhouse (1912-1991) began promoting and running dances in 1942, first at the Bayswater Boating Club, then St Stevens on Khyber Pass, before joining Dunningham to run Surfside. When that closed he managed the Orange Ballroom. He was Secretary of NEBOA for 18 years.

In the early 1950s Neil Dunningham played trombone with one of the country’s first Dixie bands, The Astor Dixie Boys. He later became the full time timpanist and principal percussionist with the Auckland Symphonia in about 1972. Before his death in 1986 he played in the Neophonic Orchestra, the Vintage Jazz Band and at regular gigs at Auckland’s London Bar.

Surfside was demolished in 1980 to make way for the Milford Shopping Plaza, which was designed and financed by the Dunningham family. By that stage Dave Dunningham’s son Grant had joined the family firm.

With the demise of dance halls and ballrooms, the National Entertainment and Ballroom Operators' Association evolved with the times and changed its name to the New Zealand Entertainment Operators' Association (NZEOA).

After Dave Dunningham retired as president of NZEOA in 1985, the role was taken over by Benny Levin followed, in 1992, by Dave Pudney. In 1997 Entertainer of the Year NZ Ltd was purchased by The Edge and liquidated in 2006.

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