Margaret Raggett

She was known as Tiny on account of her petite stature, but as a personality Margaret Raggett was larger than life. The Gisborne-based songwriter’s material was recorded by some of New Zealand’s stars of the 1960s, including Peter Posa, the Kini Quartet, the Convairs and Daphne Walker.

“Just ordinary everyday pop” is how she described her songs to a Playdate interviewer in 1961, but those songs covered a wide range of styles and moods: country, rockabilly, ballads, and waiata in te reo Māori. The songs could be humorous, romantic, satirical or subtly political, but they consistently reflected her love of this country, its geography and its people.

Peter Posa - Grasshopper (W&G, 1964) - written by Margaret Raggett
Margaret Raggett, profiled in Playdate, Dec-Jan 1961-1962
The first pressing of the Kini Quartet single Under The Sun. The 7-inch record would remain in the Zodiac catalogue for most of the decade.
The Kini Quartet - Jenny And Johnny (Zodiac, 1962) - written by Margaret Raggett
Margaret Raggett taking part in a Māori cultural class; she is third from the front, on the left. 
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, 18 June 1964
Margaret "Tiny" Raggett in the mid-1990s. 
Photo credit: Raggett family
Under The Sun - original lyric sheet, typed by Margaret Raggett.
Photo credit: Raggett family
Peter Posa (right) recording with the Kini Quartet in Gisborne in 1961. Zodiac Records' Eldred Stebbing was recording the session.
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, 7 December 1961
Margaret Raggett, c. 1960. 
Photo credit: Raggett family
The 1970 album Under The Sun contained remakes of much of the Kini catalogue, and included their Studio One hit The Ballad of Pancho Lopez, which took out the show's Best Song prize
Kini Quartet - Hard Times Are Comin' (Zodiac, 1962)
The Kini Quartet in an open-topped limo, November 1963. The caption said: "Gisborne's Kini Quartet, Barney Taihuka, Martin Kini, Joe Williams, and Esther Taihuka, who have sold 10,000 copies of their Maori record, 'Kotahitanga', intend travelling to Auckland to cut an English version of the disc entitled 'Under the Sun'. The song was composed by Margaret Raggett, of Gisborne, and has been selected as the concluding number in the concert being held by the Waihirere Concert Party for the Governor-General when he visits Gisborne next month."
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, 7 November 1963
The 1965 EP Maori Melodies was the last recording for Eldred Stebbing's Zodiac label for four years. By the time the band returned to the label Martin Kini had left the band.
Peter Posa - The Hitch-Hiker (1964) - written by Margaret Raggett
Peter Posa and songwriter Margaret Raggett, who composed many of the singles released by Gisborne's Kini Quartet
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, 7 December 1961
Peter Posa with Margaret Raggett.
Margaret Raggett, 1961

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