Monday, 23 May 2011
White Rabbit/Gonk/Mad Hatter/Flap Jack/Grasshopper/Kola/Rosita/Hitchhiker/Nashville Express/The Old Blue Bear/Wheels/Turkish March/Greensleeves/Cotton Fields/Redwing/Gizmo/Swinging Serenade/Velvet Waters/The Old Rugged Cross/Whatsi
Peter Posa New Zealand's Rob EG had recorded a number of singles and then in 1963 he had his first big hit in NZ and Australia with the hit single "White Rabbit" and even in that wonderful year of 1963, when the Beatles had just arrived and the charts were overflowing with million sellers, it received enormous airplay. Peter was now headlining his own national tour with co-artists Bill and Boyd, and Max Merritt and the Meteors. A string of hit records followed, the same composers came up with "The Mad Hatter", then Margaret Raggett of Gisbourne penned "Grasshopper" and "Hitch Hiker". Peter himself wrote "Gonk", named after the fluffy toy of the moment, and then the track mysteriously called "?", and the radio contest to find it's name, which was eventually "Flapjack".
1963 and 1964 were one long whirl, Peter says he worked 363 out of 365 days in one of those years. On top of his New Zealand shows, he toured Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tahiti and Vanuatu. To cap it all off, Viking's Ron Dalton arranged for "White Rabbit" to be released in the USA and for Peter to do six months work there. Before he left, his farewell tour, the "Peter Posa Spectacular" swept through the country, which took about eight weeks so huge was the public interest.In Nashville, Peter spent time at all the major recording studios and met his hero Chet Atkins. He played on the TV show Hollywood Palace where he was accompanied by the legendary jazz guitarist Herb Ellis. He met Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in Las Vegas, and worked his gigs mainly in LA.
But there was a downside as well. The "White Rabbit" had been released on a small independent label and there was little promotion. What's more Peter was on his own in the States and very homesick. So he made the decision to come home for Christmas 1964 and to confine his future touring to the South Pacific.