Gene Pierson Tour 1968

Towards the end of last year a young Australian singer arrived in this country to try his luck. His name, Gene Chandler, or as he is better known to most New Zealanders, Gene Pierson.

Gene first became interested in music when he formed his own group, the Interns, while still attending High School. After leaving school the group played around Kings Cross, Sydney, at clubs and private functions. With. solid work and rehearsals the standard of the group rose considerably, but even so, Gene preferred to try his luck as a solo singer. This proved a wise move, and it led to an appearance with Johnny Young on Saturday Date. But with the flow of New Zealand artists to Australia, Gene decided to reverse the trend, and moved to Auckland.

Soon after his arrival in Auckland, Gene cut his first disc “Love, Love, Love” for the Zodiac label. This disc did reasonably well, particularly in the Auckland area,- and his second effort, “You Got To Me” did just as Well. His third record, “Toyland” proved his best to date. It topped the charts in both Auckland and Na- pier, but due to indifferent promotion by his record- ing. company, and lack of out-of-Auckland airplay, it‘ failed to reach the Top Twenty last month.

To promote “Toyland”, Gene returned to,Australia for a brief visit. While in Australia, he appeared» on the three major television shows, Bandstand, Tonight and Blind Date. Blind Date is an hilarious show, and each half-hour programme is centred on a guest star.

Gene has just completed recording his entry for this year’s Golden Disc Award, which will be either “Just One Tender Look” or “If You Only Loved Me.” The A side, “Just One Tender Look” was penned by Aucklander, Claude Papesch, ‘while the flip side is the old melody in F written by Rubenstein, but revamped and called “If You Only Loved Me.” He has high hopes that one of the two tracks will reach the New Zealand Top‘ Twenty, as his other three discs have narrowly missed although “Toyland” is climbing steadily up the Australian charts.

Recently Gene signed on his present manager, Miss Susan Rownsley, who to quote Gene, “is quite clued.” This step has proved a wise one, in so far as she ‘has kept him extremely busy, averaging up to eight spots a weekend in Auckland. He also made his New Zealand debut on C’mon a few weeks ago. The future looks rosy for Gene, and he is at present on a nationwide tour with the “Blast Off” ’68 Pop Spectacular.” Manawatu teenagers will be able . to catch’ Gene’s act tonight when the “Blast Off Show” plays at the Opera House.