Toni Williams  MNZM

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      Award presented 2007


Toni Williams  MNZM

Henry Anthony Williams was born on May 28th, 1939 in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and died on October 1st, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand.  He participated in several groups - The Housewarmers, Toni Williams and The Tremellos, The Howard Morrison Quartet, and was awarded the MNZM in 2010.

Toni tells us in his own words ... "I was born in the Cook Islands and I came to New Zealand at the age of 11.  My interest in the guitar and entertaining began while spending 13 months in hospital following a football injury.  In 1956 I formed a skiffle group called The Housewarmers, and then in 1958 the name was changed to Toni Williams and The Tremellos, a group in which I played rhythm guitar and was the lead vocalist.


Toni Williams with The Tremellos lineup 1958-1960

Toni Williams with The Tremellos lineup circa 1960



Toni with The Embers
Bob Paris Simon Mehana, Bill Jones and John Dansen

Toni Williams
... with The Embers

Douglas G. Elliott's N.Z. Hit Parade Variety Show
A section of the large crowd in attendance 10th August, 1961


Residencies followed at Gandhi Hall, Trades Hall/Jive Centre and Orange Hall.  Auckland's Rock 'n Roll Dance venue was then under the management of Harry M. Miller, and I toured New Zealand with local and overseas entertainers - Bobby Rydell, Connie Francis, The Everly Brothers, Bobby Vee, Linda Scott and Gene Pitney.  I was a founder member of the famed Howard Morrison Quartet, and I appeared on many natiobnal TV Shows including C'mon, Happen Inn, and on Australian TV with Six O'Clock Rock and Bandstand.  I also appeared in many live shows, including Showtime Spectacular, Miss New Zealand Tours and ultimately in the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess.  My record releases under the La Gloria label included 22 singles, EPs and LPs.  A further 20 releases followed with several recording (Zodiac and others)"


In 2009 a special tribute concert was seen on TV One.  To Sir With Love was to highlight the life and works of Sir Howard Morrison, and to acknowledge his contribution to NZ Show Business over more than six decades.  It featured many leading New Zealand artists, including - Dame Malvina Major, John Rowles, Frankie Stevens, Tina Cross, Suzanne Lynch, Ray Woolf, and Howard Morrison Jnr.  This great show saw Toni Williams reunited with his old chums in The Howard Morrison Quartet, and it reflected on those early days of simple music, great humour and great friendship.  Tragically, Sir Howard and his partner in crime, Jerry Merito have subsequently passed on.  The DVD cover states ... "This show is unlike any show seen before, honouring a man who has done more than any other entertainer in New Zealand"  We know someone who runs a close second .....


With Cruise Control at Flaxwood Festival 2012

Performing at ROCKONZ in The Christchurch Town Hall 2007

To Sir With Love - The Howard Morrison Quartet


La Gloria




Toni Williams recorded on a
large number of record labels






Additional Toni Williams information is available on the Audio Culture website .....


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