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First published in January 2019

Gary can be contacted at

Click <here> to visit Gary's web site


Excerpt from Gary's website (click here to read Gary's full bio)

Gary Daverne grew up as a "rock 'n' roller".  He was born and bred in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore, attended Takapuna Grammar School and played euphonium and drums in the school brass band and clarinet in the school orchestra.  It was while he was a student at Grammar School that he formed his first seven-piece dance band, the Taka Tones.  They played the pop songs of the day as instrumentals and Dixieland jazz standards, at the school dances and local church and sports club socials.  Gary arranged all the music. 

Gary played clarinet in the Auckland Junior Symphony Orchestra (today’s Auckland Youth Orchestra) for over 6 years and performed solo at the age of 16, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, in the Auckland Town Hall with the Secondary Schools Orchestra. 

In the late 1950’s Gary was also playing saxophone and joined the rock 'n' roll group, Red Hewitt and the Buccaneers, where he also doubled on rock 'n' roll piano.  He was to become in later years, a top line jazz pianist.  The Buccaneers were his first introduction to the recording world through Eldred Stebbing and Zodiac Records.  The Buccaneers were, one of the first Rock 'n' Roll bands and they were a popular band, all their records finding a ready market in the Auckland scene.  They had hits like, I Believe, Beatnik Fly and Robbin’ the Cradle.  The Buccaneers disbanded in 1961 when Red Hewitt went to Australia to further his career. 

Lead guitarist Johnny Willetts from the Buccaneers and Gary became foundation members of the Embers band.  The Embers were, along with the Keil Isles band, the top Auckland bands in the early ‘60s.  It was during this time that the Viscount record label was born by Gary and the very first recording on his new label was by the Embers: Rinky Dink and The Green Leaves of Summer.  Gary’s brother, Wayne, who was a printer, designed the original Viscount label.  Wayne was also a very competent drummer and vocalist.  He was in the years to follow, to feature extensively on the Viscount label playing with the Sierras and the Silhouettes as a top studio session backing group for Cathy Howe and the Glendelles among others. 

Viscount Records was a one-man label with Gary being the sole owner, arranger and producer, working out of Zodiac Studios and in association with his cousin Eldred Stebbing. 

The Sierras had a big hit in The Crying Game, Cathy Howe had success with Then He Kissed Me, and He Doesn’t Love Me, the Glendelles with Sally Go Round The Roses and Popsicles and Icicles

It was in the Embers that Gary met Glyn Tucker Jnr.  the rhythm guitarist and vocalist in the group.  Gary and Glyn were to have a long recording association in the many years to follow, Glyn re-emerging from the Embers in the Gremlins and having a successful recording career on the Viscount Label.  Their big hit record was The Coming Generation, which was also released on the Mercury label in the UK.  Other artists he produced for his label were, The Bridge City Jazzmen, Mr. Lee Grant, The Fair Sect and The Soul Agents.  In later years, Gary would become record producer for, Billy T. James, The Maori Hi Marks, Noel Parlane, Tom Sharplin and the Cadillacs, Patsy Riggir and Kylie Harris, to name a few.

The Viscount label had a productive and successful 5 years up until 1966 when both Gary and Wayne went on their big OE.  While in London, they played together in a trio, in Finchley, at a regular three nights a week ‘pub’ gig that lasted for nearly two years.  Gary also produced a record for Wayne in the Abbey Road Studios.  Gary studied composition and conducting while in London achieving a Fellowship at Trinity College. 

On his return from Europe in the early ‘70’s, Gary met up with Glyn again and became a part owner/director of Mandrill Recording Studios in Auckland. 

Glyn and Gary jointly produced many record albums together, achieving gold and platinum status.  Both became very successful jingle writers and Gary became a top arranger and musical director for Television New Zealand writing for many of the top New Zealand TV shows, including: Happen Inn, Sing, Smile, Once More With Feeling and Stars on Sunday

Today, Gary is a successful international symphony orchestra conductor, having conducted orchestras in 22 different countries.  He remained resident conductor/musical director of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra Auckland Symphony Orchestra since he founded it in 1975, until he retired after 35 years in 2010 and became Music Director Emeritus.  His orchestral compositions are extensive as are his Children’s Musicals and Songs, most of which over the years has been recorded and released on CD and on-line. 

Gary is New Zealand’s most prolific composer and arranger of music for the accordion. 

He was appointed music director for the 1975 New Zealand Waitangi Day Celebrations, attended by Her Majesty, the Queen of England  and other members of the British Royal Family.   Gary is notable for being probably the only civilian in recent history to musically direct a Royal occasion, conducting the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, without a commission.

He has written and produced over 500 TV and radio advertising jingles and film sound tracks along with many recorded ‘pop’ songs.  Interestingly enough, he never composed any songs or music during his rock 'n' roll years, even though the bands he played in had several hit records. 

Although Gary is a qualified secondary school teacher in economics and accounting, he still works as an independent record producer/arranger/composer/music director and manages the Viscount record label. 

He was appointed and Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

Check out Gary's version on YouTube of Pirates of the Caribbean with the Auckland Symphony.

And, check out the CD's below.  Click on an image to open a PDF of the CD booklet.



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