Phil Garland

Phil Garland is a folk music icon in New Zealand, both as a musician and a collector and preserver of New Zealand’s folk music heritage.

Garland began his musical career in a talent quest, then performed in Christchurch rock ‘n’ roll bands ‘The Saints’ and ‘The Playboys’. He had a No. 1 hit on the Coca Cola Hit Parade in 1962 with the song ‘Little Band of Gold’. He started developing an interest in folk music in 1964 before travelling overseas in 1965 and touring Britain and Europe. In 1967 he started the Christchurch Folk Centre and founded the Christchurch Folk Music Club.

Garland’s long musical career continues he performs both locally and overseas, writes and records, and collects New Zealand’s folksong heritage. He has been associated with bands ‘Bush Telegraph’, ‘Canterbury Crutchings Bush and Ceilidh Band’, and the ‘Canterbury Bush Orchestra’. Among his well-known songs are ‘Down a Country Road I Know ’ and ‘Tuapeka Gold’. ‘The Singing Kiwi’ is a songbook of Kiwi folksongs and Phil’s originals.

Our pages on Early New Zealand music and Radio rules the airwaves popular music in NZ from 1900 to today feature audio clips of some of Phil Garland’s folk songs.

Phil Garland resources

Our online resources

Our Internet Gateway recommends:

  • In Search of Native Song - an extensive article by Michael Brown about folksong and folksong collectors in New Zealand which describes the work of Phil Garland and also includes an interview with Phil about his collecting experience.
  • Phil Garland - Phil’s personal website. Includes biography, discography, lyrics to some of his songs, links to live performances on YouTube and music samples.

Browse the resources in our libraries:

Search our the catalogue for our collection of scores and recordings by Phil Garland.