Garth Young

Garth Young, by Judith Kunzlé

Aro’a Beachside Inn entertainer on Tuesday nights – 53 years of Music (and still going strong!)

Garth arrived in Rarotonga with his wife Maurine and family in 1980 with the intention of never playing again – however, within a week he was back into playing at the newly built Rarotongan Hotel.

His professional music career began in 1953 in and around Wellington, New Zealand.  Almost immediately he was busy playing seven nights a week and soon after that, teaching music seven days a week as well.  Within a few years he became heavily involved arranging and recording backings for many artists and groups on several record labels including Viking Records, Phillips and E.M.I.

His own piano records became huge sellers with some of them outselling the young Elvis Presley throughout NZ.  In all, Garth arranged, played and conducted the music for well over a thousand tracks over more than  25 years.

When television became established in NZ, it was inevitable that Garth would become part of this new industry and that meant no more music teaching until he came to Rarotonga to live.  He was soon one of the busiest arrangers of TVNZ and in all made around 500 appearances over a fifteen year span.  This included a regular three times weekly daytime piano request programme where viewers wrote in to ask for their favourite music to be played for them.  This all meant many, many weeks of  up to 140 hours work and for this reason Garth and his family decided to opt for a saner lifestyle in Rarotonga.