Oliver Spinetto & Harry Francis – Zodiac 45
Here’s an interesting record from a bygone era. Not only were Auckland’s Zodiac Records one of the biggest local independent labels of the 50s & 60s, as an aspiring musician you could also use their facilities to cut your own record. This 45 was recorded on the 5th of October 1955 in immediately pre-rock & roll New Zealand. It very much sounds in the vein of the popular country music style of the time, but in a more basic way.
Neither Oliver Spinetto or Harry Francis were professional musicians to my knowledge & this is the only record they made. I am guessing that they booked the Zodiac studios one day, went in there with 2 songs & an acoustic guitar & got possibly a handful of 45s for their money.
The A side of the 45 features the vocals of both men singing the slow waltz “Let The Rest Of The World Go By” & the flipside has Harry Francis singing the uptempo “I’m Hanged If They’re Going To Hang Me”. The only accompaniment is the guitar but I don’t know which of the men are playing it.
I don’t know anything of Harry Francis but Oliver Spinetto was the manager of the Tairua Caravan Park & also a commercial fisherman. He used to sing at family events but drowned in uncertain circumstances in the early 70s. The record & background info are courtesy of his niece Heather.