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First published in July 2012

The Cossacks were formed in 1964, the original lineup was Paul Edwards on lead vocals, Ken Williams lead guitar, Chris Parfitt on Bass guitar, John Williams on rhythm guitar and John Ellis on drums.  We played anywhere we could with help from Pat Mcminn who lived next door to Ken Williams.  The Beatles mania had just begun and everybody was into music.  The group signed with Benny Levin and started the travelling that all groups have to do at the start of their attempt to break into the big money, sometimes totaling "four pounds a night" each.

 We often travelled to Whangarei, Rotorua, Waihi, Waipa and stayed in some very weird accomodations, including a funeral home in Whangarei, the promoter there was also the local undertaker.

After what was was what seemed a long apprenticeship, the band after a few lineup changes, earned a residency at the Top Twenty in Durham Lane.  This iconic Auckland venue was and still is the birthplace of every band and vocal entertainer that Auckland produced in the 60s.  We felt and still feel that it was a privilege to play on the stage that all those before The Cossacks had played on.  We are also honored to appear on this site with all the other musicians who shared that magic time with us.

Paul Edwards - July 2012

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