Lou Clauson QSM 1928-2013

Lou Clauson Lou and SimonIt is with deep sadness that we inform you that at approximately 9pm on Saturday the 28th of December 2013 our valued VAC Patron and Benny Award recipient Lou Clauson QSM passed away ‘at home’ at Lady Elizabeth Rest Home in Takanini where he has spent the last few years very happily.

Lou’s extended family wish to pass on a special thanks to all who have sent cards, best wishes or have visited in the last few weeks during Lou’s illness.

Lou celebrated a wonderful Christmas Day with many of his friends and family which will be just one of many happy memories of him we will cherish.

Lou was born and bred in Drury, South Auckland.  Prior to getting involved in show business his career had included opening the ‘Rose Marie’ milk bar/restaurant on Great South Road, Papakura in 1950 and the distinction of introducing chicken and chips to New Zealand.

In 1956 he put on Auckland’s first rock ‘n’ roll dance in the Karaka Hall – 600 people turned up!  His band, the Moonlets, played his composition, “Papakura Boogie”, perhaps the first New Zealand rock ‘n’ roll original to be publicly performed.  He met Simon Mehana onstage at the Maori Community Centre in 1958 and, as the music comedy duo Lou and Simon, they became a sought-after act in cabaret, variety shows and on television.  They also often worked as the warm-up act for the Howard Morrison Quartet.  As recording artists, they specialised in broad, bawdy satires such as “Converted Maori Car”.  Besides being regulars on high-profile tours such as the Showtime Spectaculars and the Miss New Zealand shows, Lou and Simon performed in Australia, around the Pacific and in the US.  They released nine albums, 10 EPs and 18 singles before going their separate ways in 1969.

Lou worked as a compere and promoter in the 1970s, and organised youth talent quests.  Lou and Simon reunited in the 1980s and were awarded Queen’s Service Medals.

Lou was a founding member and the original President of the VAC, serving from 1968 to 1975.  He continued as a committee member from 1976 to 1978, later becoming Patron.

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