Jenny Morris to be inducted into NZ Hall of Fame, “I’m in the place I’m meant to be right now”
Head of APRA AMCOS NZ, Anthony Healey, said at the announcement, “It’s an extraordinary privilege to be able to celebrate Jenny’s trailblazing career as a songwriter, advocate and champion.
“Her musical impact has been long-lasting and her work using music as a powerful vehicle for good is just inspirational.”
Although based in Sydney since February 1981 and an Australian citizen since 2003, Morris continues to command icon status in New Zealand.
Asked for her response to such an accolade, she tells TMN, “I get slightly embarrassed with all the attention – it’s a Kiwi thing – but I’m also happy that I’ve made music that people have got something out of.
“And I’m glad to help women’s causes … those of getting to a time when it’s ‘singer/ songwriter’ not ‘female singer/song writer’ or ‘chairman of APRA ‘ not ‘female chairman of APRA.”
Born in Tokoroa, brought up in Hamilton and later moving to Wellington, she began her career with How’s Your Father and The Wide-Mouthed Frogs who brought on male go-go dancers wearing only plastic rubbish bags.
The best known were The Crocodiles who released their debut album Tears in 1980. The title track is regarded as a NZ pop classic.
She moved with The Crocodiles to Sydney a year after but they broke up soon after.
She formed Q.E.D. who had a Top 20 hit with her Everywhere I Go (1983) but launched a solo career after.
After an 18-month stint touring with INXS (Michael Hutchence was a flatmate at Glenview Street, Paddington,), she had huge hits with mega-platinum albums as Body & Soul, Shiver and Honeychild and Top 5 hit singles including She Has to Be Loved and Break In The Weather.
In 1990 Prince heard her single Save Me in a club and invited to open on a tour through Europe.
Recently in an interview with TMN, Urthboy revealed that he considered the likes of Morris and Lindy Morrison as people he admired in the music industry for being performers who used their positions in the industry to help other musicians and charities as Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia and Support Act Ltd.
In 1995 she joined the APRA board – later becoming its chair for the last five years – and worked tirelessly for songwriters and musicians.
In 2015 she revealed she had spasmodic dysphonia, a muscular disorder, for the past ten years and officially retired from singing.
Morris says, “I believe there’s always a silver lining.
“In this case, it was now having time to dedicate to the fight for intellectual property rights and the collection of remuneration for songwriters and composers and all the offshoots to that end.”
Last year Morris got a standing ovation when honoured at the Music in the House event for her charity work.
She sums up, “I have literally no regrets so far.
“That may change but I’m in the place I’m meant to be right now and wouldn’t change anything about the road I travelled to get here.”