Howard Morrison, son of All Black Tem Morrison, grew up in Rotorua. At the age of twenty he put together a vocal group, which included his brother Laurie, his cousin John, and a friend Gerry Merito. From their first recording session a single was released of "Hoki Mai". Promoter, Benny Levin toured the group on a nation wide tour and along the way Gerry Merito wrote "Battle Of The Waikato" which was a parody of Johnny Horton's, "Battle Of New Orleans". The track was recorded in 1959 and became the group's first major hit. Howard's brother and cousin were unable to commit to the tour so were replaced by Wi Wharekura and Noel Kingi, (a man with a huge bass voice) and the permanent quartet were ready to become the most popular family entertainers in New Zealand history. Appealing to mums and dads, the group cashed in with huge hits like "George The Wild (er) Boy", and "My Old Man's An All Black". HMQ finally split in 1964 following a huge farewell tour.