1981 - The lost Silver Scroll Award

1981. The nation was divided over whether politics should be allowed to enter sport; Roxy Music, Split Enz and Cold Chisel headlined the second Sweetwaters festival in Ngaruawahia; and New Zealand's first Sunday broadsheet newspaper was produced, undoubtedly carrying news of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's wedding, where Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sang to a televised audience of 600 million.

These historic events were set to an urgent soundtrack by some of New Zealand's most iconic bands, including Split Enz, The Swingers, The Clean, Coup D'Etat, Dave McArtney and The Pink Flamingos, The Screaming Meemees, Pop Mechanix, The Tall Dwarfs, the Newmatics, Blam Blam Blam and Mi Sex.

Despite the groundswell of great music being produced, in 1981 the APRA Silver Scroll Award - one of New Zealand's most important music awards - was not presented. This year marks the 50th presentation of the award, and as a part of the celebrations APRA AMCOS have announced that the 1981 Silver Scroll Award will be retrospectively presented.

"1981 was a watershed year in our history. I'm not sure why the Silver Scroll was not awarded, but as often happens in times of social and political unrest the music scene was never more vibrant and exciting" says APRA AMCOS' Anthony Healey. "New Zealand was in turmoil and that created an environment ripe for some of the greatest music ever made in this country. We are going to celebrate it."

The 2015 Silver Scroll panel of judges have selected a short-list of five songs from all singles released in the 1981 eligibility period, and now over 10,000 New Zealand songwriters and composers will be asked to decide the winner of the 1981 Silver Scroll Award.

The five songs in line for the 1981 award will be announced along with the Top 20 songs for the 2015 award on Thursday 16th July. Voting for both awards opens on Thursday 16th July and closes at midnight on Sunday 9th August.

Both awards will be presented at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards at Vector Arena in Auckland on Thursday 17th September 2015.