Hogsnort Rupert's lead singer and founding member has died.

Alec Wishart helped found the band in 1968, and was the voice out front of a string of hugely popular hits in the 70s.

Fellow Hogsnort Rupert founder Dave Luther met Mr Wishart playing football together in Wellington in 1967.

Mr Luther told Stuff he recognised the singer's talent immediately.


They released their first hit in 1970.

Alec Wishart was 76, and died of lung cancer in Hawke's Bay Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Hospital yesterday, surrounded by family.

Hogsnort Rupert has been one of the longest running bands in New Zealand music history.

Dave Luther co-founded the band with Wishart and was the guitarist and song writer.

Mr Luther told Radio New Zealand Wishart had never been in a band before and could not play an instrument but responded immediately to the sort of music he played.

"He had a great feel and a great liking for the sort of music I liked.

"We seemed to click. You could say to Alec 'I want you to do this in this particular song' and he would do it.

"He also had a flair for playing percussion, like a washboard, bongos, or tambourine, that sort of thing," he told Radio New Zealand