Fifty years ago, country music icon Dolly Parton had her first No 1 single Joshua in February 1971, while Lynn Anderson's country classic (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden hit the No 1 spot on New Zealand's singles chart in April that year.
While classic songs like those were heard on the airwaves across the world that year, a group of country music fans in Taranaki were inspired to start a country music club.
That club, the Taranaki Country Music Club, celebrated 50 years last month, and the impressive milestone was celebrated with some of those founding members still singing along.
One of those original members, Peter (Tiny) Taylor, spoke at the celebration, saying he had many fond memories of the club over the years.
"The club put on some big shows over the years, and we would also go on bus trips to visit other clubs all over the North Island."
Saying it was "an honour" to be invited to speak at the celebration, Tiny recalled the early days of the club as well as a moment a few years before the club formed when he came across fellow founding member Ron Hayward and his wife Margaret.
"On an evening sometime in 1967, I went to the Central Tavern Lounge bar in Eltham to find Ron Hayward with guitar and amplifier and his late wife Margaret sitting chairs entertaining the patrons playing country music."
It wasn't the first time Tiny had come across Ron playing country music however, he said.
"As a 10-year-old I had gone to the pictures and seen Ron singing country music on stage at halftime."
Soon after Tiny heard Ron play in Eltham in 67, he joined with Ron and Jim Reid to form a band called the Westernairs, he said.
"We built a big following and had some good evenings performing at places in Hāwera and Stratford."
This shared love of country music led to the club being formed. Originally called The Taranaki Country and Western Club, it became known as the Taranaki Country Music Club in 1974. Tiny says the name did change again for a short while.
"With country music clubs popping up all over Taranaki someone in New Plymouth wanted to use the same name. As our name wasn't registered we couldn't do anything to stop them, so we called our club the Taranaki Original Country Music Club for a while."
The name reverted back soon however, he says.
"Turns out the club who stole our name folded not long after."
Current club president Jo Jones made the birthday cake for the celebration which was cut by founding member and club patron Ron Hayward.
Ron, who is as much a fan of country music as he was back when Tiny first heard him sing all those years ago, was "really pleased" to be present at the celebration.
With visible emotion, he said he had many happy memories of the club over the years, many of them tied to his beloved wife Margaret.
"She would have loved to see this today."
Jo says she believes the club's longevity is due to the friendships formed there.
"It's all about friendship, being with people with the same love of music. We are all social, we support each other and it really is a friendly club."
Ron and Tiny agree, with both saying they have formed life long friendships through the years of the club.
While Jo is the current club president, she says the club has been governed by the Jones family for two of its five decades, as before she was president it was her late husband Alvin in the role.
She says it was Ron and his wife Margaret who encouraged her to take on the role after Alvin passed away.
"They spent a bit of time convincing me."
All clubs rely on great committees, she adds, saying the efforts of a strong and dedicated committee keep the club going.
They meet at the Mary Alice Hall on the first Tuesday of each month, says Jo, and everyone is welcome.
"Anyone can come, we always welcome new members or people just wanting to come for a night and see what it is all about."