Bartlett had a major hit record in Japan in 1965 with “La Playa”, which featured in the Billboard music industry charts for ten weeks. He has sold over 410,000 singles and over 300,000 albums in Japan. He was presented with the first ever NZ International Gold Disc, presented in March 1968 for “La Playa”.
He had his own show at the Tokyo Hilton in 1967, and was resident guitarist on Rolf Harris shows in England and Australia from 1968 to 1973. Bartlett has toured and supported many international acts including Connie Francis, Bobby Vee, The Ventures, Tom Jones, Herman’s Hermits, Michael Crawford. In 1968 he joined Rolf Harris as for a New Zealand and Australian tour, leading to a seven-year musical relationship. Bartlett moved to England and performed with Harris at prestigious nightspots such as “The Talk of the Town”.
Bartlett has released thirty albums including La Playa, Two Shades of Gray and Together Again (New Zealand gold albums in 1985 and 1990). His sales of music in China has been estimated by BMG Hong Kong to be approximately 1.6 million units.
His numerous awards include the NZCMA Hands of Fame in 1981, Top NZ Country Band in 1983, NZ Country Instrumentalist of the Year in 1984 and 1986, Top Country Group of the Year 1984, Country Music Industry Golden Tribute Award for services to country music in 1988, and the Guangzhou (China) Golden Plume Award for Top Foreign Artist Sales in 1988. He was named New Zealand Country Music Artist of the Year 1990, Patron of the New Zealand Country Music Association from 1987, and was New Zealand Cultural Ambassador 1985-86.
Bartlett was awarded the MBE in the 1987 Queen’s New Years Honors list for services to entertainment.
Bartlett’s 1990 Together Again national tour was named the Biggest Selling Concert Tour by New Zealand Artists and the companion album attained Gold status in seven days, making it the fastest selling album in New Zealand history.
He was the producer of the record-breaking Highway of Legends tours.
Bartlett was an Auckland City Councillor for nine years until retiring from his position in 2001.
In October 2017 he was presented with the President’s Medallion from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand in recognition of his services as Patron.