Blue Smoke


The people who introduced New Zealand to Blue Smoke are to be inducted into the Music Hall of Frame:

The singer, guitarist and song-writer who kickstarted New Zealand’s music industry with the release of the country’s first hit song Blue Smoke are to be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

This morning it was announced Pixie Williams, Ruru Karaitiana and Jim Carter will be honoured at this year’s Australasian Performing Rights Association’s Silver Scroll awards on 2 October.

The 1949 hit is recognised as the first record to be produced locally – from recording to pressing.

It sold 50,000 copies in two years, was covered by a string of big-name international musicians, and started the recording era here with a bang. . . 


Blue Smoke


New Zealand’s first-ever pop song, Blue Smoke, is being remembered 70 years on since its creation.

Blue Smoke was the mastermind of Dannevirke man Ruru Karaitiana in May 1940, before Pixie Williams’ rendition was released in June 1949 and became an instant hit. . . 

Pixie Williams 1928 – 2013


Pixie Williams, also known as Pixie Costello, and best known as the singer of Blue Smoke, has died.

The song, written by Ruru Karaitiana and sung by Ms Costello, marked the beginning of the New Zealand recording industry, being the first record to be wholly produced in the country.

Chris Bourke, author of Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music, says the song is important.

“There’s always been music in New Zealand. What the significance of Blue Smoke is it’s the start of an industry where there’s a local record label putting out local records by local artists and written by locals as well. Blue Smoke really got things rolling.” . . .


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