Pixie Williams: Maori Land (1949)

 |   |  1 min read

Pixie Williams: Maori Land (1949)

If Pixie Williams had done nothing else, she would still be in the history books for what happened on October 3, 1948 when she turned up at a makeshift recording studio in Wellington, New Zealand, still wearing her hockey uniform.

On that day she sang with the Ruru Karaitiana Quintette on Ruru's Blue Smoke, the first song to be written, recorded and pressed on a local record label (TANZA) in New Zealand. *

She was 17.

It was a huge hit (and was covered by the likes of Dean Martin) and it would have seemed Williams -- then living in a hostel and working in a battery factory -- would have a wonderful career.

It was, however, brief.

She recorded a number of songs with various musicians after Blue Smoke but, always shy, she moved south in 1951, sang a little, married and quietly faded from sight.

But that small number of recordings in two years has been collated as For the Record: The Pixie Williams Collection 1949-1951 and includes a number of very lovely songs , a few with a "Maori" theme like this one by the prolific songwriter Sam Freedman (1911-2008).

It was the first of Freedman's many songs (he wrote more than 300) to be recorded and extols the beauties of New Zealand/Aotearoa, aka Maori Land.

Hard to imagine a more appropriate singer on it than Pikiteora Maude Emily Gertrude Edith Williams.

*At the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll award, Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams and guitarist Jim Carter were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. See clip below.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstorycheck the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Linda Hubbard - Jul 25, 2011

I prefer Pixie singing Maori Land, to Blue Smoke. Blue smoke is so sad.

Linda

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Section 25: Looking from a Hilltop, Megamix (1980)

Section 25: Looking from a Hilltop, Megamix (1980)

The jury is perhaps still out on Blackpool's Section 25: dismissed in some circles as a pallid version of Joy Division/New Order for their electronica dance music, hailed by others who heard in... > Read more

Ti L'Afrique: Soul Sok Sega (c1974)

Ti L'Afrique: Soul Sok Sega (c1974)

One of the things you can never explain to people who don't listen to music much -- and these sad types do walk among us -- is the thrill of discovery that songs can bring. Especially if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Weakerthans: Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre (Anti)

The Weakerthans: Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre (Anti)

Anyone who has travelled around Canada with the car stereo flipping across the dial will discover that whole new world of rock, folk, pop and alt.music which exists north of the place which so... > Read more

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING (2018): The future in a rearview mirror.

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING (2018): The future in a rearview mirror.

It's a peculiar thing which London's Public Service Broadcasting have achieved, they make thrilling and heroic music which is emotionally uplifting, yet they weld that out of references to a past... > Read more