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.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check 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

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

The idiosyncratic Peter Cape (1926-79) has appeared at Elsewhere's From the Vaults previously, with his Kiwi vernacular classic She'll Be Right (here). He wrote about things that ordinary jokers... > Read more

The Monkees: Can You Dig It? (1968)

The Monkees: Can You Dig It? (1968)

Just as Bob Dylan tried to demolish the myths which had built up around him with his Self Portrait album in 1970, so too the Monkees tried -- with even greater success than Dylan -- to shake off... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, a doco on Prime Rocks by FRANCIS WHATELY

DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, a doco on Prime Rocks by FRANCIS WHATELY

You could probably pick any five years in David Bowie's artistic life and find them of interest, but of course special resonance is attached to his final five because of the musical surprises... > Read more