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

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird (demo, 1970)

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird (demo, 1970)

It's a joke that never ages, at a rock concert someone yells out "Free Bird". It's such a standard that the American writer Mitch Myers entitled his collection of rock anecdotes and... > Read more

Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson: Dope Head Blues (1927)

Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson: Dope Head Blues (1927)

When Lou Reed took a bit of flak for writing about street life (drugs, hookers, transvestites) he just picked the wrong idiom. These topics were common enough in literature and pulp fiction, but... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

On paper this may look like just another celebrity collision around an old bluesman -- and singer/pianist Pinetop is a very old bluesman. He's 95. And yes, of course Eric Clapton and BB King are... > Read more

GUEST WRITER PATRICK SMITH tells of surviving the shits in far flung parts

GUEST WRITER PATRICK SMITH tells of surviving the shits in far flung parts

It’s not until you’ve lain miserably ill in some far-off outpost of underdevelopment that you really appreciate Western standards of healthcare and hygiene. Lying in a fleabag... > Read more