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

Bill Haley and His Comets: Oriental Rock (1958)

Bill Haley and His Comets: Oriental Rock (1958)

There are a few views of rock'n'roll pioneer Bill Haley whose Rock Around the Clock provided the revolutionary soundtrack to the '55 Glenn Ford movie Blackboard Jungle: that he was the rebel voice... > Read more

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The 2009 remastering of the Beatles' catalogue allowed listeners not only the chance to reassess their sound, but also the breadth of their musical reach. Here was a band which created great pop,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ALBERT WENDT INTERVIEWED (1991): Shaping a life in words

ALBERT WENDT INTERVIEWED (1991): Shaping a life in words

The beer cartons were dumped on the writer’s verandah “like an hermaphroditic orphan.” Inside were random jottings, diary entries, what appeared to be short stories, poems and... > Read more

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

The most common complaint from those who have stardom thrust upon them -- the tabloid coverage and paparazzi, the private chef serving you rather than some kid on minimum wage -- is that nothing... > Read more