From the remastered collection



available here from Amplifier in CD or MP3 format

 or from MarbecksJB Hifi, Te Papa or Big Bad Wolf in Wellington





The exhibition of Pixie Williams at Wellington City Library continues to draw the crowds and at 6pm on Tuesday, 1 October, Chris Bourke, the author of the prize winning book 'Blue Smoke: the lost dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964' will be speaking at Wellington City Library about the impact of composer Ruru Karaitiana's Blue Smoke and the woman whose voice brought it to life, Pixie Williams. 

All are welcome to attend the talk - and learn about the importance this song has had on New Zealand's music landscape.



The opening of the Wellington City Library exhibition of Pixie Williams' life and music on Monday 16 September was a truly beautiful event made even more memorable by the stunning support and performance of the Wellington City Council Kapa Haka group. 

We'd like to give a big ThANK YOU to the team at Wellilngton City Library that made this exhibition possible.  It's truly a stellar exhibition.  Check it out here, or better yet, take a trip to the first floor of the Wellington City Library.  Just follow the sound of the music to Level 1.


Invitation to Williams Exhibition...

On Monday, September 16 at 10.30 am Wellington Central Library will be opening a special display celebrating the life of Pixie Costello (nee Williams’) who died on 2 August 2013.

Pixie Williams gave voice to one of the most enduring popular melodies of the twentieth century - Ruru Karaitaina’s - Blue Smoke’. Recorded in 1948, it was the first song wholly written, produced and recorded in New Zealand and went onto become a No. 1 hit topping the NZ charts for 6 weeks and selling 50,000 albums.  Pixie went on to record 12 other songs including ‘Let’s Talk it Over’ which was another hit selling 20,000 albums.

In 2011, at the launch of her remastered album ‘For the Record: The Pixie Williams Collection 1949 - 1951’ Pixie was awarded a Triple Platinum award for Blue Smoke and a Single Platinum Award for Let’s Talk it Over. 

Open for four weeks - you are welcome to come to the library to join in the opening and view photographs, instruments, albums and taonga belonging to Pixie Williams.  

View the blog here:  

Also available for review will be Chris Bourke’s book The Lost Dawn of NZ Popular Music 1918-1964 which details the story of the making of “ Blue Smoke.”


Mystery solved...

Another piece of the puzzle to capture the music and story of Pixie Williams was solved on 15 August, 2013.

Francis Young sent Blue Smoke Records an email clarifying the mystery of who wrote Sailing along on a Moonbeam, a song recorded by Williams with the Allan Shand Orchestra in 1951 but not released until 1954. 

The TANZA record label has 'Rayling' as the composer, with no other detail able to be found about the song or the composer - until the email arrived from Young.

The song on the B side of Maori Rhythm, "Sailing along on a Moonbeam", was written by Claude Upjohn Grayling.  He was a farmer at Katitaki, Bay of Plenty and an amateur musician.  A copy of the original score is in the Katikati Archives.

The timing of this news was not lost on Pixie Williams' daughter who was responsible for releasing the remastered collection of her mother's music 'For the Record: The Pixie Williams Collection 1949-1951.

Nine days before receiving the email, Williams' little known recording of Grayling's song was chosen to be played at her funeral because the lyrics of the song suggested Williams was saying goodbye, that she was ok and in a better place. 

I'm sailing along on a Moonbeam

Adrift in that silvery light

You poor mortals below, cannot possibly know

The thrill of, the still of, a calm summers' night

The sad weary world sleeps below me

Forgetting the cares of the day

While I sail along on a moonbeam tonight

To dream of all that are far away



Radio New Zealand tribute page

Radio New Zealand has added a great tribute page on Pixie to its collections. The page gathers together audio files for interviews and articles from over the years by the public broadcaster.