BLUE SMOKE RECORDS
Music can change your mood, paint your experiences and colour your memories.
Music has the power to transport us to another time and place.
Blue Smoke Records was established to do just that.
Transporting listeners to the music of post-war New Zealand over
60 years after their release, we have restored and reimagined the
magical recordings of Aotearoa's first
pop star and wāhine Māori vocalist, Pixie Williams.
In 1949, as an unknown 21 year old, Pixie became a household name singing Blue Smoke.
This is a song that played such a pivotal role in Aotearoa's music whakapapa, appealing to post-war sentiments, evoking the emotion and sadness of parting loved ones heading to war.
It was also the first song wholly written, produced and recorded in New Zealand.
Little known today was that Pixie went on to record a further 12 songs in the industry's first
two years, mixing universal themes and international musical styles with the unmistakable flavour of Aotearoa, New Zealand, before slipping quietly from the limelight.
"The discovery and restoration of Pixie Williams' recordings is an important event
in the history of New Zealand music. It will make available to the public fantastic works
that would have otherwise been lost forever."
Stephen O'Hoy, Amplifier 2011
Blue Smoke Records is proud to present three significant projects
that capture and celebrate the music and story of
- Pixie Williams -
The Remastered Album
For the Record
The Pixie Williams Collection
In a recording career that spanned the first 2 years of the New Zealand recording industry, Pixie Williams gave voice to one of the most enduring popular melodies of the twentieth century, Blue Smoke.
The first song wholly written, produced and recorded in New Zealand, Blue Smoke was released on 26 June 1949. This went on to sell over 50,000 copies, making Pixie Williams a household name overnight, and arguably New Zealand's first pop star.
Released in July 2011, this unique collection of thirteen digitally remastered original recordings is the first time the entire collection of Pixie Williams recordings has been brought together for a new generation to enjoy.
Producer: Tim Fraser, creature.co.nz
Restoration & Mastering:
Mike Gibson, Munki Studios
PIXIE is the remarkable story of Pixie Williams, and Aotearoa's recording and music pioneers.
Given New Zealand's post-war cultural landscape was more discriminating than today, PIXIE is the fascinating tale of how two self-taught artists from the same iwi came to make New Zealand recording history.
Director: Danny Mulholland
Producer: Julian Arahanga, AWA Films
The Tribute Album
The New Blue
Pixie Williams Reimagined
Released in April 2021 a select group of Aotearoa's leading and emerging contemporary artists has reimagined Pixie's recordings for today.
Each artist has breathed new life into their song and gifted their own magic to its creation, including the song that started it all for Pixie, Blue Smoke.
Reimagined with a new orchestral arrangement by Mike Gibson of Munki Studios, with conductor Hamish McKeich directing Stroma FilmWorks Orchestra, the reimagined Blue Smoke features Pixie's original vocals, alongside Lisa Tomlins and Kirsten Te Rito.
Producers: Mike Gibson, Munki Studios
Riki Gooch & Lisa Tomlins
Blue Smoke Records gratefully acknowledges the following funding partners,
without whose support these nationally significant projects would not have been possible.
He ao te rangi ka uhia, mā te huruhuru te manu ka rere.
The sky needs clouds to clothe it. Birds need feathers to fly.