ABOUT THE SONGS
History in the Making
In 1949 Pixie Williams gave voice to one of the most enduring popular melodies of the twentieth century - Blue Smoke.
Little known today was that Blue Smoke was just the beginning for Pixie who went on to record a further 12 songs, mixing universal themes and international styles with the unmistakable flavour of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
As important as it was to the Blue Smoke Records team to capture the entire collection of Pixie's music for future generations to enjoy, we also wanted to capture the story behind the songs. The information collected here is as complete as possible.
Please contact Blue Smoke Records if you have additional information so we can correct or update the information below.
Ruru Karaitiana, 1949
The song that started it all for Pixie Williams and Ruru Karaitiana. Blue Smoke was arguably New Zealand's first pop song, and the first song wholly written, recorded and manufactured locally, then commercially released. Written in 1940 aboard the troopship Acquitania, the song is about the sadness of leaving loved ones behind when going to war. Upon its release it sold 50,000+ copies and in 2011 Pixie Costello (nee Williams), aged 83, was awarded a Triple Platinum Award in recognition of this achievement by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). In 1952 Ruru was the first New Zealander to receive an Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) award of 25 pounds for sales of Blue Smoke and Let's talk it Over.