Blue Smoke 70th Anniversary
This event is part of the Pūkana exhibition — a celebration of moments in Māori performance.
- Date: Wednesday, 26 June, 2019
6pm to 8pm
Free. You don't need to book.
Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon
- Contact Details:
Celebrate New Zealand's first pop song 'Blue Smoke'
The 26 June date marks the 70th anniversary of the 1949 release of the iconic New Zealand song 'Blue Smoke', NZ’s first pop song and the birth of the New Zealand recording industry.
This event commemorates the occasion, and in particular singer Pixie Williams, our first homegrown ‘pop star’.
In June 1949, as an unknown 21-year old, Pikiteora (Pixie) Williams became a household name giving voice to Ruru Karaitiana’s song 'Blue Smoke'.
Both songwriter and singer hailed from the same iwi — Ngāti Kahungunu. Pixie came from Ngāti Pahauwera and Ruru from Ngāti Mutuahi o Rangitāne.
The event will take the form of a mihi whakatau, followed by speakers acknowledging the contribution made by 'Blue Smoke', Pixie Williams and the team that wrote and recorded it.
The second half will include performances of some other songs Pixie recorded in her brief career, with a finale performance of 'Blue Smoke'. John Shear, one of the production team on the original recordings will talk about the impact the song and Pixie herself made.
Other guest speakers will be:
- Hon Meka Whaitiri, Member for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti
- Chris Bourke, who wrote the NZ music history entitled 'Blue Smoke', and
- representatives from the major sponsors National Library, Massey University and Endev Software Development.