Blue Smoke

By nixit

Blue Smoke was written by Ruru Karaitiana and sung by Pixie Williams. Released in 1949, it was the first song to be completely produced in New Zealand.

music, Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, Ngati Kahungunu

Blue Smoke is often described as New Zealand's first pop song. Certainly it was the first song written, recorded and produced in New Zealand. Ruru Karaitiana wrote the song in 1940 while he was serving serving with the 28th  Māori Battalion. The story goes that he was sunbathing on the deck of the Aquitania when the smoke of a passing ship was pointed out to him. 

Blue Smoke

Listen to the song

'Blue Smoke'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Image: Rangi Ruru Wananga Karaitiana
Rangi Ruru Wananga Karaitiana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Image: Blue smoke
Blue smoke

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pixie Williams was the young Ngāti Pahauwera (Ngāti Kahungunu)  woman who sung on Blue Smoke. She was born in Mohaka in northern Hawkes Bay and spent her early years with her grandparents. At 15 she moved to Napier to work at the Masonic Hotel. While at the hotel she met the famous Australian opera singer Gladys Moncrieff who encouraged her to get singing lessons "to do it right".