August 08, 2013
Blue Smoke singer dies
The country has said goodbye to Pixie Williams, the voice of Blue Smoke.
The diminutive singer won everlasting fame when in October 1948, Māori Battalion veteran Ruru Karaitiana prevailed on her to sing his song for the Tanza label, the first record to be both recorded and manufactured in New Zealand.
Pikiteora Williams died this week at a retirement home in Upper Hutt aged 85.
Her daughter, Amelia Costello, says Williams was a reluctant star and it took several weeks of recording to get the right take, which went on to sell more than 50,000 copies.
She says the song’s theme of saying goodbye to loved ones to go to war is one that continues to touch hearts.
"Sixty four years on we’re still doing that. Humanity, we still haven’t learned our lesson, so the message and the emotion that mum delivered in that take, it absolutely sums it up. In another 60 years time it will still stand the test of time and it is the blend of the lyrics, the voice, and the message," Ms Costello says.
Pixie Williams will be buried beside her husband Paddy Costello in Dunedin.
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