Story: Karaitiana, Rangi Ruru Wānanga

Pixie Williams sings 'Blue smoke'

Ruru Karaitiana's 'Blue smoke' was the first record released by Tanza, and the first song written by a New Zealander to be recorded and processed locally and released on a local label. Karaitiana wrote the song in 1940 on the way to the battlefields of the Second World War and it became a favourite tune of the 28th (Māori) Battalion. The sheet music was published in 1947; the recording, by Pixie Williams, was released in 1949 and became a New Zealand classic.

Using this item

Blue Smoke Records

How to cite this page:

Gordon Spittle. 'Karaitiana, Rangi Ruru Wānanga', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5k3/karaitiana-rangi-ruru-wananga (accessed 13 May 2021)