Saturday, May 10, 2014

RNZAF Band in Concert ("Blue Smoke")

Hi there
I've just returned from a concert by the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, in aid of Alzheimers Inc.

One of the tunes they played, with accompanying blues singer Stephanie Paris, was the New Zealand song "Blue Smoke".

"Blue Smoke" was the very first record (78 rpm) ever produced in New Zealand.  It was sung by Pixie Williams and released on TANZA (To Assist New Zealand Artists) in 1949.  The song was written in 1940 by Ruru Karaitiana as he was on a troop ship just off the African coast, heading to war.  He was a member of the 28th NZ Maori Battalion.   The "Blue Smoke" refers to smoke from the funnels of the ship.

The song is iconic in NZ and every time I hear it, I cry.  Even though I wasn't even born in 1940, I still feel for this song.

Below is a link to hit to hear the record.

...and if you zip over to the right side of the above link page you can also watch the classical rendition of "Blue Smoke", in Maori, by Deborah Wai Kapohe.

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