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NZ Music Hall Of Fame Inductees – Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, Jim Carter

NZ Music Hall Of Fame Inductees – Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, Jim Carter

F. / Thursday 15th August, 2019 10:45AM

This year's NZ Music Hall of Fame inductees have been revealed, to be presented at 2019's APRA Silver Scroll Awards ceremony at Tāmaki Makaurau's Spark Arena on Wednesday 2nd October. Ruru KaraitianaPixie Williams (who are both sadly no longer with us) and Jim Carter (who is currently enjoying the ripe age of 100) will be inducted for their landmark contribution to Aotearoa songwriting, including creating 1949 classic tune 'Blue Smoke'. This year is the 70th anniversary of the recording of our first homegrown pop hit – the first to be written, recorded and manufactured in Aotearoa, which was even covered by "The King Of Cool" Dean Martin.

'Blue Smoke' was penned by Ruru Karaitiana (Ngāti Mutuahi / Ngāti Kahungunu) in 1940 on board the ship Aquitania, which was carrying troops across the Indian Ocean and became popular in New Zealand in 1943 when Karaitiana returned home, being played with the RNZAF band. In 1948, the song was recorded at a newly built studio located in Auckalnd which was created of the Radio Corporation of New Zealand and released on their own label TANZA (To Assist NZ Artists).

The original recording featured performances from Pixie Williams and lap steel guitar from Jim Carter and his band. It’s estimated that around 50,000 copies were sold, which was unprecedented for the population of Aotearoa at the time. Shortly after its official release the song was covered by a score of international artists, including Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Leslie Howard and Dean Martin, among others. Both Karaitiana and Williams went on to make lasting contributions to New Zealand music, composing and recording tunes including ‘Let’s Talk It Over’.

Last week it was announced that jazz maestro Nathan Haines will be the Music Director at the 2019 iteration of the APRA Silver Scrolls Awards. This will equate to Haines curating the musical performances throughout the ceremony – featuring interpretations of the nominated songs and the Maioha Award and SOUNZ Contemporary Award reimagined by other Aotearoa artists. Haines shared his feelings about being selected to curate:

"A great honour has been bestowed upon me and I am both humbled and excited. I plan to bring together some amazing New Zealand artists and performers from many different backgrounds to perform these important works which have been judged by the many APRA members around the country. It's a unique opportunity and I'm looking forward to October 2 very, very much!"

The 2019's APRA Silver Scroll Award presentation ceremony is happening at at Tāmaki Makaurau's Spark Arena on Wednesday 2nd October – for more info, including prizes to be awarded on the night and the full list of nominees, head over here.


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