Slice Of Kiwi Music History Gets Scrub-up

June 11, 2011
1 min read

The latest sound restoration gear has been used to scrub-up historic recordings from NZ’s distant past – 1949 to 1951, to be exact.

Originally recorded on scratchy shellac, Pixie Williams recorded her gorgeous Hawaiian-influenced songs as a young woman.
The compilation of these recordings, The Pixie Williams Collection, will be released on July 12 to coincide with her 83rd birthday.
“The discovery and restoration of Pixie Williams’ recordings is an important event in the history of New Zealand music,” wrote reviewer Stephen O’Hay. “It will make available to the public fantastic works that would have otherwise been lost forever.”
‘Ain’t That A Shame’, recorded in 1949, is released ahead of the album, both on Blue Smoke Records. It was written by Ruru Karaitiana, who also composed Williams’ 1949 hit, ‘Blue Smoke’.
The transfer from shellac and digital remastering has been a labour of love for music producer Tim Fraser and mastering engineer Mike Gibson, who spent weeks trialling the latest restoration equipment before deciding on the best approach for the project.

Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here


  1. This is an awesome initiative. It will not only preserve important artefacts from our music pioneers, but it will bring alive great music for fresh appreciation by whole new generations.
    This technology apparently also has the potential to let new interpretations of music incorporate the very voice and instruments of the past, picked out of old tracks and remixed.

    Good job Blue Smoke Records.

  2. Congrats to Tim and Mike. These beautiful old songs have been made new again. And so deservedly so, not only did they play an important role in the making of the NZ music industry, but they are a delight to spend time with today.

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