With loving tears
Pixie Williams made a rare public appearance in Wellington last week. A large crowd of relatives and music folk gathered at Miramar’s new/old Roxy Cinema to celebrate the restoration and re-release of Pixie’s recordings for Tanza. Pixie was toasted by MC Frankie Stevens, given awards by the Recording Industry Association for the massive sales of ‘Blue Smoke’ and ‘Let’s Talk It Over’, and everyone enjoyed waiata from relatives and an audio-visual show that featured the complete footage of the National Film Unit newsreel that marked ‘Blue Smoke’s release, and the launch of Tanza Records, in 1949.
All 13 sides that Pixie recorded are featured on For the Record: the Pixie Williams Collection, 1949-1951. The tracks have been beautifully restored. You can hear all of them below, or read the full story at the website of Blue Smoke Records (where downloads can also be purchased). The project has come about through the goodwill of an enormous number of people, but mostly because of the energy (and love) of Pixie’s daughter Amelia Costello. Music renaissance man Trevor Reekie interviewed Amelia, the reissue producer Tim Fraser, and myself, for RNZ National’s Music 101. The interview can be heard here.