Seventy years ago a landmark in New Zealand music recording history appeared - and boy was it good.
TANZA (To Assist New Zealand Artists) arrived and delivered the first Kiwi record to be written, recorded and released in New Zealand, and featuring entirely local talent.
And it was 13 years ago that Pixie Williams, the beautiful voice which delivered the memorable composition of Ruru Karaitiana's 'Blue Smoke', called by at Dave Turnbull's house in Napier for afternoon tea.
The song 'Blue Smoke' is legendary. It captured the hearts of the nation, selling more than 50,000 copies after being commercially released on June 26, 1949 — a decade after 21-year-old Ruru Karaitiana penned it while voyaging off to war aboard the troopship Aquitania.
"We were on the troopship off the coast of Africa when a friend drew my attention to some passing smoke ... he put the song in my lap," was how Ruru later put it.
Dave Turnbull was one of those many who sought a copy, although it wasn't until around the early 1960s he finally came across one.
"Everyone knew about 'Blue Smoke' so I had to have it."
Now 79, Dave has been a passionate collector of recordings and old film for many, many a year, and after sifting through a collection of old records he bought from a fellow collector in Taradale more than half a century ago he uncovered it.
He was, naturally, delighted, and it went straight on to the gramophone turntable.
The smile and the emotions are as strong today for Dave as they were then.
That was the first TANZA record he picked up and it sparked what became a remarkable collection of the green-labelled Kiwi 78s.
There were just over 300 different recordings released by TANZA and he had all but two or three.
He has since passed almost all of them on to the Radio New Zealand Archives but there is one he has most certainly kept.
"Oh yes, I had to keep that — that is so special to me."
Like all who hear the late Pixie's stunning rendition Dave regards it as unquestionably the finest. Many artists had also stepped up to record it — including Dean Martin along with several other overseas singers who were captivated by the song's beauty.
And so it came to pass, back in early 2006, that Dave got a call from a fellow TANZA collector in Wellington, where then 78-year-old Pixie was living.
He knew Pixie and had told her about Dave's record collection and his enduring admiration of 'Blue Smoke' and told Dave that she said she'd like to call by and say hello.
"She wants to meet you," he said.
They were heading north because Pixie wanted to call at the place she was born in 1928 and raised by her grandparents — Mohaka in Northern Hawke's Bay.
Like the equally iconic Ruru Karaitiana, she was Ngati Kahungunu — from Hawke's Bay.
"So they arrived for afternoon tea and I was just blown away," Dave said.
"She was such a lovely person — like a really nice old aunty — Aunty Pixie," he said with a smile.
They chatted and laughed and Dave's late wife Moira put on a fine afternoon tea, and Dave set up his gramophone, arranged a speaker outside, and played Pixie's songs as they enjoyed the afternoon sunshine.
"She just loved it and sat there smiling — listening and enjoying a cup of tea at Dave's."
She was delighted to look through Dave's collections and they chatted for a few hours, and Dave showed her the special framed 'Blue Smoke' tribute he had made.
Pixie responded simply.
She gave him a hug and said she would like to have it for a photo of her and Dave, which Moira accordingly took.
Like the very record itself, that photo is now a treasure for Dave.
So Dave was recently naturally delighted to hear that the legacy of 'Blue Smoke' is set to remain strong, with Pixie's daughter Amelia Costello planning a special 70th anniversary event ... a recording event.
'Blue Smoke' was not Pixie's sole recording and in 2011, two years before she died aged 85, Amelia managed the production of re-mastered versions of that track and 12 other songs on the album 'For the Record — The Pixie Williams Collection 1949-1951'.
That generated renewed interest in her music, and that will almost certainly again be sparked with Amelia having launched another self-funded project to celebrate the seventh decade of 'Blue Smoke' on record.
Using contemporary Kiwi performers she is re-recording all her mother's songs from 'For the Record', with artists like Whirimako Black, Lisa Tomlin and members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra putting their stamps on the tracks to create the album titled 'New Blue'.
It will be officially launched on June 26 (70 years to the day 'Blue Smoke' was released) at a special event at the National Library — the management there having recognised the historical significance.
Amelia grew up with the music of her mother and the stories of those times and as the years passed the stories became more important to her.
"We all have a responsibility to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of past generations — to remember and marvel at what was achieved against all odds, despite the hardship of very difficult and different times in post-war New Zealand."
And times were tough, and despite her remarkable and successful recordings fortune did not come with fame for Pixie. She received no payment for the music she made.
Amelia's aim has been simple and passionate — to save from obscurity all her mother's songs and the stories behind creating them.
"It has absolutely been a labour of love," Amelia said.
"It is so important we do this and will hopefully shine a light on more Kiwis — we can't allow them to be forgotten."
She said her mum had a beautiful voice and was always singing, and no else could have delivered 'Blue Smoke' the way she did.
She was a humble woman and did not pursue the music business, but the mark she left on the country's musical landscape was now legendary.
"Her voice was so special and that song means so much to so many people."
Were she still alive would her mum be proud of what her daughter was doing?
"I think she would probably have been amused," Amelia said with a smile.
It has been a challenging production journey for Amelia and those who have stepped in to help on the latest recording. Funding has been difficult and they have launched a Boosted campaign to pursue arts funding.
"We are going to crack this," she simply said.
"It is happening."
And to her delight, and Dave Turnbull's, Maori Television is planning a feature documentary about the story behind 'Blue Smoke' and Pixie's life.
"Yes, it is happening."