By Chris Bourke
Bringing to lifestyles the musical worlds of latest Zealanders either at domestic and out in town, this heritage chronicles the evolution of renowned tune in New Zealand in the course of the twentieth century. From the kiwi live performance events in the course of international conflict I and the coming of jazz to the increase of swing, nation, the Hawaiian sound, after which rock’n’roll, this musical research brings to existence the folk, locations, and sounds of a global that has disappeared and uncovers how track from the remainder of the realm was once formed by means of Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders right into a melody, rhythm, and voice that made feel on those islands.
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Additional info for Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music, 1918–1964
It was dance music in excelsis. They played the latest foxtrots, medleys of Hawaiian melodies, Scottish songs and well-known plantation airs. ‘Dominating all, and infusing it with laughter and good spirits, was the joyous personality of Bert Ralton . . 110 Above and below: Bert Ralton, 1925: the American who gave New Zealand its ﬁrst demonstration of jazz, as played at the source. Bert Ralton’s Savoy Havana Band offered ‘dance music in excelsis’ during its New Zealand visit in summer 1924–25. 111 But his band had an impact on New Zealand music in several ways.
169 The Tahiwis often performed together – although rarely as the complete trio – and the inﬂuence of the family continued for many years after they made their recordings. They were dedicated contributors to community music-making, for church, charity or marae. Kingi’s inﬂuence was especially felt as a songwriter (‘Kapiti’ was a succinct history of the island); as a Maori rugby stalwart; and as the founder of the Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club, which gave many morale-boosting concerts during the war, and became a social and musical nurturing ground for Maori in Wellington.
Regulations permitted only a small proportion of recorded music. ’ At ﬁrst, this was done for free: it was a novelty. But the RBC soon found that airtime was an insatiable consumer of talent and the novelty wore off. Staff improvised with recordings, player pianos, even reading from the newspaper. Programming was shaped by ‘availability rather than quality’. 140 When radio began, musicians acted as its patrons, rather than the other way around. ‘If the talkies had been in existence in those days Lord knows what we would have done, as picture theatre orchestras were our chief stand-bys’, recalled a 1YA pioneer.