Rangi Ruru Wananga Karaitiana

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Rangi Ruru Wananga Karaitiana (4 March 1909 – 15 December 1970) was a New Zealand musician and songwriter. Of Māori descent, he identified with the Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane iwi. He was born in Dannevirke, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand on 4 March 1909.[1][2]

He served with 28th New Zealand (Maori) Battalion during World War II, and led the battalion's concert party. After the war he assembled a quintet, and in October 1948 recorded a version of his song ‘Blue smoke’ with singer Pixie Williams to a Hawaiian-style backing - the first record wholly produced in New Zealand from composition to pressing, and provided the début for the TANZA record label.[3][4] It topped the New Zealand radio hit parades for six weeks, and It went on to be covered by a number of overseas artists, including Dean Martin in 1951.[5][6]


  1. ^ Spittle, Gordon. "Rangi Ruru Wananga Karaitiana". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 Feb 2017. 
  2. ^ "Karaitiana, Rangi Ruru Wananga". Te Ara. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Blue smoke". NZ History. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Blue Smoke". NZ Folk Song. August 8, 2001. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ "DEAN MARTIN - Blue Smoke (1951)". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Blue Smoke". Te Papa. Te Papa. Retrieved 25 February 2017.