Creating New Zealand's first local hit involved a lot of trial and error, as a company best known for making radios grappled with how to make records. Sixty-six years later Neil Finn visited musician Jim Carter, whose Hawaiian-style guitar is part of the magic of the original 'Blue Smoke' track. Finn "gently persuaded" Carter to help him record a new version on a laptop in just a few hours. Alongside newsreel shots of WWII soldiers, this evocative clip features footage of two musicians from different generations sharing memories, and making music about saying goodbye. Carter passed away in October 2022.
(Recording engineer Stan) Dallas improvised new techniques on the spot such as plugging Carter's homemade amplifier directly into a mixer rather than recording it through a microphone ... The slightest glitch at any stage meant they had to begin again...– Chris Bourke on the original recording in 1948, from his book Blue Smoke - The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918 - 1964, page 160