Bass and Martin-D28

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by Chris.

I was talking to Ivan Wilson this morning and we were commiserating over past instruments. Ivan played bass for me in my early concert performances and recordings. His upright which he played and you can hear on “Leaving on a Jet Plane” went on to become a part of the orchestral world while my Martin D-28, after a very close partnership over 25 years, was crushed in a lift. What more can I say? On “Leaving on a Jet Plane” I played my Hagstrom, but that’s another story.
My tracks are found on copious copies of budget albums for which I have never received any royalties. The music industry is not in favour of artists. It is more an overseas vacation for businessmen. I guess a closed contract is just that – closed.

This is my first single recorded in 3YA Studios in Gloucester Street, Chch, with Kevin Newcombe on panel, Ivan Wilson on double bass and John Hayday on 2nd guitar. This was recorded in one take with my harmony and my 3rd guitar track layered immediately after the track was put down. Originally recorded on Master, now in 2016 you can see it has been farmed out to distribution arms.

Provided to YouTube by Valleyarm Digital Distribution Leaving On A Jet Plane · Christine Smith Kiwis by Request ? Glory Days Music under license from V&H Hol…


Unsleeved Artists: David Buskin

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by Chris.

I used to spend hours rummaging through the product shelves in the head offices of Phonogram in Wellington when I was preparing to fulfil contractual obligations. So many artists sat unsleeved and unheard. They were not seen as being commercially viable. Record companies and radio stations colluded to construct playlists which ‘paid’ and returned profit for their investment. The concept was understandable in a commercial sense but they were not interested in the intrinsic value of talent unless there was the possibility of mercantile returns up front. Ok, it was a business and driven by offshore demands, but it made sure New Zealand audiences didn’t have a chance to appreciate a broader range of input. New Zealand audiences were like programmed sheep. Remember, there was no Internet. Imported FOLKWAYS albums were beginning to be bought from catalogues from The States. You didn’t get the chance to experience ‘other’ unless you had long and short-wave metre bands on your home valve radio to broaden your listening opportunities – oh, and a touch of initiative. Amongst these untouched sleeves were talents both in writing and performing. I took this song from the pen of Canadian – David Buskin – and included it in my repertoire. My urge was to inform and expand – to propel and to ‘broadsheet’ other artists to my public and in my own way. I continue to love it to this day.

David Buskin – When I Need You Most of All from “David Buskin” (1972) You say my smile is like a summer day, But what if tears begin to fall? If things get b…


How Folk Music evolved in 1960’s – 2nd wave

Posted on August 11th, 2016 by Chris.

Folk Music in Christchurch NZ grew in two waves.

1st Wave: The University of Canterbury’s Folk Music Club paved the way for some of the most naturally gifted and talented artists of 1960’s. In my opinion, I consider them to be the 1st Wave. They were firmly established at the time I was inducted into the club and their company. We engaged in performances as a part of the club life on campus in the Student Union’s building, in schools throughout Canterbury and the West Coast and on campus at Lincoln College. UCFMC, as it was known, established Residency on Sunday nights at The Stage Door, which was run by Des Monaghan, Kevin Bussell, and Mike Hockley. They ran Rythm ‘n Blues with The Chants on Thursday and Friday nights. The folk club matured and it was not uncommon to see a melding of the two genres  occurring.

During this time, many of the fully established artists/performers were beginning to break away from their appearances at the club as their University studies demanded a greater commitment and or they headed into the workplace or postgraduate studies overseas.

I will write about them in a future post.

2nd Wave: In the meantime here is Phil Garland’s tracking of his experience of the history of the club on his return from England. Phil had committed to a life in Rock’nRoll during the early years prior to his departure. On his return, he became absorbed into the audience and then performance in the latter stages of the Stage Door. When Sunday nights’ tenure ended Phil paved the way for the transition from The Stage Door to The Plainsmen in Litchfield Street. Thus, 2nd Wave commenced.



Posted on July 17th, 2016 by Chris.

For all of you who have inquired after my performance of Dave Jordan’s beautiful writing of “Out of Sight Out of Mind” I am posting this track which has been posted to YouTube by a considerate member of the public named Michael. You can read his e-mail on the blog.


Hoghton Hughes

Posted on August 27th, 2015 by Chris.

Hi Christine,
It’s been a long,long time!
I just want you to know you’re still one of the very best artists I ever recorded.
God Bless


Roy Colbert: “Legend, doyen, guru and authority”.

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by Chris.


‘LADY’ (recorded in 1971 and released on Phillips) has been digitised and re-released in 2015.  I was fortunate to be able to catch up with Roy Colbert, writer par excellence. He wrote the biography for Audio Culture’s Noisy Library and reviews for Critic during my career. He continues to write for the Otago Daily Times today.  His understanding of New Zealand music over a lifetime of involvement earns him the title of “legend, doyen, guru and authority”.

Read this impressive record:


AUDIO CULTURE: Christine Smith

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by Chris.

Simon Griggs of Audio Culture has created a biographic page written by Roi Colbert, which represents my career spanning 1964 when I first entered the world of television until today. Taken directly from their website “Audio Culture is an online celebration of the people who have created the music, the scenes they shaped, and the audiences they played to”, and is New Zealand’s way of saying we were, we are and we will be present on the world’s stage and representing the excellence of the South Pacific. It is “the Noisy Library of New Zealand Music”.

You can read this project at:


Digitised re-release: ‘LADY’

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by Chris.


RIANZ’s chairman, Chris Caddick, has digitised and re-released my 1971 album “LADY’ through Universal. ‘LADY’ was first released by Phillips. It is now available through all major media services.


DAVE JORDAN: “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

Posted on November 22nd, 2014 by Chris.

I have the pleasure of receiving letters and e-mails from strangers – people who have sat in an audience and been as moved as I have been in performing lyrics which touch the soul. Dave Jordan was a rare and special talent in New Zealand. He wrote with a passion about topics from the mundane yet humorous to the breathtakingly sensitive.

Last week’s e-mail was an enquiry as to where my recordings could be accessed and how one song in particular had left its impression over 40 years. Dave’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” won a Silver Scroll in the industry and remains, to this day, one of our defining moments in music.

The enquiry:

Hi Christine,

I doubt that you will remember me, but a long time ago – in the late sixties, early seventies, I was a regular at the Banks Peninsula Folk Club. I sang warm-up acts from time to time, alone and with Phil Calder (and our group, “Penultimate”), Wyn Drabble, Eric McEachen and others, and often when you were the featured performer. One of your songs was Dave Jordan’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” which I found hauntingly beautiful then and still do.
After all these years of children and career and, now, grandchildren, I am back playing and singing and still haunted by that song.
I’ve searched for it on-line, but without success. However, my search picked up your website and I wondered if you may have a digital copy or could direct me to a web link where I could obtain it.
I trust that life has been good for you – it certainly seems to have been adventurous!
My reply:
I, too, was enchanted by “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” and regarded Dave’s writing as a mark of the soul of a few New Zealanders who represented the best part of our country’s lyricism at that time and now.
Before he left for London he came from Wellington to attend some folk nights in Chch and I was too shy to speak to him but I heard his words. Later, I met him at the anniversary of the folk club in Chch and at that time he was wheelchair bound and close to the end. We spent some time talking about the song and my recording of it. He was very complimentary; and for that I will remain humbled by his words.
Several months later I attended his wake. His son, his friends and I sang through the afternoon and into dusk and I was able to play his piano with his son sharing the stool. We had his ashes on the piano in order for closure. Eric sang “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” and Dave Calder contributed also.
I have searched the web and have found no real access to my version. It is mentioned but I have kept a low profile in order to continue with my love of music rather than the industry. Once I had recorded it, it was out of my hands or any form of ownership.
E-bay or Trade Me have the odd sale of the song which was recorded as the flip side of “Go-Go Girl”, one of my MD’s choices – not mine.
The disc’s catalogue Number is: MAS 109, 1969 7″ format and recorded on the MASTER label.
Please visit in order to read more about Dave’s career.