- Aloha to all,
I am listening to my copy of the Kalama's Quartet that arrived last
evening in the mail. Wonderful. It is great to hear what music was like in
Don & Armine's time.
Charmian London always mentions in her diaries how well Louis von Tempsky
and Lorin Thurston sang the local songs and I always wondered how they would
This must be close.
Mahalo Cadia for finding this for us.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Cadia
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 9:43 PM
Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: I have found Mike Hanapi!
Hello, all ...
I had hoped to be able to show you a photo of Mike Hanapi and the other
members of the Kalama Quartet, but my new hard drive refuses to allow me to
install my scanner. One more aggravation!
However, I have edited and transcribed the CD's liner notes by Bob Brozman,
a master of the steel guitar who performs all over the world. You will find
these notes at
Files > Friends and Colleagues of DB
which is a new folder I have added to the master list. Earlier I misstated
the composition of the trio that morphed into a quartet and then into a
quintet. The members of the Hanapi Trio included William Kalama and Bob
Nawahine; Dave Kaleipua Munson was added to form the quartet and Bob Matsu
contributed the second steel guitar.
Read the notes and you'll understand why I am so excited to find this CD --
I probably should buy a duplicate in case I wear out the first one!
I have found both Mike Hanapi (age 32) and Bob Nawahine (age 57) on the 1930
census, living at Helen Alexander's retreat near Westport, Connecticut.
Their occupations are listed as "musician." Helen (age 42) is listed as
proprietess of a tea room and owns substantial real estate. Another member
of the household is a Japanese chef; the 3 men evidently shared a cottage
near the main house in which Helen resided.
Based on several versions of "The Talisman," I believe the conversation
between Mike and DB took place sometime in 1931. One version mentions that
DB had published 3 books; those would be The Virgin of Waikiki (1926),
Vagabond's House (1928) and Hula Moons (1930). By 1932, DB had relocated to
Taos, New Mexico.
Trust me, you should hear the Kalama Quartet. Mike's beautiful falsetto and
Bob Nawahine's incredible bass are reason enough!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Bev, I'm sure you've found the best way to listen to Kalama's Quartet is to crank up the volume and let 'er rip! Open the doors and windows, too, so the neighbors can enjoy!
We have steel player Bob Brozman to thank for collecting the very hard-to-find 78s from which the modern recording was made. The guys who did the sound restoration are absolute geniuses! Having frequently dubbed and mixed old 78s for my radio programs in the 1980s, I know just how difficult that is, believe me.
We must also thank Dennis Kamakahi, Hawaiian slack key player and composer, for relating the story of John Kalama (not William), the young Hawaiian who worked for the Hudson's Bay Compamy and found himself on Washington's shores. JK fell in love with and married Mary, a Nisqually Indian maiden; Kalama, Washington, is named for him.
Upon hearing the story at the slack key festival last November, I became curious about the town's history. A quick google or two and up popped the Kalama Quartet and Mike Hanapi! The surname Kalama is fairly rare, even in Hawaii, so I suspect there's a family relationship there somewhere.
Speaking of Dennis Kamakahi and Hawaiian music in general, I can recommend viewing the performance calendar found at
Many of the Hawaiian musicians perform regularly in the Islands and on the mainland, particularly in California. Three of my favorites -- Dennis K, Cyril Pahinui and George Kahumoku, Jr. -- will be in California later this month at various venues. Unfortunately, my work schedule and budget do not allow me to travel south right now. But if any of you can make their concerts, or those of other artists, I can guarantee you will enjoy every minute.
My collection of Hawaiian CDs is growing by the hour. Last week I finally obtained George's "Drenched by Music" CD as well as an early CD by Cyril. This morning, success at last in winning the Gabby "brown album!"
- Hello, all ...
A few more notes on Mike Hanapi, which may spur some of us to find either recordings or sheet music relative to The Hanapi Trio or Kalama's Quartet:
Among recent finds are newspaper ads or tidbits from 1928 and 1938. First is a Pioneer Music Co. ad from the Emporia Gazette (KS) of March 10, 1928. The ad details the newest releases from Brunswick Records, including No. 3760, Drowsy Waltz and Happy Hula Girl, instrumentals by The Hanapi Trio. This extends the trio's recording career somewhat later than Bob Brozman's notes indicate.
The second ad, by Jones-O'Neal Furniture Company, appears in the Port Arthur News (TX) on May 27, 1928. At the top of the Brunswick list is No. 3759-A Indiana March and the "B" side Sweet Hawaiian Moonlight, both instrumentals by the trio. A couple of modern CD compilations of 1920s hapa haole music include Indiana March. It should be noted that Brunswick made recording machines, hence the furniture company ad is quite appropriate!
From The Seattle Times of August 12, 1928, I have an item titled "What's New in Recorded Music" that says: "Hawaiian Bluebird" is the title of a new island number offered by Brunswick. This is played by the Hanapi Trio, which is a "pure" Hawaiian instrumental trio. (Brunswick 3833.)
Next is an August 16, 1928, ad from the Port Arthur News in which Stoneburner Electric co. advertises Brunswick selections. The ad mentions No. 3833 Hawaiian Bluebird and its flip side, Hawaiian Smiles; both are waltzes.
In the "Highlights of Radio" column from the New Orleans Times-Picayune of October 6, 1938, appears this entry:
Voice of Hawaii -- The Hawaiian Orchestra will be featured during "The Voice of Hawaii" program over NBC-WDSU at 11:15 p.m. Also heard on the program will be Honolulu Girls Glee Club and Mikael Hanapi, guitarist.
A couple of weeks later, on October 20, 1938, the Ogden Standard Examiner (UT) includes this item:
Hawaiian Music Broadcast Set
Authentic music of Hawaii, played and sung by native Hawaiians, will be heard during a broadcast from Honolulu tonight from ten-fifteen to ten-thirty o'clock, over KLO and the NBC-Blue Network.
The Honolulu Girls' Glee Club and Mikael Hanapi, guitarist, will be featured with an Hawaiian orchestra.
Since both broadcasts were actually live, not recorded, it appears that Hanapi, the glee club and the orchestra performed on more than one occasion. Or perhaps by 1938 transcriptions were the norm for broadcasts from Hawaii?
In perusing an online Brunswick catalog, I also came across two recordings by The Hanapi Trio in the 4000 series (4000-4499) recorded between June 1928 and August 1929. No. 4039 contains Dreamy Hilo Bay and Hawaiian Twilight; No. 4057 offers Lei Lani (Wreath of Flowers) and Sweet Kalua Lady. The lower numbers suggest a recording date closer to June 1928 than later.
The same source finds No. 3662, guitar duets by Hanapi and Kaleipua of Hanalei Bay (the "A" side) and Song of Hawaii. I'm fairly sure that's our boy Mike; whether acoustic steel or slack key guitar (or both) I don't know.
And yes, I know that an eBay seller in Argentina is offering No. 3662! So tempting, but I'll pass. Old 78s shatter too easily when sent by mail.
OK, so the hunt is on for sheet music and Hanapi Trio recordings!