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[MUSIC] Kui Lee / Hawaiian Music (History & Influences)

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  • madchinaman
    The Extraordinary KUI LEE http://www.cordinternational.com/kui_lee.htm http://iz.honoluluadvertiser.com/flash/music_timeline.swf Sample Tracks
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12, 2007
      The Extraordinary KUI LEE
      http://www.cordinternational.com/kui_lee.htm
      http://iz.honoluluadvertiser.com/flash/music_timeline.swf
      Sample Tracks
      http://store.mountainapplecompany.com/product_info.php?
      cPath=15&products_id=402
      http://www.mele.com/music/artist/kui+lee/the+extraordinary+kui+lee/
      http://www.cordinternational.com/kui_lee.htm
      http://iz.honoluluadvertiser.com/flash/music_timeline.swf


      -

      Don Ho, who recorded many of Kui Lee's songs, said of their deep
      bond, "...We both felt that the people of Hawaii should try to
      create their own music - take it to a different level from the hula-
      type music into a more cosmopolitan level."
      *
      Kuiokalani Lee (31 July 1932 – 3 December 1966) was a singer-
      songwriter, who took part in show business both in New York and
      Hawaii. The now-famous Aloha From Hawaii concert by Elvis Presley
      and concert merchandise sales were a benefit that raised $75,000 for
      the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kui_Lee

      -


      Ku`i Lee was known as the genius songwriter who helped catapult Don
      Ho to fame with hits like "I'll Remember You." Released just months
      before Lee's death, this album showcases his remarkable breadth as a
      composer who mixed rock, jazz and R&B to create distinctly
      cosmopolitan music, like "Ain't No Big Thing" and "Rain Rain Go
      Away." On this album, Lee also proved that he was a sharp song
      stylist, capable of rockin` with the best of 'em.


      ================


      Kui Lee
      http://www.answers.com/topic/kui-lee?cat=entertainment


      The Lenny Bruce of Hawaii -- if more benign and loved -- Kui Lee
      died young of cancer, leaving behind a legacy of poetry and song
      that ushered in a hip, new Hawaii. Don Ho popularized and made hits
      out of many of his songs. Jack de Mello created a delightful, very
      strange 3-LP box tribute including narrative script by Robert
      Maxwell, then-editor of the Honolulu Beacon.

      Kuiokalani Lee was born July 31, 1932 in Shanghai, China to parents
      Billy and Ethel Lee, both entertainers themselves; he was brought to
      Hawaii at age five. First entering show business as a knife dancer
      and choreographer, he moved to New York, where in seven years he met
      and married Nani Naone and had four children.

      Returning to Hawaii in the early 1960s, Lee learned to sing and
      compose and soon formed his own group. Opening at Kanaka Pete's in
      Maui, he went on the Kalia Gardens, Queen's Surf, and ultimately the
      Waikiki Shell in 1966.

      The highlight of his final appearance, on October 18 of Aloha Week,
      was his wife's performance of his last composition, "The Intangible
      Dream Came True." However, cancer was discovered shortly afterward,
      and Lee died on Dec. 3, 1966 at Guadalajara Hospital in Tijuana,
      Mexico. He was buried at sea off Waikiki six days later. ~ Tony
      Wilds, All Music Guide


      ===============


      Kui Lee (1933-1966)
      http://www.honolulumagazine.com/archives/HON100/1105_100_61-70.html


      In his short lifetime, Kui Lee never received the recognition he
      deserved. The 34-year-old singer and songwriter died of cancer in
      1966. Although he performed regularly at Waikiki's Queen's Surf, Lee
      became known mainly as the composer behind many of Don Ho's hits,
      including "One Paddle Two Paddle" and "I'll Remember You."

      Music aficionados now acknowledge Lee as an innovator, who helped
      usher in a new era in local music by fusing jazz, rock 'n' roll and
      R&B to create a distinctly modern Hawai'i sound. In the decade
      before his death, Lee composed about 40 songs, characterized by
      simple music and poetic lyrics.

      "If he had lived, who's to know what he could have written?" says
      Harry B. Soria Jr., host of Territorial Airwaves on KINE-FM
      105.1. "He was so prolific. There was just so much creativity there,
      that as our world changed and our music changed, I think we would've
      seen more from him."


      ==========


      Kui Lee: 'One of the all-time geniuses of Hawaii'
      By Catherine Kekoa Enomoto
      Star-Bulletin
      http://starbulletin.com/97/05/15/features/story1.html


      Thirty-one years - almost to the week - after the debut of Kui Lee's
      first album, HanaOla Records today re-releases "The Extraordinary
      Kui Lee" in compact disc.

      "I am very, very happy about this. It's very, very good news to me,
      and very touching too," his widow, Nani Lee Meadows, 65, said by
      phone from her Big Island home. "I get very, very sentimental
      whenever I've heard the songs throughout these 30 years. When I
      travel I always hear one of his songs in airports; it's really
      chicken skin. If he were still around, I think he would be most
      pleased."

      The singer/songwriter/1960s enfant terrible of Hawaiian
      entertainment would have been 64 if he had survived cancer of the
      lymph glands. Lee died Dec. 3, 1966, leaving a wife and four young
      children.

      Press accounts of the period credit Lee with composing up to 80
      original songs, some of which were recorded by more than 100 artists
      worldwide. Songs like "Lahainaluna" ("Maui no ka oi is the only
      place for me"), "Tiny Bubbles" and "Suck 'Em Up."


      ========


      The World of Kui Lee
      http://www.answers.com/topic/the-world-of-kui-lee?cat=entertainment


      The World of Kui Lee is a very strange, two-part box set and
      tribute.

      The first two records essentially are Jack de Mello's reworkings of
      Kui Lee songs, many of which are more widely known as part of Don
      Ho's repertoire. With its chorus and orchestra, this is unlikely to
      appeal to anyone but a serious Kui Lee or easy listening fan.

      The last record is where things get really interesting. Robert
      Maxwell, editor of the Honolulu Beacon (not the harpist), has taken
      some vintage Kui Lee poetry and ideas and created his own narrative
      script out of it.

      It is serious pothead fare, frankly, but beneath the dated gassiness
      (post-beatnik howlers), there is a serious, sincere, almost
      religious effort to convince you of Kui Lee's immortal greatness.

      Well, it's a hoot of a production. As with Lenny Bruce and many
      other writer/performers who died young, we can never know what would
      have been. It is safe to day that Kui Lee's greatest achievement
      resulted from moving from Hawaii to New York while most of America
      instead was flocking to the new, 50th state.

      Upon his return he changed Hawaiian music by effectively "erasing
      the 'grass shack' image. His is the music of Hawaii today," as the
      liner notes state.

      Fans of Hawaiian music should hear this entire set, but the final
      record will appeal to anyone with a taste for odd narrative and
      abstract 1960s poetry.

      Sorry for Kui Lee's sake, but this is also very funny stuff in its
      own, strange way, just as the Hawaii Five-0 TV show has a camp/cult
      following today. And "Waikiki at Midnight" is a great number that
      would enhance any "crime jazz" collection. ~ Tony Wilds, All Music
      Guide


      ========


      Kui Lee
      http://www.mountainapplecompany.com/Content43.aspx?ArtistID=1999


      The Extraordinary KUI LEEKu`i Lee was known as the genius songwriter
      who helped catapult Don Ho to fame with hits like "I'll Remember
      You." Released just months before Lee's death, this album showcases
      his remarkable breadth as a composer who mixed rock, jazz and R&B to
      create distinctly cosmopolitan music, like "Ain't No Big Thing"
      and "Rain Rain Go Away." On this album, Lee also proved that he was
      a sharp song stylist, capable of rockin` with the best of 'em.



      ========================


      http://www.elvis-uk.co.uk/database/factlist/leather3.htm
      Elvis Week 2003, which started Saturday, August 9th and runs through
      Sunday, August 17th, is themed around the 35th anniversary of Elvis'
      1968 TV special "Elvis" and the 30th anniversary of his 1973 TV
      special "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite". Various events
      held during the week pay homage to these historic Elvis
      performances . Today, our EFOW newsletter looks back on the life of
      Hawaiian composer and entertainer Kui Lee, to whom Elvis paid
      tribute in the "Aloha" concert.

      Elvis and his manager Colonel Tom Parker had been planning a first-
      of-its-kind worldwide satellite broadcast of a concert from Hawaii.
      During the planning stages, Eddie Sherman, a columnist for
      the "Honolulu Advertiser", suggested that the concert could benefit
      the Kui Lee Cancer Fund, which Mr. Sherman had founded in honor of
      the late composer. It was an idea that both Elvis and Colonel Parker
      liked very much, an opportunity to honor a musician whom Elvis
      admired and whose signature song, "I'll Remember You", Elvis often
      sang in concert.

      A press conference was held on November 20, 1972 at the Hilton
      Hawaiian Village Hotel. It was announced that the concert would
      indeed benefit the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. The Janaury 14, 1973
      broadcast concert and its January 12th rehearsal show had no set
      ticket price. Audience members were asked to donate what they could.
      Elvis and The Colonel also donated the proceeds from merchandise
      sold at the shows. Kui Lee's widow Nani Lee Meadows was in
      attendance at the press conference and accepted from Elvis his
      personal check for $1,000, buying the first ticket himself. The
      original goal was to raise $25,000 from ticket and merchandise
      sales, but the expectations were exceeded. They raised $75,000 - a
      most handsome sum back in 1973.

      Kui Lee was born Kuiokalani Lee in 1933 in Shanghai, China. His
      parents were Hawaiian entertainers Billy and Ethel Lee. Kui was
      their third child and their only son. Ethel died when Kui was four
      years old and his family returned to Hawaii when he was five. Kui
      Lee finished school in Hawaii and then began performing in Hawaiian
      shows on the United States mainland, where he stayed for ten years.
      He was working as a knife dancer in a show in the Hawaiian Room of
      New York's Lexington Hotel when he met his wife Nani, who was a hula
      dancer. They moved back to Hawaii in 1961, where he worked as a
      performer and doorman for Honey's nightclub in Kaneohe. This is
      where he became friends with the owner's son, Don Ho.

      It was in 1964 that Kui Lee wrote "I'll Remember You". It was in
      that same year he discovered he had cancer. "I'll Remember You" has
      been recorded by Don Ho, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Roger
      Williams, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and others. Elvis made his
      studio recording of it on June 12, 1966 in Nashville. In the 1970s,
      Elvis often sang it in concert and it was captured on some of his
      concert albums, including, of course, the especially beautiful
      rendition on his 1973 "Aloha from Hawaii" soundtrack.

      Kui Lee Cancer Fund founder Eddie Sherman, who also wrote a
      screenplay about Lee, said of Kui Lee, "...He loved Hawaii with a
      tremendous passion. If you listen to his lyrics, you'll hear the
      soul of a poet..."

      Don Ho, who recorded many of Kui Lee's songs, said of their deep
      bond, "...We both felt that the people of Hawaii should try to
      create their own music - take it to a different level from the hula-
      type music into a more cosmopolitan level."

      Kui Lee was a champion of Hawaiian culture, which he demonstrated by
      promoting the Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was concerned about the
      insurgence of foreigners, whom he felt had, in the early days of
      Hawaii's statehood, plundered the natural beauty of the islands for
      their own wealth and greed. He spent much of the last months of his
      life organizing and sponsoring a surf club, the Kui O Hawaii Surf
      Team.

      Kui Lee went to Mexico for laetrile treatments, but became weaker
      and weaker. He managed to record two albums while fighting cancer,
      the latter of which debuted the day before his death in December
      1966. He left behind his wife Nani, their son and three daughters,
      as well as a legacy of music and love for his beloved Hawaiian
      Islands.


      ============================


      Beyond The Reef : The Elvis - Hawaii Connection
      Jakob Skjernaa Hansen
      http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/articles_elvishawaii.shtml


      Much has been written about the various musical styles that
      influenced Elvis: Country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, pop and rhythm
      & blues. However, one very distinct style has always been omitted
      from this list: Hawaiian music. From the early 20th century Hawaiian
      music or Hawaiian-inspired music was present in the U.S. both as an
      influence on various forms of popular music as well an artistic and
      commercial force of it's own.

      There can be little doubt that Elvis loved Hawaiian music.
      From 'Harbor Lights' in 1954 to 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' in 1977 the
      influence of Hawaiian music is found in his music both recorded and
      performed live, although admittedly not as permanently as e.g.
      country or gospel. However, the presence of Hawaiian songs in his
      home-recordings shows us that Elvis actually liked this kind of
      music very much. Hawaii was also in other aspects important to Elvis
      career, as it set the scene for the three of his movies, including
      perhaps the most popular of all, 'Blue Hawaii', and for his most
      famous concert of all, the 'Aloha From Hawaii' concert inn January,
      1973.

      I have found only one other piece dealing specifically with the
      subject of Elvis and Hawaii. In 'In Search Of Elvis: Music, Race,
      Art, Religion' edited by Vernon Chadwick there is a comparative
      analysis of Elvis' three Hawaiian films and Herman Melville's 'Moby
      Dick'. It deals, however, only with the films themselves and not
      with music. It is therefore quite relevant to try to look at an
      otherwise overlooked aspect of Elvis' career: The Elvis-Hawaii
      connection

      There are three aims to this article: The first one is to give a
      short history of the origins and development of Hawaiian music and
      it's influence on American popular music. The second is to discuss
      the influence of Hawaiian music on Elvis' music through his
      recordings of Hawaiian songs. The third is to discuss the other
      connections between Elvis and Hawaii.

      In a very narrow definition on Hawaiian music, most of the songs
      that are instantly recognized throughout the world as Hawaiian would
      not count as Hawaiian at all. This definition would describe as
      Hawaiian music only the musical forms that were being sung and
      played in Hawaii prior to the first western visitors. This music,
      probably mainly a percussion based, polyrhythmic form for tribal and
      religious purposes, has got little in common with what we today call
      Hawaiian music. I therefore use a broader definition in which the
      term Hawaiian music is used to describe a quite wide spectrum of
      music which has as common ground a use of songs, melodies or
      instruments linked to Hawaii. An important sub-genre of Hawaiian
      music for this article is known as hapa-haole, or 'half-white'.
      These are songs written in or translated to English with a specific
      commercial purpose. Almost all the Hawaiian songs that Elvis
      recorded fall into this category.

      The development of Hawaiian music

      It is impossible to understand the development of Hawaiian music in
      the last 200 years outside of a framework provided by the
      interaction between western society and Hawaiian society. Hawaiian
      music is the product of the meeting between the western world and
      the Hawaiian world, and without western colonisation of Hawaii it
      would not have emerged. Thus, the changing face of western popular
      music, itself a product of a changing society, have been the primary
      dynamo for the developments and changes in Hawaiian music.

      To give a very short overview, the development of Hawaiian music can
      be divided into seven separate periods: I. 1820-1872 marks the span
      between the arrival of the first missionaries and the first
      professional Hawaiian band. The missionaries brought along hymn
      harmony singing and guitars (as well as other instruments), and the
      merchant ships brought along secular music from Mexico, Italy,
      Germany etc. Hawaiian music is truly world music in that terms most
      absolute sense, but very little evidence is known from this period.
      II. 1872-app. 1900. In 1872 Henry Berger formed the first
      professional orchestra - also being one of the most famous Hawaiians
      groups of all time, The Royal Hawaiian Band that played a generic
      form of Hawaiian music that was distinct from other western musical
      forms. It is from this time that the earliest known Hawaiian popular
      songs stem, among them 'Aloha 'Oe' written and published in 187x by
      Queen Liliuokalani. III. App. 1895-app. 1915. The beginning of the
      influence of American urban music on Hawaiian music via ragtime.
      Also the beginning of the reverse process of Hawaiian music
      influencing American popular music. During this period the first
      Hawaiian musicians performed and recorded in USA. IV. App. 1915-
      1930. The first wave of the extremely high popularity of Hawaiian
      music began during World War I and continued during the depression
      in the 20's and 30's. The popularity of Hawaiian music began to
      spread to other parts of the world, in particular Great Britain and
      Scandinavia. Musically this period was characterized by "jazzed up"
      Tin Pan Alley versions of hapa haole songs as well as original
      Hawaiian songs e.g. 'On The Beach at Waikiki'. This is also the
      period in which Hawaiian instruments - most significantly the steel
      guitar - begin to make their way into other forms of American music,
      an issue I shall briefly touch upon later.

      V. App. 1930 to 1960. This is the golden age of Hawaiian and
      Hawaiian-inspired popular music, and the period which both shaped
      and contained Elvis' Hawaiian recordings. Even though Elvis made his
      Hawaiian recordings - bar one - after this period, it must be
      considered an extension of it rather than a new period. Hapa haole
      has become big business due to the extremely high popularity of
      Hawaiian music, instruments - and images. The Hawaiian image -
      whether real, imagined or commercially constructed - is very
      important here, as Hollywood began producing movies taking place in
      Hawaii. The spreading of radio (and later television) and record
      players is of course significant. It is during this period that many
      of the greatest Hawaiian songs are written and Hawaiian musicians
      enjoy great popularity both as recording and performing artists.
      Most importantly, many Hawaiian songs are being recorded by American
      artists like Bing Crosby. VI. App. 1960 to 1970. This period was
      marked by a decline of interest in Hawaiian music both in Hawaii and
      in the USA, as the charts and the radio became dominated by rock and
      roll. The remaining Hawaiian music drifted with increasing speed
      toward MOR-pop. VII. 1970 to the present. As many other forms
      of 'ethnic' music, Hawaiian music has experienced an increase in
      interest in the last thirty years. However, this has been in the
      form of a reaction against the hapa haole and the whole tendency
      of 'Americanisation' of Hawaiian music in the 20th century. Thus, in
      the 1970's lyrics began again to be written in Hawaiian and the
      music was played more like a hundred years before. Today, Hawaiian
      music is an integrated part of the 'world music' phenomenon, and has
      very little direct importance to American or European popular music,
      commercially or creatively.

      Hawaiian music in American popular music

      As mentioned above the period 1930-1960 was the golden age of
      Hawaiian music. In an America marked by the depression there was
      apparently a very large market for the fluid tones and exotic images
      of Hawaiian music, which provided a welcome opportunity to escape
      from real life problems for a few minutes. There are three important
      parts to the story: Hawaiian songs and musicians, American singers
      and record companies and - perhaps most important - Hollywood. It
      was during this period that many of the greatest and most well known
      Hawaiian songs were written by songwriters like Harry Owens and
      Johnny Noble. Among the most famous songs from this period
      are: 'Blue Hawaii', 'Hawaiian Cowboy' and 'Sweet Leilani'. It was
      also during this period that some of the greatest Hawaiian musicians
      like guitarists Sol Hoopii and Lani McIntyre and the singer Alfred
      Apaka enjoyed great popularity on the US mainland both as recording
      and performing artists. From the last part of the period, the great
      song writing and performing team of Kuiokalani Lee and Don Ho also
      has to be mentioned.

      However, the person who took most Hawaiian songs to the charts was
      Bing Crosby, who in the 1930's, 40's and 50's recorded a very large
      number of songs including the original version of 'Blue Hawaii'. The
      musical backing was supplied by various Hawaiian bands including
      both Hoopii and McIntyre. Among the other popular singers who
      recorded many Hawaiian songs were Billy Eckstine, who 'Harbor
      Lights' in the early 50's.

      Perhaps the media most crucial to the widespread popularity of
      Hawaiian music was the movie, as a very large number of the popular
      Hawaiian songs originated from movies. Over the years more than 90
      films have been made in Hawaii, primarily by American filmmakers and
      almost everyone featuring heavily the music of Hawaii - or, rather,
      the music of Hawaii processed through the Hollywood machine. The
      Hawaiian movies were pioneered by RKO-Radio's Bird of Paradise in
      1932 starring Bing Crosby, thus helping greatly to create and
      sustain the 'exotic' and romantic already brought forth by the
      lyrics to the hapa haole songs. Just listen to the lyrics to 'Blue
      Hawaii' and you'll get the point. Other popular Hawaiian-themed
      films are: 'Waikiki Wedding (1937), 'Hawaiian Nights' (1939)
      and 'Lure of The Islands' (1942). Among the most successful movie
      companies to produce Hawaiian movies were Paramount, who would later
      produce all three of Elvis' Hawaii-films.

      The influence of Hawaiian instruments

      Perhaps the most distinct feature of Hawaiian music, apart from the
      lyrics and the melodic structure, is the instrumentation and
      especially the steel guitar and the ukulele. When the sound of these
      two instruments is heard, you always know where you're headed. But
      one of these instruments, the steel guitar, is also the media,
      through which Hawaiian music has made it's most consistent, lasting
      and indirect contributions to American popular music in general.

      The steel guitar was invented in Hawaii in 1885 by Joseph Kekuku,
      who developed the playing method of sliding a steel bar against the
      strings above the frets, thus producing the long glissando that is
      the characteristic feature of all later forms of steel guitar, pedal
      steel, slide guitar and bottleneck slide. Though technical
      adjustments and improvements were made along the way, the basics of
      the steel guitar are still the same today as 100 years today. As
      mentioned several times, in the first decades of the 20th century
      Hawaiian music became increasingly popular on the U.S. mainland.
      This popularity was to a large degree owed to the melancholic sound
      of the steel guitar, which apparently touched a certain tone in a
      lot of people and became almost instantly extremely popular.

      In the first decades the steel guitar was seen mostly as a novelty
      instruments and was played only by Hawaiians or in groups playing
      Hawaiian music, but a least around 1920 the instruments was firmly
      established as an instrument in it's own right. At this time country
      music pioneers such as Jimmie Rodgers, whom Elvis greatly admired,
      began accompanying themselves on steel guitar, but also even earlier
      string bands began using the instrument. It was through country
      music that one of the most radical transformations of the
      instruments took place as it was electrified. When larger groups
      including several fiddles and reeds became popular in the 30's as
      western swing swept the country, the guitar - both the regular one
      and the steel guitar - had increasingly difficulty getting heard,
      and the solution was to support them with an electric pickup. The
      man generally credited as the inventor of the electric steel guitar
      is Bob Dunn, who played with Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies.
      From there it was only a short step to putting pedals on the
      instrument, and this turning it into the pedal steel guitar,
      pioneered by Leon McAuliffe and later most admirably practioned by
      Jerry Byrd, one of the foremost Nashville session men of the 50's
      and 60's who also played on many of Elvis' Hawaiian recordings.

      The black musicians also took the instrument with the new seductive
      sound to their hearts. In the 20's it became very common as a blues
      instrument, often played with the broken neck of a glass bottle
      instead of a steel bar, thus acquiring the label 'bottleneck'
      guitar. Playing often in noisy juke joints, the blues musicians too
      experienced the problem of getting through. The first solution was
      not to electrify, but to play a guitar with a plate of medal instead
      of a hole, which resonated the tones to greater effect. The full
      metal body guitar, the most famous of which is the National steel
      guitar, followed this. Among the pioneering blues guitarists to use
      the steel guitar were Son House and Robert Johnson. After WWII the
      acoustic guitar was substituted by electric guitars but still being
      played Hawaiian style with a bottleneck or a glass cylinder, as
      pioneered by Elmore James.

      Hawaiian music in American popular music

      As mentioned above the period 1930-1960 was the golden age of
      Hawaiian music. In an America marked by the depression there was
      apparently a very large market for the fluid tones and exotic images
      of Hawaiian music, which provided a welcome opportunity to escape
      from real life problems for a few minutes. There are three important
      parts to the story: Hawaiian songs and musicians, American singers
      and record companies and - perhaps most important - Hollywood. It
      was during this period that many of the greatest and most well known
      Hawaiian songs were written by songwriters like Harry Owens and
      Johnny Noble. Among the most famous songs from this period
      are: 'Blue Hawaii', 'Hawaiian Cowboy' and 'Sweet Leilani'. It was
      also during this period that some of the greatest Hawaiian musicians
      like guitarists Sol Hoopii and Lani McIntyre and the singer Alfred
      Apaka enjoyed great popularity on the US mainland both as recording
      and performing artists. From the last part of the period, the great
      song writing and performing team of Kuiokalani Lee and Don Ho also
      has to be mentioned.

      However, the person who took most Hawaiian songs to the charts was
      Bing Crosby, who in the 1930's, 40's and 50's recorded a very large
      number of songs including the original version of 'Blue Hawaii'. The
      musical backing was supplied by various Hawaiian bands including
      both Hoopii and McIntyre. Among the other popular singers who
      recorded and had hits with Hawaiian songs were The Mills Brothers,
      Sinatra and Billy Eckstine. Also, a number of country stars such as
      Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Marty Robbins had big hits with songs
      such as 'Hawaiian Cowboy'.

      Perhaps the media most crucial to the widespread popularity of
      Hawaiian music was the movie, as a very large number of the popular
      Hawaiian songs originated from movies. Over the years more than 90
      films have been made in Hawaii, primarily by American filmmakers and
      almost everyone featuring heavily the music of Hawaii - or, rather,
      the music of Hawaii processed through the Hollywood machine. The
      Hawaiian movies were pioneered by RKO-Radio's Bird of Paradise in
      1932 starring Bing Crosby, thus helping greatly to create and
      sustain the 'exotic' and romantic already brought forth by the
      lyrics to the hapa haole songs. Just listen to the lyrics to 'Blue
      Hawaii' and you'll get the point. Other popular Hawaiian-themed
      films are: 'Waikiki Wedding (1937), 'Hawaiian Nights' (1939)
      and 'Lure of The Islands' (1942). Among the most successful movie
      companies to produce Hawaiian movies were Paramount, who would later
      produce all three of Elvis' Hawaii-films.

      The influence of Hawaiian instruments

      Perhaps the most distinct feature of Hawaiian music, apart from the
      lyrics and the melodic structure, is the instrumentation and
      especially the steel guitar and the ukulele. When the sound of these
      two instruments is heard, you always know where you're headed. But
      one of these instruments, the steel guitar, is also the media,
      through which Hawaiian music has made it's most consistent, lasting
      and indirect contributions to American popular music in general.

      The steel guitar was invented in Hawaii in 1885 by Joseph Kekuku,
      who developed the playing method of sliding a steel bar against the
      strings above the frets, thus producing the long glissando that is
      the characteristic feature of all later forms of steel guitar, pedal
      steel, slide guitar and bottleneck slide. Though technical
      adjustments and improvements were made along the way, the basics of
      the steel guitar are still the same today as 100 years today. As
      mentioned several times, in the first decades of the 20th century
      Hawaiian music became increasingly popular on the U.S. mainland.
      This popularity was to a large degree owed to the melancholic sound
      of the steel guitar, which apparently touched a certain tone in a
      lot of people and became almost instantly extremely popular.

      In the first decades the steel guitar was seen mostly as a novelty
      instruments and was played only by Hawaiians or in groups playing
      Hawaiian music, but a least around 1920 the instrument was firmly
      established as an instrument in it's own right. At this time country
      music pioneers such as Jimmie Rodgers, whom Elvis greatly admired,
      and Cliff Carlisle began accompanying themselves on steel guitar,
      but also even earlier string bands began using the instrument. It
      was through the integration in country music that one of the most
      radical transformations of the instruments took place as it was
      electrified. When larger groups including several fiddles and reeds
      became popular in the 30's as western swing swept the country, the
      guitar - both the regular one and the steel guitar - had
      increasingly difficulty getting heard, and the solution was to
      support them with an electric pickup. The man generally credited as
      the inventor of the electric steel guitar is Bob Dunn, who played
      with Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies. From there it was only a
      short step to putting pedals on the instrument, and this turning it
      into the pedal steel guitar, pioneered by Leon McAuliffe and later
      most admirably practioned by Jerry Byrd, one of the foremost
      Nashville session men of the 50's and 60's who also played on many
      of Elvis' Hawaiian recordings.

      The black musicians also took the instrument with the new seductive
      sound to their hearts. In the 20's it became very common as a blues
      instrument, often played with the broken neck of a glass bottle
      instead of a steel bar, thus acquiring the label 'bottleneck'
      guitar. Playing often in noisy juke joints, the blues musicians too
      experienced the problem of getting through. The first solution was
      not to electrify, but to play a guitar with a plate of medal instead
      of a hole, which resonated the tones to greater effect. This was
      followed by the full metal body guitar, the most famous of which is
      the National steel guitar. Among the pioneering blues guitarists to
      use the steel guitar were Son House and Robert Johnson. After World
      War II the acoustic guitar was substituted by electric guitars but
      still being played Hawaiian style with a bottleneck or a glass
      cylinder, as pioneered by Elmore James.

      The Hawaiian music of Elvis Presley

      Throughout his entire career Elvis performed - whether at home, in
      the recording studio or on a concert stage - Hawaiian or Hawaiian-
      influenced songs. Below they're dealt with chronologically from 1954
      through to 1977.

      The earliest Hawaiian recordings

      The first recording by Elvis to showcase his love for Hawaiian-
      influenced music, was actually also the very first attempt at
      recording commercially, that he ever did, as 'Harbor Lights' was
      recorded before 'That's All Right' on July 5th, 1954. The song was
      written in 1937 in the middle of the second great wave of Hawaiian-
      influenced pop-music in the form of the hapa-haole songs by Jimmy
      Kennedy and Hugh Williams. It was recorded first the same year it
      was written by among others the great balladeer Rudy Vallee, and it
      was revived in 1950 when Hawaii-pop was again sweeping the country
      by Sammy Kaye, who recorded many Hawaiian songs and placed them on
      the charts. Other popular versions were made in the early fifties by
      Guy Lombardo and Bing Crosby, and it could have been any of these
      recordings that Elvis had in mind when he tried out the song. It was
      as far removed from the sound, that Sam Phillips had in mind as it
      could've been, but that doesn't discredit it from being a very
      credible take on the song. The recording remained unreleased until
      1976, when RCA finally released it on Elvis - A Legendary Performer
      Vol. 2. The guitar playing of Scotty Moore contributes greatly to
      the Hawaiian feel of the performance and it's impossible to imagine
      that he didn't consciously try to imitate the sound of a Hawaiian
      guitar.

      This was also the case with the sessions' other 'lost' performance
      with a Hawaiian-influenced sound. The song was 'I Love You Because',
      which was written by perhaps the greatest of all steel guitarists,
      Leon Payne of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, in 1949. The Hawaiian
      connection might seem limited and is not as obvious as with 'Harbor
      Lights', but when Scotty Moore emulated Payne's steel guitar on his
      own regular electric guitar, the circle is almost closed as his
      guitar sounds very close to sound of a regular Hawaiian guitar. This
      recording was not deemed worthy for release by Sam Phillips, but was
      released by RCA on Elvis' first LP, Elvis Presley in a spliced
      version. A complete take wasn't released until 1974 on Elvis - A
      Legendary Performer Vol. 1.

      In between his professional attempts at recording Hawaiian music,
      Elvis also made some other recordings which are perhaps the most
      important evidence we have as proof that Hawaiian music, as much as
      being something Elvis recorded because Colonel Parker or somebody
      else thought it was in commercial terms a good idea, was also a
      musical form very dear to him in his civilian life. On several
      occasions a tape recorder was deliberately left running and caught
      Elvis singing his favourite songs with his friends, accompanying
      himself on guitar and piano. The Elvis that shows his face on these
      often very rough and noisy recordings is often a very different
      Elvis than the one who recorded professionally for RCA. On several
      occasions did these informal jam sessions feature Hawaiian songs?

      In 1960, the tape recorder caught Elvis and his friend, wardrobegirl
      Nancy Sharpe in Elvis' house on Monoval Drive in Hollywood,
      performing a number of songs including two different versions
      of 'Sweet Leilani', one of the most popular hapa haole songs ever
      written. It was composed by the great Hawaiian bandleader Harry
      Owens commemorating the birth of his daughter, and was first
      recorded by Bing Crosby in 1935 with such tremendous success (two
      million copies sold in two weeks) that it was credited with reviving
      the entire recording industry from the depression. Being a big fan
      of Bing Crosby, there is little doubt that Elvis was very early on
      acquainted with this song from the radio. The recordings of 'Sweet
      Leilani' with Elvis and Nancy Sharpe are not much in musical terms
      as Nancy clearly remembers the lyrics better than Elvis and
      unfortunately can't sing in key. Elvis, though, does his best and
      accompanies on piano and shows that he was familiar with the basic
      chords of Hawaiian melodies. Elvis and Nancy also sang 'Beyond The
      Reef', but I will deal with that song later on in it's proper
      context. These recordings were finally released in 1999 on the
      Follow That Dream-release In A Private Moment.

      The BLUE HAWAII soundtrack

      In 1961 Elvis recorded the greatest and most extensive collection of
      Hawaiian music of his entire career, which is of course the
      soundtrack for his incredibly popular movie Blue Hawaii. The
      soundtrack was recorded over just three days from March 21st-23rd,
      1961 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Featuring Elvis' usual 60's
      soundtrack musicians, it should be noted in this particular context
      that the steel guitar was played by Alvino Rey and the ukulele was
      played by Fred Tavares and Bernie Lewis. Besides Hawaiian songs, the
      soundtrack also featured a number of songs derived from other styles
      such as Latin, Caribbean and pop, which I shall not deal with here.
      More interesting, the soundtracks features a number of older
      Hawaiian songs and a small handful of songs written specifically for
      this soundtrack but as Hawaiian as any other hapa haole song from
      earlier decades.

      Elvis' recording of 'Aloha Oe' ('Farewell' in Hawaiian) marks one of
      the few times that Elvis recorded a genuine Hawaiian song in the
      sense that 'Aloha Oe' was actually written in Hawaii and in the
      Hawaiian language. The song, one of the most famous and popular
      Hawaiian songs of all time, was written in 1878 by Queen
      Lili'uokalani, the last reigning queen of Hawaii, who was one of the
      most prolific Hawaiian songwriters ever. It was soon adapted as the
      trademark song of The Royal Hawaiian Band and was played every time
      a great steamship left the harbor. In the 1920's it was translated
      to English and was a major hit in 1936 for Bing Crosby, who sang it
      in the very popular movie 'Hawaii Calls', and again in 1938 for
      Harry Owens. In Elvis' version, the song is introduced with a
      Hawaiian chant, an 'oli', not otherwise connected to 'Aloha Oe'. The
      chant and the verse of the song are sung by vocal group The Serfers
      while Elvis sings only the chorus, getting the Hawaiian
      pronunciation almost right.

      One of the most popular songs from the soundtrack, and one of Elvis'
      most popular songs overall, was 'Blue Hawaii'. Written in 1937 by
      the Paramount Pictures song writing team of composer Leo Robin and
      lyricist Ralph Rainger, this song, too, was a hit for Bing Crosby as
      it was used in another of his Hawaiian-set movies, 'Waikiki Wedding,
      with backing by Lani McIntire and His Hawaiian, themselves an
      extreme popular Hawaiian act of the 1930's and 40's. Also in the
      30's legendary movie cowboy hero Gene Autry had a country hit with
      the song, and in the 50's it was recorded by both Frank Sinatra and
      Billy Vaughn.

      The last of the soundtracks older, Hawaiian songs was 'Hawaiian
      Wedding Song', which was written in 1926 by Charles E. King under
      the Hawaiian title 'Ke Kali Nei Au', while the English lyrics were
      written in 1958 by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning. In this version the
      song was a million-seller in 1959 for Andy Williams, but the melody
      with other lyrics had already been a hit as 'Here Ends The Rainbow'
      in 1951 for Bing Crosby (yes, him again!). Elvis' recording
      of 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' mixes the Hawaiian and English lyrics as
      both The Serfers, who provided the backing vocals, and Elvis himself
      sings a few lines taken from the original Hawaiian version of the
      song.

      Moreover, the soundtracks included three newly written songs with a
      distinct Hawaiian feel: 'Ku-U-I-Po' (meaning 'Hawaiian sweetheart')
      was composed by the team of Peretti, Creatore and Weiss, who were
      also responsible for the million selling single from the
      soundtrack, 'Can't Help Falling In Love With You'. Sid Tepper and
      Roy Bennett wrote both of the two last songs, 'Hawaiian Sunset'
      and 'Island Of Love'. Considering these songs it is evident that
      they fulfil every criteria for hapa haole songs: Hawaiian melodic
      structure, Hawaiian instrumentation (steel guitar and ukulele) and
      lyrics dealing with the exotica and beauty of Hawaii. They can
      therefore be considered some of the very last examples of this great
      genre, as the 60's marked the last chapter of any commercially
      important influence of Hawaiian music on American popular music.

      The soundtrack to Blue Hawaii was released in October of 1961 and
      has gone on to become the best selling of all Elvis Presley albums.
      As of 1998 it had gone double platinum in the U.S., meaning that it
      had sold in excess of 2 million copies. In 1997, to commemorate the
      20th anniversary of Elvis' passing it was re-released with several
      bonus cuts including a very strong alternate take of 'Blue Hawaii'
      without overdubs, which makes the Hawaiian feel even more evident.
      Also, a large number of outtakes have been made available on import
      albums, both LP and CD. Especially recommended is

      The PARADISE, HAWAIIAN STYLE soundtrack

      In between 'Blue Hawaii' and Paradise Hawaiian Style lies the
      soundtrack to Elvis' third Hawaiian located movie, Girls!, Girls!,
      Girls!, from 1962. It features, however, not one single song with
      even a very distant Hawaiian connection, and it is therefore not
      dealt with here.

      It is amazing to consider the difference between the soundtracks
      for 'Blue Hawaii' and 'Paradise Hawaiian Style'. Where the first
      featured inspired singing by Elvis, and a very strong selection of
      song, the second is decidedly one of the weakest of all of Elvis'
      soundtracks. The song selection is very unfortunate; it has got very
      little to do with Hawaiian music (not even the title track!) and
      includes several of the worst songs Elvis ever recorded
      like 'Queenie Wahine's Papaya'. The soundtrack was recorded in two
      sessions on July 26th and 27th, 1965, when the instrumental tracks
      were recorded and August 2nd to 4th, when the vocals were recorded,
      and features on steel guitar Bernal Lewis while no ukulele player is
      listed. Probably, one of the five (!) guitar players featured on the
      sessions emulated the sound of an ukulele on a regular acoustic
      guitar.

      The soundtrack features just two songs of any interest for this
      article. Again, Sid Tepper and Roy Bennett were responsible for a
      credible pastiche on the many 1930's Hawaiian songs with 'Drums Of
      The Island', the melody of which was based on an old Tongan
      chant 'Bula Lai', so that the rhythm pattern for this song actually
      is of pre-colonization, pacific origin. The melody is copyrighted by
      The Polynesian Cultural Center, who are therefore credited for the
      song together with Tepper and Bennett. The two versions of the tune
      heard in the actual movie are different and slightly longer than the
      studio version; they have not been released. The songwriting team of
      Giant, Baum & Kaye wrote many of the bad songs for the soundtracks
      but also managed to come up with one small pearl in 'This Is My
      Heaven' which isn't too bad in spite of never reaching the level of
      any of the 'Blue Hawaii' songs. A few of the other songs of the
      soundtrack features steel guitar but attached e.g. to a rhumba beat,
      which goes to show that steel guitar alone does not make a song
      Hawaiian. It's got to have that special Hawaiian feel, too.

      The album was released in June of 1966 and actually made it to
      number 15 on the charts, which is far more than it deserved. In
      1999, a nice outtake of 'This Is My Heaven' appeared on the Follow
      That Dream release Out In Hollywood. Also in this case, a large
      number of outtakes have been released on import records such as The
      Complete Paradide, Hawaiian Style Sessions. They are, however, not
      of much interest.

      1966 Recordings

      My previous assumption that the various home recordings of the mid-
      60's can be seen as a correctivum to the official, studio recordings
      of the same period (put forth in a review of the 1999 release 'The
      Home Recordings') can be illustrated by comparing the soundtrack
      to 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' to the official as well as unofficial
      recordings of Hawaiian songs made within less than a year of each
      other.

      In February, 1966, another session of Elvis singing with his
      friends, this time Red West and Charlie Hodge, was captured on
      cassette, and once again it features several Hawaiian songs. First
      up is another try on 'Beyond The Reef', which was also included in
      the informal sessions in 1960, and, very interesting, 'Blue Hawaii',
      showing that even five years after recording the song professionally
      Elvis still liked it enough to play it for nothing but his own
      pleasure. 'Beyond The Reef' was written in 1948 by Jack Pittman and
      recorded in 1950 by both Bing Crosby and Jimmy Wakely, whom Elvis
      also covered in his 1954 recording of 'It Wouldn't Be The Same
      Without You'. In the 50's the song became the theme song of Alfred
      Apaka, that periods' most popular singer of Hawaiian songs.

      On May 26th, 1966, Elvis, Red and Charlie again tackled 'Beyond The
      Reef' but this time in more professional surroundings as the song
      was recorded during a break in the middle of the fabulous sessions
      for How Great Thou Art, with steel guitarist Pete Drake assuring the
      needed Hawaiian atmosphere. The song was probably not recorded with
      the intention of commercial release, and remained unreleased. In
      1968, however, Felton Jarvis overdubbed the track to see if he could
      make it suitable for release. Among the musicians used in this
      overdub session was the great Jerry Byrd, the most famous Hawaiian
      steel guitar player in Nashville. Still, the song wasn't released
      this time around and only became available on the 1980 box set Elvis
      Aron Presley. The undubbed master was eventually released in 1993 on
      From Nashville To Memphis, and proved to be a delight.

      Barely a month later, on June 10th-12th, 1966, Elvis recorded the
      last studio Hawaiian recording of his career. With Pete Drake again
      playing his trademark steel, Elvis recorded one of the finest
      Hawaiian performances he ever did in 'I'll Remember You'. The song
      has become a modern Hawaiian classic, and Elvis' performance is
      perhaps the ultimate performance of the it. 'I'll Remember You' was
      composed by the famous Hawaiian songwriter Kuiokalani ('Kui') Lee
      probably in the late 1950's. The song was first sung by Hawaiian
      entertainment legend Don Ho, with whom Lee struck up a song writing
      and performing partnership in the early 60's. Lee died at age thirty-
      four in late 1966 from cancer, and it was to benefit the cancer
      research foundation set up in his name, that Elvis performed the
      Aloha From Hawaii TV-special in 1973.

      Live in the 70's

      Though Elvis ceased to record Hawaiian material in the studio, by no
      means did the Hawaiian songs disappear from his world. Throughout
      the 70's the Hawaiian songs would continue at one time or another to
      be present in his live performances as from summer, 1971 onwards
      Elvis included in many of his concerts one or two, and on occasion
      referred to 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' as his most requested song.
      This, once again, goes to show both that Elvis still had an affinity
      for these songs, and that his audience did, too.

      'Hawaii Wedding Song' was a regular in Elvis' live performance as
      early as the first Lake Tahoe season in July/August of 1971, and
      remained there for the Las Vegas season in August/September, the
      fall tour in November and the next Las Vegas season in
      January/February, 1973. In the next couple of years it was performed
      at single occasions, but it made it's comeback as a staple of the
      live repertoire in the September/October, 1974 tour and stayed there
      almost without exception right until the last tour of June, 1977. It
      was recorded live in the spring of 1977 and issued on the final live
      document of Elvis' slide into the darkness, In Concert. This is
      unfortunately the only officially released live version of the song,
      not counting the Aloha From Hawaii version mentioned below.

      'I'll Remember You' made it's entry as a concert song in the Las
      Vegas season of January/February, 1972 and stayed in the show
      permanently until the tour of June/July, 1973. It made a comeback in
      the Las Vegas season of March/April, 1975 and stayed for the best
      part of the year after which it disappeared again. It can be heard
      both on An Afternoon In The Garden and Aloha From Hawaii, as well as
      several other albums and numerous bootlegs. In addition to these
      songs being regularly performed, both 'Blue Hawaii' and 'Ku-U-I-Po'
      were performed on one or two occasions as one-liners, dying in
      infantry because members of the band were not familiar with them.

      Elvis' single biggest live performance of his Hawaiian material came
      naturally enough in connection with the recording of the 'Aloha From
      Hawaii' TV-special in January 1973. The show itself featured 'I'll
      Remember You', and in a special taping after the actual show had
      ended, Elvis and the band performed 'Blue Hawaii', 'Ku-U-I-Po'
      and 'Hawaiian Wedding Song', as well as 'No More' and 'Early Morning
      Rain'. Even though these songs are recorded with the regular
      instrumentation of the band, they still maintain a distinct Hawaiian
      quality, due mainly to James Burton magnificent guitar playing (that
      man can make an electric guitar sound like anything!) and the great
      melodic flair of Glenn D. Hardin. After years of being spread on
      several obscure releases, these fine performances were finally put
      back in their correct context, when they were released on the 25th
      Anniversary Edition of Aloha From Hawaii.

      Performing Hawaiian songs in the 70's

      Though Elvis ceased to record Hawaiian material in the studio, by no
      means did the Hawaiian songs disappear from his world. Throughout
      the 70's the Hawaiian songs would continue at one time or another to
      be present in his live performances, as from the summer of 1971
      onwards Elvis regularly included one or two Hawaiian songs in his
      set-lists, and on several occasions referred to 'Hawaiian Wedding
      Song' as his most requested song. This, once again, goes to show
      both that Elvis still had an affinity for these songs, and that his
      audience did, too.

      'Hawaiian Wedding Song' was a regular in Elvis' live performance as
      early as the first Lake Tahoe season in July/August of 1971, and
      remained there for the Las Vegas season in August/September, the
      fall tour in November and the next Las Vegas season in
      January/February, 1972. In the next couple of years it was performed
      every once in a while, but it made its comeback as a staple of the
      live repertoire in the September/October, 1974 tour and stayed there
      almost without exception right until the last tour of June, 1977. It
      was recorded live in Rapid City on June 21st , 1977 and was issued
      on the final live document of Elvis' slide into the darkness, Elvis
      In Concert. This is unfortunately the only officially released live
      version of the song, not counting the Aloha From Hawaii version
      mentioned below.

      'I'll Remember You' made its entry as a concert song in the Las
      Vegas season of January/February, 1972 and stayed in the show
      permanently until the tour of June/July, 1973. It made a comeback in
      the Las Vegas season of March/April, 1975 and stayed for the best
      part of the year after which it disappeared again. It can be heard
      both on An Afternoon In The Garden and Aloha From Hawaii, as well as
      several other albums and numerous bootlegs. In addition to these
      songs being regularly performed, both 'Blue Hawaii' and 'Ku-U-I-Po'
      were performed on one or two occasions - as 'one-liners' only,
      unfortunately.

      Elvis' single biggest live performance of his Hawaiian material came
      naturally enough in connection with the recording of the 'Aloha From
      Hawaii' TV-special in January 1973. The show itself featured 'I'll
      Remember You', and in a special taping after the actual show had
      ended, Elvis and the band performed 'Blue Hawaii', 'Ku-U-I-Po'
      and 'Hawaiian Wedding Song', as well as 'No More' and 'Early Morning
      Rain'. Even though these songs are recorded with the regular
      instrumentation of the band, they still maintain a distinct Hawaiian
      quality, due mainly to James Burton magnificent guitar playing (that
      man can make an electric guitar sound like anything!) and the great
      melodic flair of Glen D. Hardin. After years of being spread on
      several obscure releases, these fine performances were finally put
      back in their correct context, when they were released on the 25th
      Anniversary Edition of Aloha From Hawaii.

      Concerts In Hawaii

      During his career as a performing artist Elvis performed in Hawaii
      just four times between 1957 and 1973, giving a total of nine
      concerts there. However, almost every one of them was in one aspect
      or the other significant or even crucial to his career.

      On November 10th, 1957, Elvis performed two concerts at the Honolulu
      Stadium in Honolulu. The history behind these shows go a long way in
      showing in a nutshell the personality of Elvis' manager, Col. Tom
      Parker. During a press conference held aboard the ship, on which
      Elvis arrived in Hawaii on the 8th, he talked about these concerts,
      and discussed the postponement of the filming of King Creole. Thanks
      to Al Dvorin, it later became known that Colonel Parker
      actually 'lost' these concerts to promoter Lee Gordon, who wanted to
      book Elvis to tour Australia, in a roll of dices. So the Colonel
      said "go" and Elvis went - he left on November 5th on the USS
      Matsonia and aboard telegrammed the Honolulu Star: "Aloha, very
      enjoyable trip. Sunbathing, swimming, tennis, reading."

      Elvis was greeted on his arrival by approx. 4.000 fans, and after
      the press conference checked into the Hawaiian Village Hotel, while
      the band arrived later in the day by plane. The two Honolulu
      concerts were seen by an estimated 15.000 fans, who had the
      opportunity to see Elvis, sporting his gold lamé jacket, black shirt
      and black trousers, performing a very strong set including
      favourites such as 'Don't Be Cruel', 'That's When Your Heartaches
      Begin' and as the closing number 'Hound Dog', which had Elvis
      jumping on the lawn in front of the stage to kiss a girl and put on
      a coconut-hat!

      On the next day, November 11th, Elvis performed a third concert,
      this time in Schofield Barracks Military Reservation, which was part
      of the residential area of the US Naval's Hawaii base. Here Elvis
      performed for no less than 10.000 fans made up mostly of U.S.
      servicemen and their families. Afterwards he held another press
      conference at the hotel's Carrousel Room, and the day after that
      Elvis left Hawaii, departing for Los Angeles at 4 p.m. on the U.S.S.
      Lurline. On all concerts Elvis was backed by Scotty Moore on guitar,
      Bill Black on bass, D.J. Fontana on drums and vocal group The
      Jordanaires, as he had been for most of his early performances. What
      no one knew, probably least of all Elvis, was that these would be
      the final performances of this band, who made so many essential
      rock 'n' roll recordings together. Also, it would be the last live
      performances of the 50's, as Elvis would of course be joining the
      army in early 1958.

      U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Benefit 1961

      When Elvis left the army in 1960, there were great expectations from
      the fans, that he would start touring again, possibly even in
      Europe, Britain and Australia. Alas, it was not to be. Apart from
      his studio recordings, Elvis devoted his whole career to the movies,
      and performed just three concerts (plus one TV-show) from 1960 to
      the 1968 NBC-TV special. Two concerts in Memphis on February 25th,
      1961, and one in Hawaii on March 25th the same year.

      This concert was organized because funds were needed for a memorial
      for the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona, which was shipwrecked in Pearl
      Harbour during the Japanese attack on the USA in 1941, and the
      concert was announced by The Colonel on January 11th at a press-
      conference in the Hawaiian Village Hotel. This time Elvis flew to
      Honolulu, on the same day as the concert, together with Grand Old
      Opry comedienne Minnie Pearl, who appeared on the same bill. At 8.30
      p.m. Rear Admiral Robert Campbell introduced Elvis at the Bloch
      Arena in Pearl Harbour, and he appeared dressed once again in the
      famous gold lamé jacket with blue trousers, white shirt and blue
      tie. The crowd of 5.000 adoring fans went mad, and stayed this way
      during the whole concert, something that scared Minnie Pearl so much
      that she warned Elvis afterwards that he might get hurt. Elvis,
      however, assured her that none of his fans would ever harm him. Also
      appearing were several local acts as well as solo performances from
      members of Elvis' band.

      Scotty, D.J. and The Jordanaires had rejoined the troupe from the
      50's, but Bill Black was now on his - very successful - own.
      Instead, the band was augmented by some of the stellar Nashville
      studio musicians, who played on Elvis' Nashville studio-recordings
      at the time: Hank Garland on guitar, Bob Moore on bass, Floyd Cramer
      on piano and Boots Randolph on saxophone. This unique band only ever
      performed at the Memphis concerts and at this one together. From the
      surviving amateur recording of the concert it seems fair to label
      this line-up as 'the great lost Elvis Presley live-band'. This was
      the band that could have changed the destiny of Elvis in the 60's,
      had they been allowed to. The rather crude, but never-the-less
      extremely enjoyable recording - on Elvis Aron Presley - shows a high
      spirited Elvis performing a cross selection of his songs
      from 'That's All Right' to 'Swing Down Sweet Chariot', with
      highlights being 'A Fool Such As I', 'Such A Night' and 'Reconsider
      Baby'.

      The show had tickets at 3, 3.50, 5 and 10 dollars a piece and a
      special section of 300 tickets at 100 dollars, and even Elvis and
      The Colonel had to pay to get in. The show raised no less than
      approx. 60.000 dollars for the memorial, which any visitor to the
      memorial today can still see. After the show, Elvis had a few days
      off before starting shooting Blue Hawaii a couple of days later.

      Honolulu 1972

      It would be more than eleven years before Elvis returned to perform
      on the Islands. In November 1972, when Elvis was well into the
      touring schedule that took up a lot of his final decade, Elvis
      performed three concerts in Honolulu at the Honolulu International
      Center, one show on November 14th and two shows on November 15th.
      These shows were performed as part of an eight-day concert tour,
      Elvis' third in 1972, which started out in Lubbock, TX, on November
      8th and concluded with the Hawaiian concerts.

      It is an often overlooked fact that one of these shows was
      originally intended to have been the Aloha From Hawaii broadcast. On
      July 8th, 1972, The Colonel announced that there was going to be a
      worldwide satellite broadcast of a concert in Hawaii in October or
      November. He added that this was the best way to please all of
      Elvis' fans all over the world, as going to play for all of them
      would be impossible. Probably due to technical problems, the plans
      were delayed and on September 4th, 1972, Elvis and The Colonel
      announced in a press conference held during Elvis' autumn season in
      Las Vegas, that Elvis was going to perform a show in Hawaii to be
      broadcast worldwide via satellite on January 14.

      Another very little known fact about these shows is that Japanese
      television actually filmed at least part of them. Parts of that
      footage was used in trailers for the Aloha From Hawaii broadcast,
      but the remaining parts have yet to be seen and it is uncertain
      whether they still exist. For jumpsuit buffs, it should be mentioned
      that Elvis wore three different suits for these concerts;
      respectively the Phoenix Suit, the Black Way Down suit and the
      Tiffany Suit.

      Aloha From Hawaii

      Without a doubt the single best-known Elvis - Hawaii connection is
      the Aloha From Hawaii TV Special on January 14th, 1973. On November
      20th, 1972, after the conclusion of the concerts in Honolulu, Elvis
      announced - for the third time - the worldwide broadcast of the
      concert. However, this was probably the first time that it was
      announced that the concert would be performed as benefit for the
      Kuiokalaani Lee Cancer Foundation. Kui Lee, who died from cancer in
      1966, was the writer of 'I'll Remember You', that Elvis had recorded
      in 1966 and had, as mentioned previously, featured in his show for
      most of 1972. This decision was apparently made because The Colonel
      received a letter with a proposal for a benefit concert from a
      Hawaiian newspaper. But, as Elvis made a private trip to Hawaii in
      May, 1972, from the 7th to the 12th, it seems very possible that the
      idea was actually 'born' on that occasion, but that Elvis knew the
      decision had to go through The Colonel.

      Elvis always seemed to be able to rise to the challenge when an
      occasion such as this one demanded it, and thus in a very short time
      between November and January, he managed to pull himself into very
      good shape. Apparently, the producer and director of the TV-special,
      Marty Pasetta, had told Elvis in November that he ought to lose
      weight before the broadcast. Elvis arrived in Honolulu on January
      9th, where the concert would take place at the International
      Convention Arena Center. He stayed once again at the Hawaiian
      Village Hotel and started rehearsing there with the band and backup
      singers, who had already arrived. This line-up is the 'classic' line-
      up of Elvis' 70's road band, with James Burton, guitar, Jerry
      Scheff, bass, John Wilkinson, rhythm, Glenn D. Hardin, piano and
      Ronnie Tutt, drums, with The Sweet Inspirations, J.D. Sumner & The
      Stamps and Kathy Westmoreland singing the backup. It is probably not
      least due to the ALOHA FROM HAWAII TV-special that this line-up is
      now known as the ultimate 70's band of Elvis'.

      The rehearsals continued, from the 10th with the full orchestra,
      until the 12th. On January 12th, the so-called dress rehearsal,
      later released as the Alternate Aloha, was held before a live
      audience. It was taped in order to have a backup in case anything
      went wrong with the transmission of the actual concert. But
      fortunately nothing went wrong, and right after midnight between the
      13th and 14th, Elvis stepped on stage dressed in his American Eagle
      jumpsuit and cape and gave one of the best concerts of his entire
      career. I'm listening to it as I write these lines, and after more
      than a quarter of a century it is still a magnificent performance,
      with highlights being, besides the various Hawaiian songs, 'See See
      Rider' (best version ever), 'Burning Love', 'I'm So Lonesome I Could
      Cry' and 'An American Trilogy'.

      The show was broadcast directly to the Far East and with some hours
      delay to Europe the next day. Only North America ironically had to
      wait several months to see the show, as The Colonel didn't want to
      interfere with the release of the On Tour movie. The show was rush-
      released on a double LP in pre-printed sleeves, and it went straight
      to the number one spot in most hit lists, and has since proved to be
      one of the most steady selling albums of Elvis' catalogue. It would,
      however, also be the last number one album in Elvis' lifetime and
      the TV-special itself would be Elvis' last major artistic triumph.

      Finally, it should be mentioned that there is an alternate version
      of the TV-special as broadcast on Japanese television, which has
      much more footage of Elvis' arrival (with 'Proud Mary' in the
      background), as well as more footage from the International
      Convention Arena Center: you can see the sound adjustments by the
      engineers, the musicians arriving (with some very nice clips of
      James Burton), and Elvis' dressing room and the backstage area.

      On A Final Note

      There can be no doubt that both Hawaiian music and the islands of
      Hawaii themselves played an important and mostly overlooked part of
      Elvis' career. Finally, it should also be noted that Hawaii,
      together with Las Vegas, was Elvis' favourite place for private
      holidays. The times he went there to relax are too numerous to
      mention, but it is interesting to note that he did on several
      occasions go there right before major artistic events in his life:
      right before '68 Comeback Special, from May 18th to June 2nd, 1968,
      and as mentioned in June 1972 before the Madison Square Garden
      concerts. From a vacation with friends in 1969, from October 5th to
      12th, there are several home movies made by Joe Esposito in
      existence and available on video. On that video there's also a nice
      clip of Elvis sitting on the beach in Hawaii together with Tom Jones!

      Elvis made his last visit to Hawaii in 1977, from March 5th to
      12th , with his girlfriend Ginger Alden, whom he wanted to see the
      islands. A visit to the U.S.S. Arizona, that Elvis helped erect in
      1961, was cancelled because of illness, and the party returns home
      before Elvis leaves on another tour. At this point there was no
      return for Elvis, and all that's left to say is: 'Aloha' - 'Go with
      peace'.
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