Archive for October, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Today would have been Aunty Genoa Keawe’s 94th birthday.
She is still a daily inspiration to me.
I keep a photo of her on my desk. When I reach my “What on earth am I doing?” moments, I look over at her and remember. We push on. I mua. We share Aloha. That’s the most important thing.
And to celebrate the anniversary of her birth, I wanted to share with you my TOP 5 Favorite Recordings by Aunty Genoa Keawe.
(P.S. Narrowing it down to only 5 recordings is impossible! Any one of her recordings could have been on this list!)
LOVE YOU FOREVER, TŪTŪ!
Me ke Aloha pau ʻole.
1. Maile Swing (from the album Hula Hawaiian Style)
A favorite recording of Aunty Genoa. (Perhaps circa 1946?) I’ve read in the album’s liner notes that this is the historic first recording of her sweet singing voice. And on this recording, the legendary composer, John K. Almeida leads the band.
2. Ipo Hula (from the album Genoa Keawe sings Lūʻau Hulas)
A song composed by another Hawaiian musical legend, Aunty Lena Machado!
The song’s title translates as “Sweetheart Hula” and Aunty Genoa serves it up in her typical hula style! There’s something magical in the way she presents a hula song–keeping a steady beat and letting the lyrics take on a life of their own–essential when it’s being illustrated through dance.
She is the Queen of Hula Music for a reason! Nō ka best!
3. Nā Ka Pueo (from the album Party Hulas)
Aunty Genoa rocked the uptempo hulas! Uihā!
This song is attributed to Samuel Kalani Kāʻeo. Some recordings have the lyrics “No ka Pueokahi…” meaning “Love for the Pueokahi.” It’s believed this is the original text. According to the book HE MELE ALOHA, more contemporary versions feature the lyrics as recorded by Aunty Genoa, “Na ka Pueokahi…” meaning “Love from the Pueokahi.”
In any case, I love HER version. The strum! The beat! (And THE VOICE!)
I dare you to listen to it and not jump up to move around. I dare you…
4. Pua ʻOlena (from the album In The Hula Style)
The last time I had the chance to sing with Aunty Genoa, I prepared this song. I’ll never forget sitting in the hotel room in Waikīkī and thinking, “I want to sing something really special with her tonight.” This was the song that came to mind. And for me, the song will always be associated with her.
Written by James Kalei Kaholokula, Sr, this song is a beautiful ballad. And Aunty Genoa’s recording always brings a tear to my eye when I hear it.
5. ʻAlika (from the album Aloha to Aloha Grill)
One song that comes to many people’s minds when they hear the name Aunty Genoa Keawe is ʻAlika! And for good reason, too: she made this song HER OWN.
She showed her vocal prowess–with her awesome falsetto stylings!– and her stamina–by holding notes until the cows came home!
In my own collection of discs, I have several recordings of her singing it. But THIS recording is live. You can really hear the magic in this one. It’s almost as good as being there.
A favorite for so many people. And certainly, a favorite of mine.
But wait! There’s more!
You can catch the Keawe ʻOhana at their weekly performance in Waikīkī at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort! For more information, please click HERE. (Wait ’til you hear the vocals of her lovely granddaughter, Pomaikaʻi Keawe Lyman. Unbelievable! And Aunty Momi and Uncle Gary and Uncle Alan and… and… and…)
And Aunty Genoa’s son, the legendary GARY AIKO, has just released a new album of some of the smoothest music you’ll ever hear. Please click HERE to visit his site and listen to samples!
And please click HERE to visit the website of Aunty Genoa Keawe.
Do YOU have a favorite Genoa Keawe recording? Drop me a line and let me know!
And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place! I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!
**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted? You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Continuing to keep everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy in thoughts and prayers. May we all move about with open eyes and open hearts…
Friday, October 26, 2012
Here’s this week’s question:
Which Hawaiian recording artist recently released an album called POINA ʻOLE ʻIA?
A. Weldon Kekauoha
B. Kuana Torres Kahele
C. Jake Shimabukuro
D. Gary Aiko
• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?
Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!
Wow! Right on, gang!
The answer to this week’s question is D. GARY AIKO! He’s one of my all-time favorite Hawaiian crooners, for sure. So smooth!
Have you checked out his new album? Head to Uncle Gary’s website and have a listen to some samples by clicking HERE.
And this week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers, is… (Drum roll, please…) KAREN COOPER! Congrats, Karen! That makes you this week’s Trivia Superstar!
Mahalo for playing along this week, gang. Hope you’ll take the challenge next week, too!
A hui hou…
Video Blog: When Songwriting Feels Like Swimming in Open Water (and some buoys to help keep you afloat)
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Aloha gang! It’s time for another video blog!
This week I’m talking about songwriting–sometimes it can feel like you’re (lost!) out at a sea. But I’ve found some great tools/buoys along the way to grab onto and help point me in the right direction.
(And I reveal a little secret about a new song in the works!)
Happy Aloha Thursday!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Today I’m embarking on a new decade in life.
I found that I was spending a lot of time “lost in thought” this afternoon. But interestingly, I wasn’t mourning the passing of my youth or dreading a new decade.
Instead, I was thinking about how thankful I am. For everything.
What a perfect way to begin this new chapter.
What are YOU thankful for today?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.
Ah… the life of an urban strummer!
(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)