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Posts Tagged ‘Aunty Genoa Keawe’

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Genoa Keawe, Aunty Genoa, Auntie Genoa, Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 5, TOP 5, Hawaiian music,

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.

Jason

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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.

FANTASTIC!

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.

How?  Well…

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!

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Thanksgiving Memories and Gratitudes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Genoa Keawe, Aunty Genoa, Waikiki Beach Marriott, Moana Beach Terrace, Thanksgiving, Jason Poole

Thanksgiving Day with Aunty Genoa Keawe in Waikīkī. Perfection. (November 2007)

HAUʻOLI LĀ HOʻOMAIKAʻI!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I was thinking about Thanksgiving Day memories today while I cooked dinner.

Here’s one of my favorites:

It’s November 22, 2007.  Thanksgiving Day.  James and I are sitting at a table, poolside, at the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.  We’ve done an extravagant thing–flown to Hawaii for the weekend, essentially.  Still jet-lagged, we’ve arrived early at the Moana Terrace and ordered sandwiches and french fries and beer.

Why would we do this?

Well, we were there to see the one and only AUNTY GENOA KEAWE and Her Hawaiians perform.

And we knew we had to get there early and get  a table.  (Aunty Genoa and the gang drew a crowd!)

Listening to her voice, being inspired by her indomitable spirit, and watching the sunset over the beach in Waikīkī.  I mean, is there a better way to spend Thanksgiving?

Yes…  It was an extreme luxury to be there.  We’d saved our pennies all year to make it happen.

(I was blessed with the opportunity to sing with her that night.  But that’s the subject of another blog post!  Stay tuned…)

It was a memory that will last a lifetime.

And it continues to inspire me every day.  The photo above is a great reminder of that night.  A night we’ll never forget.

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Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful.  I thought I’d share my list of 5 Gratitudes with you:

1.  My family and friends (They are my bones.)

2.  My teachers (They are my breath.)

3.  Hawaiian music.  (It is my blood.)

4.  Our ancestors.  (We stand on their shoulders.)

5.  The opportunity to share this crazy journey with ALL OF YOU!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

**Crooner Note:  Aunty Genoa’s family keeps the tradition alive and still performs regularly at the Marriott Waikīkī–including TONIGHT!  Yay for Thanksgiving traditions!  Please click HERE to check out their schedule.

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