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Posts Tagged ‘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

***

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!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (9.12.12)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

And I listen to it all the time!  Especially when I’m on the move–either walking along NYC’s crowded sidewalks or riding the rails on the subway through the tunnels under the concrete.  (I’m convinced that it helps to keep me sane in this crazy city!)

I love a really wide variety of it: vintage, traditional, contemporary, instrumental…

And I love sharing some of my favorites with you.

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Nani (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Genoa Keawe Sings Luau Hulas)

One of my favorite classic hulas!  It opens with the typical “Genoa Keawe” opening–steel guitar and her unmistakable strumming of the ʻukulele.

The song, written by Alice Namakelua, describes someone’s beauty.  I’d always assumed it was a love song.  Only recently, I read the story that she’d written it for a group of young girls–her hula students–imagining their beauty as they grew older.  (How great is that?!)

The song has five verses and each one is rich with descriptive language–words that beg for a hula to illustrate them.

There’s a reason Aunty Genoa is considered to have “set the standard” when it comes to hula music.  She’s simply one of the greatest.  Ever.

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa’s website.

2. Tewe Tewe (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album The First Two Albums)

Wanna dance?  This classic (and rascal!) hula will make you want to jump up out of your chair!

The song seems to be describing the slipping and sliding and arching of the ʻoʻopu (goby fish).  And wrestling a fish like that can be a lively thing, indeed.

However…  when I’ve heard the elders sing the song and seen them dance the hula, they indicate that there may be a more–well–”rascally” interpretation.  I’ll let you listen to the words and decide for yourself.

The Caz do an awesome job with this song.  Master musicians to the max.  And even though the song has been covered by so many artists, I can’t help but think of The Brothers Cazimero when someone mentions its name.

*Please click HERE to visit the Brothers Cazimero’s page at Mountain Apple Company.

3. Puaʻala (Kainani Kahaunaele’s recording on the album ʻŌhai ʻUla)

There’s something special about a hula that opens with the sounds of piano, right?

This song was written as a mele inoa or name song.  A precious gift, indeed.  According to the album’s liner notes, it was presented to Aunty Aileen Puaʻala Enos on her 70th birthday.

Kainani’s rich voice and smooth delivery knocks my socks off.  Classic and contemporary at the same time.  Traditional and jazzy.

And even if you don’t speak Hawaiian, I’ll wager you’ll be able to feel the spirit of Aloha that emanates from this beautiful song.

*Please click HERE to visit Kainani’s website.

4. Brother’s Got A Problem (Olomana’s recording on the album And So We Are)

The group, Olomana, is a favorite.  And in this song, they’ve captured the sounds of the time (the late 70s) perfectly.

It’s an English language song.  Contemporary.  Some might argue and say that it’s not a Hawaiian song but more of a pop song.  Being that it’s done by Olomana, it’s Hawaiian to me.  And there is that unmistakable-yet-impossible-to-describe “island sound” to it.

When I first went to Molokai, I was singing in a kanikapila (jam session) with the amazing Kevin Brown.  He asked me to sing another Hawaiian classic and then inserted this song–a verse of each at a time–making a medley.  Right there on the spot.  It was one of the most magical times of my musical life.  Jamming with a Hawaiian legend.  And making music on the spot.  A moment that can never be repeated–but one that plays over and over in my mind.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

5. Safe Passage (John Keawe’s recording on the album Hawai’i Island Is My Home)

I’m hooked.  It’s still on my list this week.  Can’t stop listening!

New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who feel stress.  You get stressed out, too, right?

One of things I love to do when I’m stressed out is put on some amazing kī hōʻalu, slack key guitar, music.  It soothes me.  Reaches down inside me and acts a pressure release.  Seriously.  I can feel my shoulders drop away from my ears…

And when it’s played by an amazingly gifted and skilled musician like John Keawe… wow!

This is one of those instrumental tracks where you are completely transported–the voice of the guitar tells the story.

Ah.

*Please click HERE to visit John’s website.

What are YOU listening to?  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!**

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The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (8.15.12)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Lei Poinaʻole (Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album By Request)

One of my all-time favorite voices?  Aunty Genoa Keawe.  One of my all-time favorite ladies?  Aunty Genoa Keawe.

Her voice and distinctive strum have “set the standard” for so many songs–and this is no exception.  Every time I’ve ever thought of this song, it’s the voice of the beloved Aunty Genoa that rings in my ears.

And how could you not love a song that opens with “You are my beloved, unforgettable lei…”

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa’s website.

2. For You A Lei (Andy Iona and the Islanders’ recording on the album Hawaiians In Hollywood)

My “time warp favorite” this week is this song as recorded by Andy Iona and the Islanders.  I mean, it’s really like opening a window and stepping back into 1934.  That classic ʻukulele strum, the slide guitar, the vocal harmonies…

Heavenly.

I am so thankful we have recordings from this era.  I could listen to ‘em all day!

*Please click HERE to read more about Andy Iona.

3. Honouliwai (Eddie Akio Waimakanui Tanaka, Jr’s recording on the album Mystical Molokaʻi)

You guys know how much I love the island of Molokai.  And how the island’s East End holds a special place in my heart…

Well, Eddie Waimakanui Tanaka’s song about Honouliwai, the bay that’s also celebrated in Uncle Dennis Kamakahi’s Wahine ʻIlikea, is a special song in my heart.

And he should know the bay well–his home is right there!  He captures the magic of that special place so beautifully.

A hauntingly beautiful new song about the island of Molokai and the bay known as Honouliwai.  Fantastic!

*Please click HERE to visit Eddie’s website 

4. Kauaʻi Nani Lā (Robi Kahakalau’s recording on the album Sistah Robi)

This week, I’ve been feeling a need to listen to the voice of the one and only Sistah Robi.  Soulful to the max!

This song describes the beauty of the island of Kauaʻi.  Her voice reminds me of Stevie Nicks on this track–and when the harmonies join her, it reminds me of Fleetwood Mac.

And yet, at the same time, it’s a distinct and very unique sound.  Distinctly island.  Distinctly Hawaiian.

And oh, so beautiful.

It tugs at my heart. (And brings a tear to my eye.)

*Please click HERE to visit Robi’s website.

5. Keiki Slack Key  (Sonny Chillingworth’s recording on the album Endlessly)

I love kī hōʻalu, Hawaiian slack key guitar music..  And I especially love it when it’s played by a master like Uncle Sonny.

This song bounces.  That’s the word that comes to my mind when I listen to it.  And it’s peppered with familiar melodic passages from children’s nursery rhymes.  It’s fun.  It’ll make you smile.

And it reminds me to take a much needed deep breath.  Right on.

Please click HERE to read more about Uncle Sonny.

What are YOU listening to?  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!**

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ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. May Day Is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album Hula Hou)

Aunty Genoa Keawe’s son, GARY AIKO, sings this fantastic song on her album, Hula Hou.

Gary’s voice is a favorite of mine. A true Hawaiian crooner–he knows how to use the voice to be smooth and elegant and classy.  To ‘da max!  I love his albums!

We celebrate May 1st as May Day and Lei Day–not only in Hawaiʻi, but everywhere that has Hawaiians or Hawaiians-at-heart.

It only seems right to include this classic this week.  And Gary Aiko sings it so beautifully!  Mahalo for that, Uncle Gary!

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa Keawe’s website.

*Please click HERE to learn more about May Day/Lei Day.

2. ʻAhulili (Raiatea Helm’s recording on the album Hawaiian Blossom)

When I first heard this recording, I wasn’t sure who was singing it.  It had that “old school” Hawaiian sound to it, but it sounded like a more recent recording.  Newer.  Brighter.

I was delighted when I learned that it was Raiatea Helm singing it–and honoring the singers that came before her who presented the song in a certain way.  She delivers it so beautifully!  It quickly became a favorite.

The song is attributed to Scott Haʻi.  And if you click HERE you can see what the original, handwritten manuscript looked like!  Cool!  (Mahalo, Huapala.org!)

*Please click HERE to visit Raiatea’s website.

3. Koali (Kamakakēhau Fernandez’s recording on the album Wahi Mahalo)

I love this song!  And I love how Kamakakēhau Fernandez sings it!

This song is on his long-awaited, much-anticipated album.  And wow… it delivers!  I’m hooked!

This traditional and classic song really allows him to showcase the fluidity of his smooth falsetto.  I’m blown away!

4. Young and Free (Olomana’s recording on the album Come to Me Gently)

You guys know how much I love a song that rocks that late 1970′s vibe (this album was released in 1980).  And you know how much I love the sound of the Hawaiian group, Olomana.  So it’s no surprise that this song rocks my world.

It’s got that feel-good vibe that my soul craves.  And their sweet vocal harmonies…

It calms this urban strummer down and reminds me to take a deep breath.

*Please click HERE to visit Olomana’s website.

5. Punahoa Slack (Ledward Kaapana’s recording on the album The Legend: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar)

When it’s time to relax, to wind down, to shed the stresses of the day, I turn to Uncle Led Kaapana and the awesomely soothing sounds of his kī hōʻalu, his slack key guitar.  So I guess it’s not a shock to see him (and his latest album) on the Weekly TOP 5–again!

The Hawaiian word I’d use to best describe his sound is nahenahe–soothing, gentle.

We all need a little peace and tranquility.  I turn to Uncle Led’s recordings for that.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Led’s website.

What are YOU listening to?  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!**

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ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. The Hawaiian Wedding Song (Ke Kali Nei Au) (Alfred Aholo Apaka’ recording on the album Hawaiian Wedding Song)

The golden voice of Hawaiian crooner Alfred Aholo Apaka never disappoints me.

And this song, sung as a beautifully touching duet with Diana Moncado, is–well–it knocks my socks off.  Amazing.  Amazing.  Amazing.  Such control.

Wow.

So beautiful, this song.

Some say it’s not the original Hawaiian Song.  And that leads us to the next selection.

2. Lei Aloha Lei Makamae (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Among My Hawaiian Souvenirs)

Aunty Genoa sings this duet with her son, the amazing baritone crooner, Gary Aiko.  Wow.

I mean it:  W.O.W.

Amazing voices singing an amazing song.

I was told by several folks in Hawaii that THIS is the original Hawaiian Wedding Song and not Ke Kali Nei Au… and who am I to argue, right?  I just keep learning and growing.  That’s my job.  (I think we need to discuss this in more detail, don’t you?  Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post!)

This piece, written by the incomparable Charles E. King, has some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever read.

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa’s website.

3. Kaimuki Hula (Ata Damasco’s recording on the album Paʻina Hou!)

Are you looking for an amazing hula tune with some of the smoothest vocals (and falsetto!) you’ll ever hear?  Well, this is your song!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the voice (and ʻukulele stylings) of Mr. Ata Damasco.  So smooth.  So seemingly effortless.  I wanna sing like him someday!

*Please click HERE to read more about Ata Damasco on his page on the Ululoa website.

4. Pua Pakalana (The Hula Honeys’ recording on the album Life Just Got Sweeter)

I love the sweet sounds of The Hula Honeys!  And this song, penned by Robyn Kneubuhl, is so dreamy!  I mean it… Heavenly. Ethereal.

According to the album’s liner notes, she wrote the song about the Pakalana flower as it reminds her of her grandmother.

If you close your eyes, I think you’ll be able to see a hula being danced to it.

Sounds that remind of us of “yesteryear” being sung today by a duo of amazing musicians like Robin Kneubuhl and Ginger Johnson.  Yes, please.

*Please click HERE to visit The Hula Honeys’ website.

5. Heʻeia (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s recording on the album ʻOhana)

One of my favorite composers/performers is Uncle Dennis.  And he’s such a great mentor for all things Hawaiian.  A true source!

In this recording, he shares the song based on an chant that honors King David Kalākaua.  The recording is like a jam session–including Uncle Dennis’ amazing slack key guitar skills, David Kamakahi’s sparkling ʻukulele stylings and Uncle Dennis’ golden baritone voice.

Wow… imagine what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall in that recording studio when they recorded it!

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Dennis’ website.

What are YOU listening to?  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!**

2 Comments

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Flowers of Paradise (Alfred Aholo Apaka’ recording on the album My Isle of Golden Dreams)

The golden voice of Hawaiian crooner Alfred Aholo Apaka never disappoints me.

This is a song that I only recently became reacquainted with.  I’d been asked about Hawaiian flowers and I searched thru my stack of CDs to see what songs mentioned different types/kinds.  Imagine how excited I was when I came across this one!

I think it would be perfect to do in a show–sharing Hawaiian botany via song.  That’s pretty cool.

2. ʻĀina o Lānaʻi (Aunty Genoa Keawe’s recording on the album Hulas of Hawaiʻi)

When I think of the hula classics, my mind automatically jumps to the one and only Aunty Genoa Keawe.  She set the standard for so many songs!  Her recordings are an encyclopedia of hula music.

And we don’t hear enough music from/about the island of Lānaʻi.  I was just talking about that the other day with a friend of mine.  So I decided I need to learn this song and sing it often!

*Please click HERE to visit Aunty Genoa’s website.

3. Kū Ka ʻOliʻoli Nā Moku (Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu’s recording on the album Call It What You Like)

Hawaii’s rebel kumu hula and rebel chanter.  I love this recording.  I love the fact that he’s playing with “the classics.” Exploring them.  Showing how vital these chants still are today–and helping to introduce a new audience to the amazing poetry.

Yes.  I know there are people that don’t approve of what he’s doing.

And there are others that celebrate it.

I’m glad to have this recording.

*Please click HERE to read more about Kumu Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu.

4. Still The One (The Kaʻau Crater Boys’ recording on the album Tropical Hawaiian Day)

You guys know how much I love a good ’70′s vibe.

And if you read my Weekly “TOP 5″ lists, you know I’m a huge fan of the group Kaʻau Crater Boys.  They had the ability to cover a super-familiar song and make it sound like it was new–and like Kaʻau Crater Boys original.  Amazing musicians who were able to infuse true island flavor into all of their stuff.

Originally released in the late 1970s by the group Orleans, I love what the Kaʻau Crater Boys did with it.

*Please click HERE to visit Ernie Cruz Jr’s myspace page.

*Please click HERE to visit Troy Fernandez’s website.

5. Molokaiʻi Longing (John Keawe’s recording on the album Beautiful Hula Dancer)

I love John Keawe and his special music.  And this song, in which he sings about the beauty of my beloved Molokai, really touches my heart.  Makes me homesick.

It was on Molokai that I first met John and his beautiful wife, Hope.

Special days in a special place.

*Please click HERE to visit John’s website.

What are YOU listening to?  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!**

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