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Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style
Aloha Hula
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The Essence of the Hawaii Calls Radio Show Cast
and Performances of the Late 1940s

Winner of the 1996 Anthology of the Year: Na Hoku Hanohano Award from the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts, Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style brings you 18 of the 28 original tracks from the tiny and short lived Aloha Records label created by Al Kealoha Perry and Henry K. Lindsey capturing  the essence of the Hawaii Calls radio show cast and performances of the late 1940s. Al Kealoha Perry served as musical director of the Hawaii Calls radio show for 30 years from 1937 to 1967. All of the Aloha Records label artists were Hawaii Calls musicians and entertainers. Includes legends Haleloke Kahauolopua, Gabby Pahinui, and Alfred Apaka. Included in the award winning preeminent reference work for world music research The Garland Encyclopedia.

Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Na Hoku Hanohano Anthology of the Year 1996 Award goes to "Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style (Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Vol. 9)" by Al Kealoha Perry & His Singing Surfriders from Hana Ola Records. All local anthology albums should be produced this well. Most are not. Another beautiful retrospective on significant Territorial Era recording artists by Harry B. Soria, Jr. and Hana Ola Records principal Michael Cord.  

John Berger, Entertainment Editor: Honolulu Star Bulletin

Early growth of Hawaiian music’s world popularity was promoted with the spirit of Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style. The recording, radio, movie, television, and visitor industries, all embraced the music. Both visitors to Hawaii and residents alike revered the brightest stars of the Hawaiian entertainment scene.

The transpacific broadcast series known as Hawaii Calls became an icon of popular Hawaiian music. It was first beamed via short-wave radio to the mainland from under the giant Banyan tree in the courtyard of the Moana Hotel on Saturday July 3rd, 1935. The carefully balanced program of island songs soon became known worldwide for its weekly offerings of Hawaiian music.

In 1937, Al Kealoha Perry succeeded Harry Owens and became the show’s second musical director. Hawaii Calls became a showcase for extraordinary island talent - not the amateur entertainer, but the seasoned professional artist.  By 1948 Perry had assembled a catalog of over 1500 songs and his musicians had committed all 1500 of them to memory.

The group called the Singing Surfriders was a stellar combo consisting of Al Kealoha Perry himself, brothers Simeon Bright and Andy Bright on guitars, John Squeeze Kamana on ukulele, Bob Kauahikaua who contributed background vocals and served as the groups script librarian, Frank Mystery Cockett on string bass, and the steel guitarist extraordinaire David Kelii. The 1948 cast also included the Waikiki Girls,a harmony group consisting of sisters Marion Kanekapolei Guerrero Diamond and Lila Kaualoku Guerrera Replinger with their cousin Eloise Gasper Hoit. And, soloists Haleloki Kahauolopua and the legendary Alfred Aholo Apaka were truly the icing on the cake.

1948 was a year of change for the now decade-old radio institution. After WWII radio stations seemed to form overnight including KHON (the first new and third radio station on O'ahu that signed on air on July 4th, 1946). Webley Edwards, Hawaii Calls creator, emcee, and guiding force was lured away from KGMB to KHON joining in 1948 as Executive Vice President and Station Manager. To no one's surprise he arrived at his new station with the cast of Hawaii Calls in tow.

Alfred Kealoha Perry was also looking to expand his horizons in 1948. He operated the Al Kealoha Perry Music Service as the largest Hawaiian music talent booking agency in Hawaii, with the members of the Hawaii Calls cast among his clients. His agency logo was a clever drawing of a singing surfrider. When Webley Edwards moved to KHON, Perry moved his music service operation from his home at 2847 Oahu Avenue to the offices of KHON operated by the Aloha Broadcasting Company Ltd. at Kalia, Waikiki.

Henry Keawe Lindsey had returned to post-war Honolulu with his highly developed knowledge of all things electronic and a positive manner with which to use his gift. Lindsey was somewhat of a renaissance man, whose many interests included exploring Hawaiian music’s involvement in the electronic age. A partnership with Al Kealoha Perry afforded him that opportunity and the Aloha Recording Company record label was born.

The new label borrowed the singing surfrider logo of Perry’s music service agency business, and the first word in his radio station’s company name  Aloha. Perry gathered some of his favorite song arrangements from Hawaii Calls, and then persuaded the shows cast to record for the Aloha Recording Company. Lindsey, as the recording engineer, furnished the equipment and secured the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Clubhouse to practice and record in. The living room of the Clubhouse, the former Lincoln L. McCandless mansion at 2290 Liliha in Pu’unui, had a wooden floor and a high ceiling. This translated into an extremely live sound on the recordings. The cast would assemble there after work to first rehearse, and then record in the relative quiet of the Hawaiian evenings.

Sadly, the infant label was only able to survive long enough to release 28 sides on78 rpm. The climate of change was accelerating in post-war Honolulu and soon even more radio stations signed on which increased the competition on the dial.

Webley Edwards and Hawaii Calls found their way back to KGMB. Haleloke Kahauolopua was discovered  by Arthur Godfrey beginning a decade as a regular on his radio and television programs on October 3rd, 1950. Alfred Apaka was discovered  by Bob Hope, and began regularly appearing on his national television show on April 26, 1952.

Henry Lindsey turned his attention to the new technology of television. Al Kealoha Perry continued as musical director of Hawaii Calls for a total of thirty years until he retired in 1967. In 1956 Capitol Records began recording the ever-evolving cast members of the long-running Hawaii Calls radio program presented by Webley Edwards eventually releasing a total of 28 LPs.

And Aloha Records, the brain child of Lindsey and Perry and the first to specifically gather Hawaii Calls artists to record, ceased operations. Although the label was tiny and short lived, its catalog of music captured the essence of the Hawaii Calls radio show of the late 1940s.

Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style is a collection of eighteen of the twenty-eight original Aloha Records tracks performed by the 1948 cast regulars of the Hawaii Calls radio program.

The Fathers of ALOHA RECORDS

Al Kealoha Perry, bandleader, singer, recording artist, musician, and musical maestro, was born in Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawaii on February 2, 1901. His father was of English descent and his mother was full-blooded Hawaiian. Perry attended Iolani School in Honolulu and first sang in the Kawaiahao Church Choir.

His chosen career was to be mechanical drafting, but World War I interrupted that decision. Perry fought overseas and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in France.

He returned to his beloved Hawaii and in 1929 his musical career began when he joined the Shrine Chanters, under the direction of Charles E. King. By 1935, Al was leading the Honolulu Hale Glee Club -a group of 40 musicians and singers. Perry selected six of these to become the nucleus of his brand new group called The Singing Surfriders.

In 1937, Al Kealoha Perry and his group The Singing Surfriders replaced Harry Owens group as the house band for the popular Hawaii Calls radio show. Perry succeeded Owens and became the shows second Musical Director. In 1938 he made his first recordings for the labels Victor and MacGregor Transcriptions. In 1940 he recorded for Decca.

Also in 1940, Al formed Al Kealoha Perry’s Music Service in Honolulu. He operated it out of his home at 2847 Oahu Avenue for eight years, until he moved into the offices of the third radio station built on Oahu.  KHON Radio was operated by the Aloha Broadcasting Company, Ltd., at Kalia, Waikiki.  By 1948 his had become the largest Hawaiian music talent-booking agency in Hawaii, with members of the Hawaii Calls cast among his clients.

Also by 1948 Perry had assembled a catalog of over 1500 songs for Hawaii Calls, and his musicians had committed all 1500 of them to memory. That same year he entered into a partnership with Henry Keawe Lindsey and together they created the tiny and short lived Aloha Records label, which captured the essence of the Hawaii Calls radio show of the late 1940s.

Al continued as Musical Director of the world famed Hawaii Calls radio show until he retired in 1967 after contributing an incredible 30 years of mele and aloha. Under his guiding hand, many stars found their way to musical fortunes.  He was inducted into the Hawaiian Entertainers Hall of Fame in 1974.

Al Kealoha Perry died in 1979 in Honolulu, at the age of 78.

Henry Keawe Lindsey, inventor, genealogist, educator, was born Henry Keawe Afong in Kula, Maui on August 30, 1911. In 1926, he was awarded a work scholarship to the Kamehameha School For Boys on the island of O’ahu. In addition to working and attending classes, Henry completed a correspondence course in Radio.  He was the only member of his 1932 graduating class to complete a correspondence course in Radio.

From Kamehameha, Lindsey traveled with a friend to New York. The young men arrived at the height of the great depression. While in New York, Henry invented a microfilm camera and reader by redesigning a French motion picture camera. He did this in order to microfilm genealogical records. Genealogy would remain Lindsey’s lifelong passion. His microfilm and reader were just the beginning in a long line of inventions. As World War II broke out, he designed a long-range radio navigator, an anti-submarine mine, a high-speed radio Teletype system, and an automatic frequency control indicator. His most famous wartime invention though was a submarine detector using underwater sonar. On June 9, 1946, the Honolulu Advertiser reported: “The inventor of one of the most rigidly guarded inventions of the War an anti-submarine device, was invented by a Honolulu man. He is Major Henry K. Lindsey.” Lindsey could have been a millionaire many times over but as with his submarine detector, which he sold to the U. S. Government for a nominal fee, he gave generously to those efforts in which he believed.

He found his way back to the Islands and in the 1940s and 1950s produced and engineered records for some of Hawaii’s greatest entertainers. He did this with his partner Al Kealoha Perry, together they birthed the Aloha Records label. Henry was involved in the making of the film Bird Of Paradise starring Deborah Paget and Jeff Chandler. Coincidently, forty years later, his daughter Elizabeth Lindsey would co-star in the ABC Television series Byrds of Paradise. Lindsey was not only a pioneer of sound but also of television. He was among the first to make broadcast television a reality in Hawaii. In addition, he established a community antenna service.

Technology was only one of the ways in which Henry was ahead of his time. During the 1950s and for the remainder of his life, Lindsey was an active preservationist. Through his genealogical research, he came to love and protect many of Hawaii’s most sacred places. More often than not he was an army of one as he fought development of those areas. With his gift as a visionary and inventor Lindsey understood that in order to move into the 21st century we as a society needed to be rooted in the foundation of our past. Hawaiian’s regard such people as Keepers Of The Flame.

On September 25, 1980 Henry Keawe Afong Lindsey passed away at the age of 69, leaving behind a rich legacy. The torch he carried continues to burn brightly.

This rousing hapa-haole ditty composed by Al Kealoha Perry positively serves as an introductory theme for his core house band on the Hawaii Calls radio show.  The Singing Surfriders combo featured John Squeeze Kamana on ukulele, Andy and Simeon Bright on guitars, Frank Mystery Cockett on bass, and David Kelii on the steel guitar.  You can almost see leader Al Kealoha Perry holding the radio script in his left hand while directing the group with his right. (NKP)

Lila Kaualoku Guerrero Replinger is joined by the other Waikiki Girls on Na Ka Pueo also known as Naka Pueo composed by Sam Kalani Kaeo for the Pueo Kahi, a ship sharing the place-name of an area near Hana, Maui.  Pueo is the Hawaiian name for the Owl Demigod.

George Tautu Archer achieved great success as a transplanted Tahitian performing both Tahitian and Hawaiian hapa-haole songs for audiences in Hawaii.  George Tautu Archer and the Pagans also recorded many sides for the Bell Records of Hawaii company in Honolulu.  Audrey Robinson Archer, his wife, composed the beautiful Twilight In Hawaii with him.  It soon became so recognizable as a hapa-haole favorite that it was performed continually on the Hawaii Calls radio show as a distinguishable instrumental theme.  Alfred Apaka's interpretation of the romantic lyric reveals just how he became a Hawaiian heartthrob.

Famed radio and television entertainer Arthur Godfrey became close friends with Al Kealoha Perry and his wife Kathleen McGuire Perry when they met at her mother's Honolulu restaurant The Willows.  Godfrey subsequently made numerous guest appearances on Hawaii Calls.  In return he took Haleloke Kahauolopua under his wing and she spent a decade performing as a regular on Godfrey's shows. Here Haleloke sings lead on the traditional hula Alekoki variously attributed to King William Charles Lunalilo, King David Kalakaua, and Lizzie Alohikea a chant composed about 1850.  Alekoki is the name for a section of Nu'uanu Stream.  The lyric cleverly hints at lost love amid the natural beauty. (Traditional)

The city of Honolulu on the island of O'ahu became the capital of Hawaii upon the realization that Honolulu's natural harbor was superior to any other harbor in the Islands.  The entire cast of the Aloha Recording Company performs on this intricate arrangement of Carmen Lombardo's hapa-haole song of affection for O'ahu, the Gathering Place. (ASCAP-BMG)

Alfred Apaka steps in front of the band for this hapa-haole torch song.  Two Shadows On The Sand is one of the many hapa-haole classics to come from the prolific pen of composer R. Alex Anderson known as the Godfather of Hapa-Haole Music.  Born in Honolulu on June 6, 1894 he lived to see not only the birth of hapa-haole music but witnessed every step in its evolution through rag-time, big band swing, and Hawaiian style hula. (ASCAP)

Born on May 18, 1915 in Easton, Pennsylvania, Anthony Nicholas Todaro arrived in Hawaii shortly before WWII began.  Early in 1941 Tony Todaro penned this his first hapa-haole tune Hawaiian Moon and got it published by Harry B. Soria, Sr. of Hale Kolia Publishers.  Hot off the printing press Tony took his new song sheet to Al Kealoha Perry and asked if it could be performed on the Hawaii Calls radio show.  It was, and over the next 35 years of his life Todaro composed 36 recorded songs.  Here the Waikiki Girls - Marion Kanekapolei Guerrero Diamond,  Lila Kaualoku Guerrera Replinger and Eloise Gasper Hoit add their rich harmonies to Tony's inaugural hit. (ASCAP-CRITERION)

Solomon Kekipi Bright, Sr. will always be remembered as The Hawaiian Cowboy. Born in Honolulu on November 9, 1909 he soon became the most famous member of a large musical family.  He gained world-wide fame as a gifted composer, singer, comic dancer, and steel guitarist. As he often did Andy Bright performs his brother's trademark song. You can almost picture him in an accurate imitation of Sol complete with cowboy hat and astride a toy stick horse.  The audience would always join in clapping to the beat while the flirtatious verses were delivered at a rapid fire pace. (ASCAP)

Singer and recording artist Emma Lahapa Bush was born May 18, 1892.  Although buried on the grounds of the historic Kawaiahao Church known as the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific when she died on February 4, 1957, Auntie Emma had gained some notoriety for her raucous and unbridled stage presence.  Fittingly, this composition which is credited to her, is thinly veiled verse in praise for a Hawaiian gentleman's Kolopa, or crowbar. Here, The Singing Surfriders are fronted by Haleloke Kahauolopua.

Charles Kapono Kahahaai, Jr. was born in Kaka'ako, O'ahu on April 22, 1921.  When he was six years old he was renamed Charles Philip Pahinui by his hanai parents, Philip and Emily Pahinui.  By the time he made this recording, which is the only solo performance track on the Aloha Records label, he had already acquired a following from his recent Bell Records of Hawaii releases.  Here he plays a more nahenahe or relaxing version of the song that had been his first recording and eventually became his signature song.  The traditional Hi'ilawe written at or just before the turn of the 20th century by Mrs. Kuakini tells the story of a love affair at the Hi'ilawe Waterfall in Waipi'o Valley on the Big Island that creates much gossip. (Traditional)

Charles Edward King is now recognized as one of the most important composers of Hawaiian music in the 20th century.  Born on January 29, 1874, his compositions seem tied to the style of Hawaii's Royal Composers of the 19th century.  His fame began with Na Lei O Hawaii also known as Song of The Islands written in 1915 and was bolstered by a nearly continuous body of work until his death on February 27, 1950 in Elmhurst, New York.  Al Kealoha Perry's arrangement of King's classic Na Lei O Hawaii is reminiscent of the Hawaiian Royal Glee Clubs prevalent in the 1800s.

R. Alex Anderson's hapa haole compositions may be among the most distinctively Hawaiian ever recorded.  Called Andy by his close friends, his songs share the Hawaii of his birth June 6, 1894, with its unique people, places, and elements.  Lovely Hula Hands became his most popular written in 1939 to describe how beautiful and expressive the hands of a hula dancer are.  Alfred Apaka known as Hawaii's Golden Voice glides effortlessly through this standard that now serves as a fitting tribute to Anderson who passed away just one week shy of his 101st birthday on May 30, 1995. (ASCAP)

Haleakala also known as Haleakala Hula is credited to Amy Kalima written in the early 1920s.  Haleakala, "House of the Sun" is the mammoth cloud cutting dormant volcano on the island of Maui.  Lila Kaualoku Guerrero Replinger once again steps out in front of the band with this tribute to the Valley Isle landmark.

Sir Harry Lauder, a world famous Scottish vaudevillian entertainer sailed into Honolulu on April 14, 1919 aboard the steamer called Ventura.  The composer of Roamin' In The Gloamin' written in 1911 performed during his stay to enthusiastic crowds.  Ten year old Sol K. Bright was so inspired by the energetic Lauder's dancing that he himself went on to win the Territorial Charleston Contest in 1925.  Sol's rousing parody-tribute to Harry Lauder of the late 1930s was always a crowd pleaser with the lively chorus of Roamin' In The Gloamin' placed strategically.  Here, Squeeze Kamana and Simeon Bright ham it up by singing and dancing on this version of brother Sol's gem.  Listen closely for the kiss. (ASCAP)

Pua O Ka Makahala is a fine example of a Hawaiian song that has been lovingly cherished by succeeding generations of the composer.  This playful hula was written by Katherine Lahilahi Stevens Ii in 1916.  Her daughter entertainer Victoria Ii Rodrigues kept it popular by performing it often.  Victoria's children, Katherine's grandchildren - entertainers Nina Keliiwahamama Rapoza, Lani Custino, Lahela Rodrigues, and Boyce Rodrigues have all treasured and shared their grandmother's musical gift.  This recording spotlights Haleloke Kahauolopua as she describes the blossoms of the makahala shrub which lined the walk of Katie Stevens Ii's home.

Don McDiarmid and Lee Wood wrote Little Brown Gal in 1935 while both were members of the Harry Owens Royal Hawaiian Hotel Orchestra.  Johnny Noble helped them publish the song and Harry Owens assisted with its promotion.  Originally titled It's Just A Little Brown Gal In A Little Grass Skirt In A Little Grass Shack In Hawaii the shortened title was soon adapted.  Al Kealoha Perry leads The Singing Surfriders through their version of this hapa-haole standard. (ASCAP)

Sam Koki was born in Honolulu on July 24, 1900.  Before his passing on April 12, 1968 he had achieved great success in New York and Hollywood as one of Hawaii's fine musical ambassadors.  A talented musician on several stringed instruments he became known for his trademark long sliding notes on the steel guitar.  His numerous compositions were often influenced by a flair for the dramatic and a feel for the pop music of the time.  The Waikiki Girls are transformed into the Perry Tones for Sam Koki's swinging romp entitled Right On.

Who better to close this session of south seas syncopation than Alfred Apaka.  He died on January 30, 1960 at only 40 years of age from a heart attack while playing paddle-ball at the Central YMCA on Atkinson Drive in Honolulu.  Long before his untimely death he had become a giant in the annals of recorded Hawaiian music.  His Aloha Records recordings were made just before he gained international fame.  Apaka sings a traditional Hawaiian song of farewell.   It is also one of the most familiar of all Hawaiian melodies.  Queen Liliuokalani composed Aloha Oe after witnessing the tender parting of a young couple.  Until we meet again, aloha.




Al Kealoha Perry and His Singing Surfriders Aloha Hula Hawaiian Style - Vintage Hawaiian Treasures: Volume 9    HOCD26000


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