Hapa Haole Hawaiian Hula Classics Untitled 1
Hapa Haole Hawaiian Hula Classics
Hapa Haole Hula

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Real Deal Vintage Hawaiian Hapa-Haole Hula
This is the first disc in the critically acclaimed Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Series. Generations have learned to sing the lyrics and dance the hula from these original 49th State Hawaii Record Company classic recordings originally released on 78 rpm. These recordings are the REAL DEAL vintage Hawaiian recordings. The songs are performed in English which is the traditional hapa- haole-hula style. A wonderfully nostalgic listening experience. You will be transported back in time, back to a simpler place, back to the territorial days of Hawaii.

Hana Ola principal Michael Cord did a favor for fans of 70s era island music when he began rereleasing Irv Pinensky's Trim and Mele Records catalog on CD. Now Cord has done it again, embarking on a similar project that brings back in print the musical legacy of George K. Ching and his 49th State Hawaii Records.

The name of the label reflected the widespread expectation after WWII that Hawaii would become the 49th state. No one anticipated Alaska would be granted statehood before Hawaii.

Cord wisely tapped Harry B. Soria, Jr. to produce the new series, and Soria has done an excellent job. The annotation includes information on each song and composer, as well an overview of the history of of hapa-haole music in general.

Soria has done an equally astute job in his choice of songs and performers. Lovely Hula Hands, Little Brown Gal, Sophisticated Hula, and Sweet Leilani are among the 14 hapa-haole classics, and the performers are as distinguished as the songs. They include John K. Almeida, the label's musical director, Joe Keawe, George Naope, and Genoa Keawe's Hula Maids. Serious fans of Territorial-era hapa -haole music will also recognize Julia Nui's Kama'ainas, the Lei Momi Sweethearts, and the 49th State Hawaiians.

Sound quality is satisfactory considering that Ching's earliest recordings were made on an acetate record-cutting machine and released on 78rpm records.

Cord had the recordings restored and digitally remastered, so even the fortunate few (like Soria) who have the originals will want to add this disc - and the rest of the series - to their collections.

John Berger - Star Bulletin November 1993

A nice little visit to my childhood Polynesian dance lessons. These recordings sound even better than my few remaining 45 rpm records! Happy Memories.

Dakini - eMusic

Hapa-haole was a Hawaii-born music genre that found great popularity with residents and visitors from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born at a time when songs with Hawaiian language lyrics were largely frowned upon, hapa-haole songs—with their English lyrics and, at times, outright made-up Hawaiian words—found an audience drawn to their romanticized descriptions of the scenery, nature and ethos of the Hawaiian Islands.

Accompanied by lilting tropical musical arrangements, the lyrics of many hapa-haole songs referenced the more idyllic pre-statehood aspects of Hawaii, the Hawaiian culture and life in the Islands, leaving out realities that didn’t fit the genre’s themes of escapism. Lyrics of some hapa-haole songs even perpetuated incorrect stereotypes about the Islands and its resident population. Still, a number of the genre's songs eventually wound up transcending the era of their largest popularity, becoming Hawaiian music classics in the decades that followed statehood.

Songs of the genre such as “Lovely Hula Hands,” and “My Yellow Ginger Lei” are still played live and on Hawaiian music radio.

Hawaii Magazine

The very best Hawaiian music cocktail ever made.


The first volume in this outstanding series of old, classic, postwar Hawaiian pop collections. This disc concentrates on hapa-haole recordings, nostalgic, novelty-oriented songs mostly sung in English that play on the romantic island-paradise mythology.This particular set of recordings comes from the long-lived 49th State label, which issued innumerable records in the 1940s and 50s. Featured here are mandolinist John K. Almeida, male falsetto singer Joe Keawe, and the harmony vocals of the Lei Momi Sweethearts, who deliver a fine version of Little Brown Gal. Other standards include My Little Grass Shack, Lovely Hula Hands, a modified version of Sol K. Hoopii's Hawaiian Cowboy, and the original commercial recording of The Hukilau Song. In general, these recordings are a bit tamer than the tricked-out pyrotechnics of the hot pickers of the 20s and 30s, but it's still lovely nostalgic material. A very pleasant, very listenable set. Recommend!

Slipcue - DJ Joe Sixpack


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