Mele Hula Hawaiian Style Untitled 1
Alfred Apaka
I-Tunes You tube CART
Download CD NOW Listen on YouTube Shipping to USA addresss ONLY

Traditional Vintage Hula Music
Performed in the Hawaiian Language

Mele Hula Hawaiian Style is beautiful timeless traditional vintage hula music performed in the Hawaiian language.  The 4th disc in the critically acclaimed Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Series compiled from the vaults of the original REAL DEAL 49th State Hawaii Records catalog of recordings originally released on 78 rpm, complete with extensive historical liner notes and audio restoration.   You’ll be energized by John K. Almeida’s rollicking version of Holoholo Kai and amazed, swearing that time can indeed stand still, when you listen to a young Genoa Keawe demonstrate her ability to sustain high falsetto notes on the breathless E Mama E.  A must-have filled with classic timeless hula.

Acustic Guitar Logo

This collection [Mele Hula - Hawaiian Style: Vintage Hawaiian Treasures, Vol. 4] of recordings from the decade following World War II encompasses everything from modernized chant to hula tunes to pop-influenced hapa haole (half-white) ditties. The ensembles feature slack-key and steel guitars, ukulele, and bass in support of some lovely falsetto singing, notably by John K. Almeida (who also produced the original sessions) and the incredible Genoa Keawe. In both repertoire and feeling, this material provides a context for more guitar-centered slack-key music, and it's great listening in its own right.

Acoustic Guitar HIT LIST February 1997 - Russell Letson

Vintage Hawaiian Treasures - Volume Four - Mele Hula - Hawaiian Style

In the last century, generations of Hawaiian performers have embraced the musical traditions of hula and mele. This traditional Hawaiian music has been lovingly passed on from generation to generation, preserving Hawaii's rich cultural heritage.

Mele hula ku'i represents the evolution of the original Mele Hula to a Westernized style of dance and chant, which now is often sung. Vocalists may also sing in the uniquely Hawaiian falsetto style, either as a soloist or in harmony with a group.

Hula Ku'i refers to Hawaiian hula songs of the late 19th and 20th century. These songs are uniquely Hawaiian by featuring a Hawaiian language text, correct pronunciation and a specific quality of voice and musical expression. Typically, the composition expresses praise for subject individuals, places, and events. And the use of kaona, or hidden meaning, is common.

The basic framework of the hula is melody and rhythm enhanced by vocal harmony and traditional instruments. Beyond this basic framework is the element of individual stylistic expression. This improvisational technique in the performance of Hawaiian music reflects a respectful knowledge of Hawaiian tradition.

Traditional Hawaiian music includes an ensemble of guitar, ukulele, bass, steel guitar and an interrelationship between these instruments, the performing artists, and the hula. This music represents a primary vehicle of Hawaii's rich cultural expression.

At the end of World War II, George K. Ching began recording Hawaiian music on his new record label, 49th State Hawaii Records. 49th State was so named because many businessmen were anticipating Hawaii's eventual attainment of statehood. However, no one realized then that Alaska would actually gain that distinction, and Hawaii would end up as the 50th state.

Ching wanted to manufacture Hawaiian records to answer the demand for music in his downtown Honolulu record store. To guarantee authenticity in the recording performances, Ching enlisted John Kameaaloha Almeida, known today as the Dean of Hawaiian Music, as the label's musical director.

Over the next decade, 49th State Hawaii Records recorded and released an enormous catalog of Hawaiian musical expression. Traditional Hawaiian chant and hula, hapa-haole songs, and even the music from the rest of Polynesia, were recorded by a stable of aspiring local talent, all under the guiding hand of John K. Almeida.

The first 49th State recordings were made using an acetate record cutting machine in a make-shift studio at Ching's own home. When the technology became available, a tape recorder was used recording first on paper tapes and then later on plastic. The original recordings were released first on 78 rpm records.

With this Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Series Hana Ola Records shares with you a collection of Mele Hula Hawaiian Style. These are the original 49th State recordings performed by a variety of the label's gifted artists in the unique style that makes the music unquestionably authentically Hawaiian.

Clarence W. Kinney composed this novelty at the beginning of the age of automobiles in Hawaii and according to John Kameaaloha Almeida, as was common then, Kinney gave it to him to settle a debt. Almeida popularized Holoholo Kaa also known as the Joy Ride hula with his rollicking version joined here by Julia Nui's Kama'aina's.

Irmgard Farden Aluli wrote her first big hit song in 1937 about Puamana, the Farden Family home in Lahaina, Maui. Irmgard  grew up there, surrounded by a loving and gifted musical family consisting of her parents and ten brothers and sisters. Mabel Kekino and The K Sisters share their rendition.

Naka Pueo was composed by Sam Kalani Kaeo who was born in 1888 for the Pueo-Kahi, a ship sharing the place-name of any area near Hana, Maui. The Pueo is the Hawaiian name for the Owl Demigod. Joe Keawe's Hawaiian yodeling falsetto leads the Lei Momi Sweethearts.

Johnny Noble's 1938 Manuela Boy is the timeless tale of a young man in Honolulu town. It is a common ukulele sing-a-long and the ultimate Hawaiian campfire song. It is both written and sung in Pidgin English and proves a humorous vehicle for a swinging Jacob Maka, backed by John K. Almeida and his Hawaiians.

On August 22, 1879, a group of 419 Portuguese immigrants from the archipelago Madeira arrived in Hawaii aboard the British sailing vessel the SS Ravenscrag. The Portuguese laborers were contracted to work the sugar plantations.  With them, they brought a small stringed instrument called the braguinha that was quickly embraced by the Hawaiians eventually evolving into what we know today as the ukulele. 49th State's Waikiki Beach Boy demonstrates the Hawaiian ukulele technique on this famous instrumental Hawaiian Ukulele Medley. The ukulele solo selection begins with Kekuma Okalani, continues with Kahuwila Wai and ends with Johnny K. Almeida's Roselani Blossoms.

George Naope is known as the patriarch of the world famous Merry Monarch Hula Festival held each year in Hilo, Hawaii. For this 49th State recording, Genoa Keawe and her Hula Maids join Uncle George Naope on Hupe Kole written by Lena Machado in 1944.

Arthur Kaaua was a policeman from the community of Keaukaha, near Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. As a steel guitarist, he played with several musical groups on the Island. Here he performs Herbert K. Brown's composition E Ku'u Lani, with his own combo, The Island Serenaders.

The pakalana is the Hawaiian name for the flower from a slender vine native to Southern Asia. It was introduced to Hawaii by the Chinese immigrants who arrived in the mid-1800s. The Lei Pakalana of fragrant yellow-green blossoms is worn in many strands and is associated with love and lovemaking in Hawaiian culture. Bob Hoopii and his Novelty Boys weave this traditional Hawaiian melody for you.

The island of Molokai is called the Friendly Isle because of its outgoing people and their zeal to perpetuate their most relaxed rural lifestyle. John Pi'ilani Watkins expresses feelings of admiration and love performing his composition Moloka'i.

The ancient traditional Hawaiian chant Heeia is performed in the mele hula style by John Kameaaloha Almeida who chants the Hawaiian verse. Joe Keawe's Harmony Hawaiians answer in song. Dramatic steel guitar glides tie the two styles together.

Originally released on the legendary Hawaiian Transcription Productions label in the mid 1930s on shellac 78rpm records, HTP's catalog became a part of the 49th State Hawaii Records label and this track was re-released by George Ching in the late 1940s. The Honolulu Police Glee Club performing here, is a great example of the Hawaiian music Glee Clubs that were so popular from the time of the Hawaiian Monarchy through the 1940s. The traditional Hawaiian Ulili E translates as O Sandpiper, describing the tiny bird that darts along where the ocean washes up along the beach.

A fondness for the beauty of the Puna district on the Big Island of Hawaii is expressed in the Katherine Maunakea (1907 - 1994) composition Puna Ku'u Aloha. Agnes Malabey's powerful vocal is accompanied by Julia Nui's Kama'ainas.

This innovative performance incorporates the modern percussion of the snare and tom-tom drums and the top-hat cymbal into a traditional mele hula expressing affection for the Malihini, or visitors to Hawaii.  John Pi'ilani Watkins performs his own composition for you. 

Seventeen miles from Kauai lies the Forbidden Island of Niihau. The approximately two hundred residents of the seventy-three square mile island are mostly pure Hawaiians who enjoy life with no electricity, telephones, liquor, or unofficial visitors. Kai Davis sings Niihau, a name place song that he collaborated on with John Kameaaloha Almeida.

Genoa Keawe returns to close this collection with her Hawaiians. Hiram Kaehu wrote this classic in the early 1920s precisely for the Hawaiian falsetto singing style. And as Genoa Keawe demonstrates her amazing ability to sustain high notes on the breathless E Mama E, you will swear that time, can indeed, stand still.


HOCD 20000 - Vintage Hawaiian Treasures - Volume Four - Mele Hula - Hawaiian Style

Cord International
PO Box 152, Ventura CA 93002
805-648-7881 - 877-648-7881

We'd like to hear from you!

All website content is the property of
copyrightCord International 1997 - 2020 All rights reserved.
Content may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or re-distributed without the written consent
of the owners, copyright Cord International.

Follow us on FACEBOOK