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Night Club Hula Hawaiian Style
Night Club Hula
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Musical Stroll Into The Night Clubs Of 1940s Waikiki

Night Club Hula will transport you back in time. It’s 1946. World War II has just ended and you find yourself in Waikiki strolling down Kalakaua Avenue. Warm trade winds blow gently and you are intoxicated by the heady scent of ginger & pikake. Sweet sounds drift though open night club doors and as you stroll you find yourself listening to a virtual who’s-who of Hawaiian musical talent of the day, including many artists from the Hawaii Calls radio show, and practically every star of every showroom, lounge and nightclub in the Waikiki showbiz scene of the period. These are the most gifted, talented,  and famous Hawaiian entertainers of the day.

Vintage Hawaiian Treasures series producers Michael Cord and Harry B. Soria Jr., returned to the vaults of Bill Fredlund's Bell Records for the sixth disc in their ongoing series of digitally remastered Territorial Era classics. Their discoveries include late-40s recordings by Pua Almeida, Alfred Apaka, Andy Cummings, the Richard Kauhi Trio and Gabby Pahinui. Other artists aren't as well known today but all tracks are gems.

Soria again proves Hoku Award-quality liner notes on the selections and the significance of Bell Records. The artwork, remastering and the audio restoration also maintains the high quality of previous discs in the series. Anyone interested in Territorial Era Hawaiian and hapa-haole music can consider this Hoku-worthy anthology a "must-buy."

Honolulu Star Bulletin John Berger

Rock-a-hula, baby! Five Stars
Well, if Hawaiian music can "rock," this manages it -- effortlessly. A+

Night Club Hula Hawaiian Style - Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Volume Six

In the two centuries since Hawaiian first received contact from the outside world, Hawaii’s music has evolved as a reflection of each new non-Hawaiian musical trend to reach her shores.  At the same time, traditional Hawaiian music has been lovingly passed on from generation to generation, preserving Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

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

During World War II, William Bell Fredlund began recording Hawaiian music on his new record label, Bell Records of Hawaii.  Bell Records was part of his new musical enterprise which he called Leo Kupina’i Studios, meaning “Voice That Goes Out And Comes Back”.  As a result, the original Bell Records catalog numbers incorporated the initials LKS.
Bill Fredlund had no experience in the music business world.  He was a dynamite expert for a dredging company in Honolulu.  His wife however, Alice Davis Fredlund, was a gifted singer, musician and composer, so he relied on her completely.  They worked together making her musician brother Willie Davis, their sales manager and talent scout.

Between 1944 and 1950, Bell Records recorded and released an enormous catalog of Hawaiian music.  The label assembled a star-studded stable of Hawaii’s professional musicians and entertainers – the absolute cream of the industry.  Some of these artists like Alfred Apaka and Gabby Pahinui have since achieved virtual immortality for their lifetime musical contributions to the world.  The rest of the Bell Records Family members are a virtual who’s-who of Hawaiian musical talent of the day, including many artists from the Hawaii Calls radio show, and practically every star of every showroom, lounge and nightclub in the Waikiki showbiz scene of the period.

The Bell Records studio was a former military warehouse in an area known as Base Yard 6, located across the Ala Wai Canal from Waikiki.  The Fredlund’s enlisted a local electronics genius named Young O. Kang as their recording engineer.  Kang had been recording Hawaiian music since November 1927 when he was hired by the Brunswick Company for the historic  
Johnny Noble Sessions in Honolulu.  Kang had also been engineering the Hawaii Calls radio show since its inception in 1935.  To defeat any possible echo, Kang baffled the walls of the warehouse and to reduce audible noise, he used just two Altec 639 microphones.  With his years of experience, Kang knew that both the Hawaiian musicians and their audience preferred a solid bottom end of bass on their music.  And so, the Korean audio technician genius provided it on the Bell catalog of 78 rpm records.

With a Voice That Goes Out And Comes Back, Hana Ola now shares with you a collection of Night Club Hula Hawaiian Style.  These are the original Bell recordings performed by a variety of the label’s gifted artists in the unique style of the Hawaiian music showplaces of the day.  These recordings are truly Vintage Hawaiian Treasures.


Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs, known as the Ambassador of Good Cheer composed over 300 songs during his lengthy career in Hawaiian music. Whether fronting the Harry Owens' Royal Hawaiian Hotel Orchestra in the 1930s, or as a member of numerous successful groups in the 1940s and 1950s, Alvin was always sure to set the music jumping! Aloha Ku'u Pua by Alvin and his Royal Hawaiians kicks off this set of classic Bell recordings.

For countless generations, Hawaiians residing on the Leeward side of Oahu would meet at a place near Ewa known as Kalena. Bill Aliiloa Lincoln and his Hawaiians [ Bill Aliiloa Lincoln Hawaii's Falsetto Poet HOCD 98000 ] share the song O Kalena Kai originally a chant written by King Liholiho which describes a place of ancient ceremonial bathing and praises the agricultural productivity of the fields of those who grew taro inland to trade it with those who harvested the bounty of the sea, then goes on to describe a place of purification where the souls of the departed leap into the next world.

Some say Queen Liliu'okalani set the words of the chant Makalapua to the music of the hymn "Would I Were With Thee" in 1897. Liliu'okalani attributes the words to the chant to Konia, her foster mother and the natural mother of Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Others give credit to alternately Eliza Holt or Naha Harbottle Hakuole for adapting the chant to music to present to Queen Liliu'okalani on her birthday, claiming the song was originally known as Makalapua Lei O Kamaka'eha or Lei of Kamaka'eha. Others cite a Hawaiian Gazette newspaper article dated 1894 listing Makalapua as a song sung at a musical program for Maui's Maunaolu Seminary.  Its origins remain a mystery but anyway you look at it, the traditional Makalapua proves to be the perfect vehicle for the Golden Voice of Hawaii, Alfred Apaka [ Alfred Aholo Apaka Hawaii's Golden Voice HOCD 32000 ].  He is accompanied by Randy Oness' Select Hawaiian Serenaders: "Steppy" De Rego, Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs, "Buddy" Peterson, Pua Almeida, and Randy Oness.

Originally known as Wai Hu'ihu'i O Ke Aniani, this traditional song Wai O Ke Aniani, or Crystal Water describes the cold mountain water of Ke Aniani and the beautiful scent of pikake flowers in the mist of a fine rain at Kahalu'u, Oahu. Joe Diamond and Ralph Alapai round out his trio as the incomparable Gabby Pahinui weaves a magical spell with his Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.

Rising 760 feet above sea level, the world famous profile of the ancient volcanic crater Diamond Head presides over Waikiki. Also known through the years as Point Rose, Diamond Hill, the Sleeping Lion, and Leahi (Place of Fire), the landmark stands strong on the south-east side of Waikiki. For his tribute, Kaimana Hila, Andy Cummings is joined by his Hawaiian Serenaders [ Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders HOCD 65000 ], Gabby Pahinui, Ralph Alapai, Joe Diamond and David Malo.

Sand has become one of the all-time favorite instrumental performances for the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Written in the 1930s by the famous Hawaiian Steel Guitarist, Andy Iona, the song was an immediate popular success. Harry Owens even recorded a version with lyrics. However, this instrumental Steel Guitar version by Jules Ah See recorded on the Bell label has become the local standard.

Conjure up the image of a memorable Hawaiian luau menu of fish and poi, kalua pig, laulau, pipi kaula, 'inamona, wana, 'opihi, limu and many other tasty delights. Then don't forget, there's haupia for desert, and okolehao  to wash it all down. Hawaiian songs and hula are being performed for your entertainment.  Mel Peterson sings the traditional You're At A Luau Now, his own description of just such an event, accompanied by Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs and his Royal Hawaiians.

Lena Machado, the Songbird of Hawaii [ Lena Machado Hawaiian Song Bird HOCD 29000 ] composed Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi, or Famous Is Hilo For Her Scenic Beauty in 1946. Soon after, the rambunctious Kalima Brothers collectively known as 1,000 Pounds of Melody [ The Kalima Brothers and the Richard Kauhi Quartet HOCD 27000 ] featuring brothers Albert, Junior, Honey, and Jesse Kalima, as well as Julian Jasper and Richard Kauhi, recorded their own rollicking version of the song written for the Crescent City on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Richard Kapapanuihanaumoko Kauhi, considered by many as the Father of Modern Hawaiian Music, was certainly ahead of his time when the Richard Kauhi Quartet recorded for Bell Records. Here, the 20 year old keyboard wizard puts his own musical imprint on John Kaonohiokala Keawehawaii's 1948 composition My Yellow Ginger Lei.

George Kainapau's pure Hawaiian falsetto voice soars above the perfect harmony of Benny Kapena Kalama, Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs and Tommy Castro known as the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders, on Mi Nei or How About Me?. Hawaiian born Charles E. King (1874 - 1950) was a musical protégé of Queen Liliuokalani. Here his 1948 lyrics tell of an older woman asking that her considerable charms be considered.

The artistry and mastery of Charles Philip Gabby Pahinui (1921 - 1980) on the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar can truly be appreciated on this earliest solo recording of his Hula Medley. It was recorded when Gabby was in his mid-twenties. Today he is remembered as Hawaii's premier recording artist of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Pahinui’s Hula Medley from 1947, recast traditional melodies from hula in an instrumental context and helped introduce slack-key guitar to the world. In 2012 this recording was deemed a "treasure for generations to come", chosen for inclusion to the U.S. National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for its cultural, artistic, and historical significance.

Charleston Puaonaona Almeida, known by everyone as Pua Almeida (1922-1974) [ Pua Almeida and His Sunset Serenaders LIVE at the Moana Hotel Banyon Court  HOCD 2050 ], was one of Hawaii's musical treasures. The son of John Kameaaloha Almeida, the Dean of Hawaiian Music, Pua was both a fine musician and vocalist.  Here he sings Ku'u Ipo Pua Rose, one of his father's beautiful melodies (written for JKA's first wife Elizabeth), while playing a haunting Hawaiian steel guitar at the same time. 

Andy Cummings and his Hawaiian Serenaders [ Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders HOCD 65000 ] sing the praises of a certain young wahine from the Valley Isle of Maui in the traditional favorite composed by Sylvester Thomas Kalama in the late 1800s, Maui Girl. Lovely Mariah lives at Waikapu, Maui, and is blessed with many charms.

George Pokini's Hawaiians were favorites on the Waikiki entertainment scene. During WWII they played regularly at the old Barbecue Inn in Waikiki and toured the mainland after the war.  The traditional Ka Wai Oka Niu Haohao is a fine example of their tight arrangements and pleasing harmonies.   George Pokini went on to be a full time bass player and accomplished guitarist  at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's Surf Room.  He passed away at the young age of 47 in 1964.

Many songs about her beloved island Maui were written by native Hawaiian Alice Johnson born in 1912. Her popular Hookipa Paka Hula tells of the beauty of Hookipa Park, near Paia, Maui. The King of the Hawaiian Falsetto Singers George Kainapau [ George Kainapau Hawaii's Falsetto King HOCD 2030 ], shares this arrangement with George Archer and his Pagans.

Josephine N. Ikuwa is accompanied by Alice Davis and Thelma Anahu on the lovely Ku'u Hoa, written by Louise and Pono Beamer in 1937. The gifted singer, composer, and musician Alice Pualeialoha Davis Fredlund was the co-founder of Bell Records. Here the Josephine Ikuwa Singers perform for you.

Another member of the Beamer family, Milton Beamer, collaborated with R. Alex Anderson (b.1894) in 1940 on Blue Lei. Anderson penned the lyrics while Beamer composed the music for this fond remembrance of a couple's first meeting, performed by the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders.

Alfred Apaka [ Alfred Aholo Apaka Hawaii's Golden Voice HOCD 32000 ] steps in front of Randy Oness' Select Hawaiian Serenaders once again with Moon Of The Southern Seas, a fitting finale to this set of Night Club Hula Hawaiian Style. Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs (b.1904) hapa-haole song of love under the South Pacific moon written in 1941 also features a young Pua Almeida's unique fade-away style of playing his Hawaiian Steel Guitar.

HOCD23000 - Night Club Hula Hawaiian Style

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