"Hawaii's Charm", copyrighted on September 20, 1939, was written in Honolulu by Harry B. Soria, Sr. (words) and Dick Gump (music). It was the first hit for Soria, while Gump had already enjoyed success with "Farewell, My Tane". The tune was soon recorded on Decca by Ray Kinney & his Hawaiians, featuring the first ever vocal by a young Alfred Apaka, on his first mainland trip. (From the collection of Harry B. Soria, Jr.)
Amy Hanaiali'i entertains the crowd under the big tent at the Lili'uokalani Protestant Church Luau in old Haleiwa town on Saturday, August 7, 2010. Amy followed the tradition of the many Hawaiian Divas who performed at the historic luau before her, including Genoa Keawe, Myrtle K. Hilo, Myra English, and Kealoha Kalama. On this day, other entertainers included David Kai'o & the Honeycreepers and The Gora Sisters. Harry B. Soria, Jr. has hosted the annual luau for over 20 years. (Photo: Harry B. Soria, Jr.)
The gang at Multnomah Falls near Portland, Oregon on Sunday, August 1, 2010. (L to R: Paulette Kahalepuna, Vickie Holt Takamine, Mele Kahalepuna, & Harry B. Soria, Jr. (Photo: Carol Lau)
Harry B. Soria, Jr. falls in love with Lady Liberty at the Red Robin restaurant in Portland, Oregon. It was love at first sight after Harry B. saw her onion rings.... (photo: Vicky Holt Takamine)
Ho'ike sign in Vancouver, Washington above the bandstand in Esther Short Park. (photo: Harry B. Soria, Jr.)
Kawika Trask displays his new baby: an antique National steel ukulele. Built in the late 1920s, the National steel instruments were not only beautiful to look at, but their sound cones produced music up to seven times louder than conventional wooden instruments. (Photo: Harry B. Soria, Jr.)
Judges & Emcee gather backstage at the "Three Days of Aloha" festival's Hapa Haole Hula Contest on Friday, July 30th, 2010 in Vancouver, Washington. (Standing, L to R) Robert Cazimero, Vicky Holt Takamine, Deva Yamashiro, Harry B. Soria, Jr. (Seated, L to R) Leina'ala Kalama Heine & Leialoha Lim Amina. (Photo: Jewels)
Alan Akaka & the Islanders perform during the cocktails at sunset portion of the Military Appreciation evening presented by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 28, 2010. The trio also performed during the Monarch Room floor show with Harry B. Soria, Jr. after dinner. (L to R: Gary Keawe Aiko, Alan Akaka, & Kaipo Asing.) (Photo: Hawaii Chamber of Commerce)
Harry B. Soria, Jr. addresses the Monarch Room audience during the Military Appreciation evening at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel presented by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce on Wednesdaay, April 28, 2010. Harry B.'s script recreated for the audience how the Royal was used during WWII while Alan Akaka & the Islanders played appropriate mele from the period. (Photo: Hawaii Chamber of Commerce)
Jeff Ah Hoy, Harry B. Soria, Jr. and Jeff Teves hang out back stage at the Waikiki Beachwalk presents The 1st Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival on Sunday, July 4, 2010. (Photo: Lynn Piccoli)
Gordon Freitas and Harry B. Soria, Jr. at one of Alan Akaka's Smokey Jam BBQ get-to-gethers. Alan combines good food and a jam with his good friends for a good time for all! (Photo: Michiko Akaka)
STEEL MASTERS JAM!
Emcees state Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, standing left, and Harry B. Soria Jr., standing fifth from left, came up to introduce the final number -- an all-star jam by Jeff Au Hoy, left; guitarist Hiram Olsen; Casey Olsen; Ronald Kanahele; Greg Sardinha, seated; bassist Dennis Leohokalole; and Alan Akaka -- at the 1st Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival on July 4 at the Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage. The five steel guitarists took turns playing lead as the septet performed jam session arrangements of "Moani Ke 'Ala" and "Nani Waimea." (Photo & caption: John Berger - Honolulu Star Advertiser)
Jeff Au Hoy (L) and Harry B. Soria, Jr. (R) hang out at Waikiki Beachwalk presents The 1st annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival on Sunday, July 4, 2010. Jeff was one of the featured steel guitarists, accompanied by the Jeff Teves Trio, while Harry B. was one of the co-hosts, together with Senator Brickwood Galuteria. (Photo: Jeff Teves)
Waikiki Beachwalk presents The 1st Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival was held on Sunday, July 4, 2010, from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, at the Waikiki Beachwalk Plaza Stage. Harry B. Soria, Jr. and Senator Brickwood Galuteria co-hosted the innaugural event co-sponsored by Outrigger Enterprises, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Embassy Suites, and the Waikiki Beachwalk. Steel Guitarists featured included Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha, Casey Olsen, Jeff Au Hoy, and Ronald Kanahele. Pictured, Harry B. sharing Hawaiian steel guitar history. (Photo: Keith Haugen)
Robert Cazimero accompanied living treasures of Hawaiian music on the piano as they sang and told the stories behind classic songs from the Hawaiian music canon. The program featured beloved songbirds Emma Veary and Nina Kealiiwahamana, the legendary Mahi Beamer with Helen Sunbeam Beamer, and special surprise guest Danny Kalekini.
Robert Cazimero also shared his incomparable vocal talents throughout the evening, and the entire ensemble was backed up by the Kawika Trask Trio. PBS Hawaii CEO Leslie Wilcox, music historian Harry B. Soria, Jr. and Hawaiian musical treasure Mihana Souza hosted this unforgettable, "chicken skin" evening of great Hawaiian music.