Benjamin Keakahiawa Nawahi astounded audiences with his virtuosic playing for more than six decades. As a member of his brother, Joe Nawahi's band, the Hawaiian Novelty Five, he performed on a passenger liner that sailed between San Francisco and Honolulu in 1919. His success and subsequent health setbacks kept him on the mainland US for the rest of his life. Despite his losing his sight in 1935, he continued to perform with his brother as the Nawahi Trio. He also pursued his fascination with long distance swimming. He remains the only blind person to complete the swim from San Pedro to Catalina Island, a trip that took a little more than 22 hours.
Length:2:53 Released on: 12-20-1929 Artist/Compiled by: King Nawahi's Hawaiians
"Hawaiian Cowboy" - Sol Kekipi Bright
Sol Kekipi Bright, Sr. (11/09/1909 - 4/27/1992), Sol K. Bright Sr. is probably best known for his comic paniolo (cowboy) song "Hawaiian Cowboy". During a brief visit home to Hawaii, Sol Ho'opi'i recruited teenager Solomon Kekipi Bright to join Ho'opi'i's band in Hollywood, California. Bright's ability to sing the rapid-fire Hawaiian lyrics of the popular Kaua'i songs by Alfred Alohikea made him an instant sensation. Eventually, Bright wrote "Hawaiian Cowboy" on a dare from a wealthy inebriated patron who wanted to hear a cowboy song about Hawaii, and was willing to pay $100 per verse to hear one. Sol K. Bright reportedly composed his signature tune on the spot that night.
Length:2:52 Released on: 00-00-1938 Artist/Compiled by: Sol K. Bright & his Holly-waiians
"My Rose Of Waikiki" - Andy Iona
Andrew Aiona Long (01/01/1902 - 11/09/1966), achieved great success on the mainland US, initially as a saxophonist and clarinetist, but ultimately as a Hawaiian steel guitarist. His unique steel guitar style developed due to the loss of his right thumb in high school. Andy also composed and/or arranged many beautiful tunes, including "My Rose Of Waikiki".Length: Released on: 05-28-1935 Artist/Compiled by: Andy Iona & his Islanders
"Hilo March" - Dick McIntire
Dixon Ka'aihue McIntire (04/06/1902 - 05/20/1951), made his mark as one of Hawaii's greatest steel guitarists. Dick recorded over 300 records backing Bing Crosby, Frances Langford, Ray Kinney, and Lena Machado, mostly on the Decca label, as well as featuring his own group, the "Harmony Hawaiians". Dick McIntire's recordings embody the beautiful tone, perfect intonation, and above all the "heart" and feeling of a consummate Hawaiian steel guitarist. To this day, he still inspires many steel guitarists to emulate his beautifully expressive, distinctively legato style.
Length:2:24 Released on: 06-03-1939 Artist/Compiled by: Dick McIntire & his Harmony Hawaiians
"Hula Blues" - Sol Ho'opi'i
Solomon Ho'opi'i Ka'ai'ai, Jr. (12/18/1903 - 11/11/1953) is remembered as an icon that introduced the Hawaiian steel guitar to the world. His adventurous jazz and blues influenced solos redefined the instrument. His innovative tunings and technical brilliance broadened its dynamic range. Sol Ho'opi'i's exuberance for emerging technologies, initially resonator tri-cones, followed by electrical magnetic pickups, elevated the stature of the Hawaiian steel guitar. (For more of Sol Ho'opi'i's fine recordings, check out "Sol Ho'opi'i - King of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar" in our Territorial
Store section.)Length:2:51 Released on: 02-22-1934 Artist/Compiled by: Sol Ho'opi'i & his Novelty Quartette