Hal Aloma

Hal Aloma was born Harold David Alama on January 8, 1908. He attended Kalihi-Waena School and McKinley High School in Honolulu before dashing off to the mainland and New York City where he became extremely popular for his modernized hybrid of Hawaiian music. A composer, singer, and eventually band leader, Hal Aloma was first and foremost a steel guitar player with a style like no other. Upon his arrival in New York City, he started…

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Billy Hew Len

Every year about this time I reexamine Billy Hew Len’s life and music – not only in honor of his January 18th birthday, but because he was one of the most recorded and most sought after sidemen in the history of Hawaiian music. His story is also an inspirational one – a tale of triumph over adversity. As a student of the steel guitar myself, I listen to Billy Hew Len for endless hours, and…

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Kuleana – The Ho`olohe Hou Radio Story

Kuleana – The Ho`olohe Hou Radio Story

Photo Credit: William Johnson for the Bucks County Courier Times Kuleana: The Ho`olohe Hou Radio Story I call you “my friend.” But I haven’t responded to your phone call, text message, or email in weeks. Maybe months. You wonder what I do with my time. Every morning at 4am I wake up and write about Hawaiian music. Because everyday there is something new to celebrate about the history of Hawaiian music and its legendary artists….

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“Nalani” Reaches The Mainland

“Nalani” Reaches The Mainland

In 1948 Alvin Isaacs won First Prize in the Aloha Festivals Song Contest with his composition “A World of Happy Days.” This is but one of the many reasons why “Papa” Alvin was often referred to as “The Ambassador of Good Cheer.” That same year tobacco heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke absolutely fell in love with Alvin Isaacs’ composition “Nalani.” She threw a party At Shangri La, her mansion on five acres overlooking the Pacific…

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Pua Almeida

Pua Almeida

Twelve years ago to the week, when Ho’olohe Hou Radio was in the third week of its first incarnation as a podcast, the show quickly gained acclaimed among musicians in Hawai’i for a two-part, four-hour episode on the legendary Pua Almeida. You see… Hawaiian musicians owe a debt to Pua for revolutionizing Hawaiian music, and yet few who don’t own an old-fashioned record player have ever heard his music. For while he was one of the most…

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