Helen Desha Beamer – Grande Dame of Hawai`i

One dictionary defines “grande dame” as “a woman of influential position within a particular sphere.” In the history of Hawaiian culture, one could name many grande dame. Surely Mary Kawena Puku`i, Alice Namakelua, Lena Machado, Genoa Keawe, and Haunani Apoliona come to mind. And then there is Helen Desha Beamer. According to Hawaiian music historian George Kanahele in an earlier edition of his seminal work on Hawaiian music, Hawaiian Music and Musicians, the Beamer family…

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Hawai`i’s Champagne Lady

Hawai`i’s Champagne Lady

Much to my surprise and delight, much has already been written about singer Myra English. She is one of the few Hawaiian entertainers of the 1960s and 70s to have a Wikipedia page. But, sadly, the nicest piece on the “Champagne Lady” was her obituary from The Maui News on her passing in 2001. Because you can read about English – the woman, the mother, the grandmother, and the entertainer – elsewhere, I would like to…

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The “Lost” Mona Joy Album

The “Lost” Mona Joy Album

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. Researching the musicians who made the Lexington Hotel’s Hawaiian Room famous across the country and around the world has led to the unraveling of one mystery after another. But it also leads back to an unsolved mystery which – for me –…

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In Hawai`i, The Story Starts

In Hawai`i, The Story Starts

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. And after all the mysteries we have endured – and perhaps solved – about the gentlemen of the Lexington Hotel’s Hawaiian Room, perhaps the greatest mystery of them all is the one most likely to be solved: The mystery of the lone…

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Dual Steel Guitars in the Hawaiian Room?

Dual Steel Guitars in the Hawaiian Room?

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. Our investigation into the Lani McIntire aggregation’s tenure in the Hawaiian Room has so far led us to believe that he worked this room – in various combinations – from 1938 until 1951. And we have made tremendous use of the discographical…

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Enter Aloma of the South Seas…

Enter Aloma of the South Seas…

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. Our investigation into the Lani McIntire aggregation’s tenure in the Hawaiian Room has so far led us to believe that he worked this room – in various combinations – from 1938 until 1951. And we have made tremendous use of the discographical…

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Koki, Koki! Lend Us Your Steel…

Koki, Koki! Lend Us Your Steel…

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. Our investigation into the Lani McIntire aggregation’s tenure in the Hawaiian Room has so far led us to believe that he worked this room – in various combinations – from 1938 until 1951. And in the absence of photographic evidence, we have…

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A West Coast Steeler’s New York Days

A West Coast Steeler’s New York Days

Ho`olohe Hou continues to honor the musicians of the Hawaiian Room – the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences. So now we believe that Lani McIntire was the sole bandleader at the Hawaiian Room from 1941 (when Kinney departed) until 1951 (when McIntire passed away) – making him the bandleader with the longest tenure here. But we also conjecture that since…

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Andy Iona Dreams Big

Andy Iona Dreams Big

Born in 1902 in Honolulu, Andy Aiona Long was a musician’s musician who wanted nothing more in life – from the very earliest age – than to compose and perform music. Believing this life a very real possibility for him since he was born into a family of musical virtuosos, Andy quit Kamehameha School and tried his hand at a career as a full-time musician. Things seem to have worked out for the talented young…

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