PBS Hawaiʻi

Mele Hawaii : Hapa Haole Hawaii

This program looks at the uniquely different world of hapa haole music, spotlighting the talents of the incomparable Hilo Hattie; singer Joe Recca; Hula Keikis from Alicia Smith's School of Polynesian Dancing; the Leo Nahenahe Singers Noelani Mahoe, Ethelynne Teves, Mona Teves, and Bill Greig; hula soloists Shirley Recca and Martha Carrell; specialty performers Kahili Del Castillo and Lito Capina; and the Benny Kalama Serenaders Benny Kalama, Randy Oness, Sonny Kamahele, Alvine "Barney" Issacs; with the Josephene Flanders' Hula Maids Leimomi Maldonado, Lorna Miranda, Nalani Wong, and Rose-Marie Alvaro. Hapa haole music is a special category of music which combines the Hawaiian type songs with English lyrics; these songs which describe everything from the lovely hula maidens to the grass shacks and even the Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai. This music with its new sound and ways of describing people and the life in the islands became an important part in the islands' music stream by 1940. Varying music tempos ran the gamut from American ragtime to hula comedy and romantic ballads. Mele includes: In the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua Hawaii, Little Brown Gal, My Lovely Hawaiian Maid (Haleiwa Maid), South Sea Sadie, The Hawaiian Vamp (That Haunting Hula), Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop, The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai, Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula, and Song of Old Hawaiʻi. Recorded on October 7, 1974.

Languages: English


  • Documentary

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