A gentle ocean breeze would be nice about now
The loose, warm sand, gentle ocean breeze and wonderful sunset conjured visions of hula dancers, ukuleles, and slack key guitars. The only thing missing was a cool tropical drink, which I had back at camp, minus the paper umbrella.
Hawaiian music made its way to American shores around the turn of the last century. The exotic sound from a faraway paradise was just what folks needed. It was the beginning of the Progressive Age and all things old were rethought, while all things new were embraced. Hawaiian bands formed in hotel ballrooms across the country. From San Francisco to New York, even Little Rock, Arkansas boasted two Hawaiian bands.
One would think that this fervor over Steel Guitars and tropical rhythms was nothing more than a passing fad, but Hawaiian music had staying power. The sound of the slide guitar found its way into a wide variety of music from blues to old time to modern country.
I have posted about the influence of Hawaiian music on old time music before. I have also posted on the influence of Sol Hoopii and other Hawaiian guitarists on some of the earliest country music pioneers such as Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton, and once on the development of the resonator guitar.
The thing that intrigues me about Hawaiian music is how it has remained a part of American music for the past century. After its introduction to the American public in the early 1910s and popularity throughout the 1920s, its influence remained in the blues, old time, bluegrass, and country music. Of course, like many up beat musical styles, Hawaiian music fell from popularity during the Great Depression, but it returned in full force after WWII and remained popular well into the 1950s.
Pop/Country artist, Marty Robbins released a collection of beautifully recorded Hawaiian music in 1963 entitled Hawaii's Calling Me and in 1965, Jim Kweskin included “Ukelele Lady” on the now classic Jug Band Music LP.
I’ve gathered a few of the more obscure Hawaiian cuts from my collection for today’s post including; some Pop/Hawaiian from the 1920s by Eddy’s Hawaiian Serenaders, a strange combination of Hawaiian and yodeling in Spanish from Bezo’s Hawaiian Orchestra, and the amazing slide guitar on Patt Patterson’s “The Cat’s Whiskers”.