Welcome To AlbumLinerNotes.com
"The #1 Archive of Liner Notes in the World"

Your Subtitle text
The Great Singers
This collection is unavailable via iTunes.
To buy this CD from Amazon.com, click here:
Vintage Hawaiian Music, Vol. 2: The Great Singers (1928-34) _________________________________________________


Vintage Hawaiian Music:
The Great Singers 1928-1934

1. Mai Kai No Kauai 2:08
Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians (the Moes)

2. Hui E 2:57
Coral Islanders

3. Hano Hano Hawaii 2:52
Waikiki Stonewall Boys

4. Tomi Tomi 2:40
Sol K. Bright Hollywaiians

5. Paahana 2:50
Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians (the Moes)

6. Lei E 3:02
Kalama's Quartet

7. Lehua 3:12
Sol Hoopii Trio

8. Kuu Lei 3:02
George Ku Trio

9. Na Lei 3:08
Coral Islanders

10. La Lupe Ua Sola 2:47
Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians (the Moes)

11. Parari'i Pararara'i 2:38
Tamari Tahiti

12. Pehea Hoi Au 2:56
 Kalama's Quartet

13. Uheuhene 3:22
Sol Hoopii Trio

14. Ama Ama 2:36
Sam Alama

15. E Mama Ea 2:43
Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians (the Moes)

16. Sassy 3:20
Kalama's Quartet

The varied influences that created the Hawaiian style of singing are lost in the mists of obscurity. Prior to the initial contact of Western missionaries in the opening decades of the 19th century, Hawaiian singing had a rich oral tradition of chants. Before the overthrow of kapu system of religion in 1819, chant was a vital part of everyday life, and was a means of establishing contact between mortals and gods. Musically the chants consisted of very few notes and the lyrical content was primary in importance.

Western missionaries brought European diatonic church harmonies to Hawaii (as they did in many primitive cultures). The first hymn book in Hawaiian was published in the 1830s. The Hawaiians, with their natural musical abilities adopted western harmonies very quickly.

From the 1830s on, there was a great influx of immigration to Hawaii. Musically, the most influential of these immigrants were Mexican and Portuguese cowboys, coming from California, Mexico, and South America to work on ranches in Hawaii. These people were known as paniolos, a Hawaiian corruption of Espaniolas. Besides introducing all manner of stringed instruments such as guitars and ukulele, the paniolos brought with them a rich tradition of passionate singing, including falsetto singing. Falsetto became one of the most distinctive attributes of Hawaiian singing. Most of the paniolos worked on cattle ranches on the big island, Hawaii, and it is there where most of the great Hawaiian falsetto singers came from.

Falsetto, or the creation of an artificial higher harmonic in the voice, was in full swing by the late 19th century, and was taught in local choirs.

Yodeling, the alternation of natural and falsetto voice technique, also became a fundamental part of Hawaiian singing. The "break" between the natural and falsetto voices is emphasized in Hawaiian singing, where in Europe it is not. The use of this" break" as a mode of emotional expression survives from chant vocal styles on into this century. It is a very effective method as can be heard on the songs on this album. Many of the song contained herein were written especially for falsetto singing, and all before 1930.

Rounder has gone to every effort to provide you, the listener, with a selection of the finest original 78rpm recordings of the best artists of the time, in the best possible condition. In some cases, there are only 1 or 2 copies of a particular disc. The universal beauty and emotional depth of these performances will take you back to an era of pure musical expression.

We begin our collection with one of the finest Hawaiian vocals ever recorded, MAI KAI NO KAUAI, made in 1929 by Rose and Tau Moe, of Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians, while on tour in Japan. The Moe family went on to another 60 years of touring and recording all over the world, capping their career with the recently released 60th Anniversary Album (Rounder 6028). Rose's falsetto singing on this song is heartbreakingly beautiful, with the strong vocal support of Tau and his three uncles Tauivi, Fuifui, and Pulu. Very few female vocalists recorded in the 1920’s and Rose was (and remains) in a class by herself.

In 1932, the Coral Islanders recorded 4 sides that were for some inexplicable reason issued only on a Mexican ethnic series. The group remains unknown, and yet their vocal work ranks them with the best. The blending of their vibratos is exquisite on HU'I E, especially in contrast to the warmth of the rhythm, and the unique tone of the Dobra Hawaiian guitar (rarely used by Hawaiians, who preferred the National all-metal instruments).

HAND HANO HAWAII is a traditional hula, sung in a hauntingly subdued male falsetto by the Waikiki Stonewall Boys. As is typical of many ethnic records, the personnel is unknown on this 1928 Honolulu recording, except for the steel player, Punahele.

Novelty vocals occasionally occur in Hawaiian music, and Sol K. Bright of "Hawaiian Cowboy" fame was a master entertainer, a first-class steelplayer, and an energetic vocalist. TOMI TOMI, from 1934 displays all of these talents. Sol played rhythm guitar for Sol Hoopii in 1930-32, before launching his own 50 year career which continues at this writing.

PAAHANA is the flip side of MAI KAI NO KAUAI – there is one known copy of this disc. Once again Rose Moe weaves her spell of innocence, tenderness, and intensity with husband Tau and the rest of Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians. The duple division of the rhythm is particularly older in style than the 1929 recording date would indicate-more like 1909.

Perhaps the greatest of all male Hawaiian quartets was Kalama's Quartet, who made over 75 sides from 1927-1932, featuring two steels and the falsetto vocals of Maika Hanapi. (See Related Albums for lots more by this group.) LEI E comes from their last session in 1932 before the Depression caused them to disband, and has the musical, vocal, and emotional depth typical of their. Note the bluesy steel turnarounds, and very heavy backbeat and atmosphere.

A lighter approach is taken by Sol Hoopii's Trio on their 1931 hula LEHUA both vocally and instrumentally. Sol, besides being world-reknowned as the king of Hawaiian steel guitar, was a world class-falsetto singer. The trio harmonies are incredibly smooth and show faint stirrings of modernism.

We close side A with the George Ku Trio, from 1932, with their lovely version of KUU LEI. The tempo is Hawaiian 'ballad' tempo, and the main thing to enjoy on this tune is the absolutely gorgeous vocal trio harmony, toner and synchronized vibrato. The steel creates a good contrast to the vocal with its very slow tremelo statement of the melody. Not many artists recorded this tuner though it seems to be a natural for Hawaiian singing.

The Coral Islanders return with NA LEI, from their 1932 session. Our only waltz selection, this song has lovely chord changes and fine yodeling by these unknown musicians.

LA LUPE UA SOLA from the 1929 Mme. Riviere session is the first Samoan song ever recorded. Once again Rose Moe is the lead voice, but notice how Tau alternates between singing high in the verses and bass in the choruses. The hectic tempo belies the sad nature of this song of lost love.

One of the very few early recordings of Tahitian music is PARARI'I PARARARA'I by a group known as Tamari Tahiti recording in 1928. This is a medley of closely-related Tahitian and Hawaiian songs at top speed, a multi-syllabic tour-de-force.

In 1931, Kalama's Quartet recorded what seems to be a conscious effort to make a 'folk' presentation: PEHEA HOI AU The inclusion of a section which refers to the ancient chant style was commonly used in the 1940s, but this is the earliest recorded example. The long section in minor is also unusual for its time.

Once again Sol Hoopii displays his easy confidence in both impeccable intonation on steel and amazingly smooth vocal arrangement and execution. UHEUHENE was cut in 1930, on the West coast, with Sol K. Bright on rhythm guitar.

Sam Alama, though well-known in the Islands, only recorded 4 sides, all in 1930, and cut in Honolulu. His own composition, the novelty hula AMA AMA describes the eating of mullet, chile peppers, beef stew, and a dab of poi. His enthusiastic style made this his signature tune.

One of the most deeply moving vocals on this album is E MAMA EA, featuring Rose Moe with Mme. Riviere's Hawaiians. Made in 1929, Tau Moe re-wrote the melody of these traditional lyrics. It is interesting to note how the musicians tended to speed up the tempo on their records, probably just due to natural enthusiasm.

Kalama's Quartet closes out this collection with SASSY, a humorous song about sassy girls in various Island localities. The lead vocals are shared in turn, including bass vocals of Bob Nawahine.

Original 78 rpm records provided by Bob Brozmar
Remastered at Arhoolie Records, El Cerrito, CA
Editing and Remastering by Bob Brozman and Chris Strachwitz
Tape Editing by Pete Carlson
Liner Notes by Bob Brozman
Original Photographs provided by Bob Brozman
Cover Design by Mel Green
CD art adaptation by Nancy Given.

Other fine albums by these artists:
Sol Hoopii – Vol. 1 1926-1929 (Rounder 1024)
Sol Hoopii – Vol. 21927-1934 (Rounder 1025)
Tau Moe Family: Remembering the Songs of our Youth with Bob Brozman (Rounder 6028)
Hawaiian Steel Guitar – Vol. 1 (Folklyric 9009)
Hawaiian Steel Guitar – Vol. 2 (Folklyric 9027)
Kalama's Quartet 1927-1932 (Folklyric 9022)
King Benny Nawahi: Hot Hawaiian Guitar (Yazoo 1074)
Hawaiian Guitar Hotshots (Yazoo 1055)
Vintage Hawaiian: Steel Guitar Masters (Rounder 1052)

ROUNDER ® © 19B9 Rounder Records Corp., One Camp Street. Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140.

Printed in Canada.
Website Builder