Album: Best of Leina'ala
CD Id: SLCD-345
= Play short MP3 sound clip
contact Lehua Records, the owner of this recording, about the licensing
for the use of any part of this album, press
||Ku‘u Home Aloha
||My Tropical Baby
||Moku O Keawe
||Ku‘u Aloha Nui
||E Ku‘u Tutu
||Ka Wai O Ka Niu Haohao/Nui Haohao Medley
||Aloha Ku‘u Aina Hawai‘i
To buy this album, please contact one of our distributors listed below.
MDI Distribution, Inc.
Phone: (404) 934-9226
How do you measure greatness? How do you measure the impact of someone's legacy? In the music business many people spend their lives trying to be the next big thing. Sadly, their music is quickly forgotten because they sound like someone else and may have been good, but not great. When they die, their music is quickly tuned out. The great ones, however, are not forgotten because their music, memories and influences impact the lives of others forever.
Leina'ala Haili is a great one. She has to be considered one of the best singers in Hawaii ever. Not only could she sing, she could dance and was the consummate entertainer. Jessie Leina'ala Haili died April 15, 2005 at the age of eighty-two but her music, nor the impact and influence she had on countless singers did not. Her vocal style was uniquely her own. Influenced by her early love for Hawaiian church choral music, opera, traditional Hawaiian and popular music, Leina'ala absorbed all styles of music like a sponge. She never had a voice or music lesson.
Blessed with perfect pitch, Leina'ala learned to play the ukulele and guitar without lessons. No one mastered "ha'i", the female equivalent of falsetto singing like Leina'ala. Every note, phrase and inflection mattered so she could capture every emotion in the song. Her vocal skill is unmatched, jumping octaves effortlessly, "cracking" her voice, shaping vocal emotions to perfectly interpret the mood of the song.
In a 1973 interview with Wayne Harada in the Honolulu Advertiser, Leina'ala said, "Singing is something I put my heart and soul into. I find that if I enjoy singing, the audience will enjoy listening." Leina'ala Haili was not just a recording artist. Entertaining live was her passion. The old Niumalu Hotel, Yoko's in Kapahulu, Don the Beachcombers, the Waikiki Lau Yee Chai, The Clouds and the Barefoot Bar were filled with never to be forgotten memories of Leina'ala performing with passion.
She recorded six albums for Lehua Records. Until now only her fourth "No Ka Oi", was available on CD. Rediscover "the voice" with the "Best of Leina'ala Haili". It features fourteen songs, ten of which are available for the first time on CD. Fortunately the greatness and legacy of Leina'ala Haili will be remembered by generations to come.
- Tim Mathre