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Lehua Records - Iwalani Kahalewai

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Artist: Iwalani Kahalewai
Album: An Hawaiian Happening
CD Id: SLCD-5029

ukulele = Play short MP3 sound clip
Track Song Title Time
1 Kamalani O' Keaukaha 02:49
2 Ulu Palakua 01:52
3 Pua Tubarose 02:27
4 Nanakuli 01:49
5 Na Moku Ilima 02:40
6 Maunakea 02:09
7 Green Lantern Hula 02:12
8 Hoonanea 02:34
9 Aloha Kauai 01:54
10 Hui Hui 01:41
11 Roselani Blossoms 02:16
12 Hookipa Paka 02:00
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Album CoverCan the old Hawaiian sound go modern?

In the case of this fine album featuring the clear as crystal voice of Iwalani Kahalewai, the answer is yes. Very definitely, yes!

Arranger-conductor Benny Saks has taken this collection of old Hawaiian standbys and given it a modern, rock and country Western flavor through the use of the type of bass playing you generally associate with Ray Charles, the noted folk-rock-blues singer. And it comes off fine.

It took some skillful blending of these new sounds — done, incidentally, very tastefully and subdued — with Iwalani's fine voice and the result is another winner for this label — one of the pioneers in the new Hawaiian sound.

She seems to sing effortlessly (but beautifully) and though her vocal ability has been well known in the Islands for some time, this is a new sound she imparts and it's something that collectors of Hawaiian albums will be glad to own.

I found particularly pleasing to the ear, her rendition of Nanakuli and Aloha Kauai, the song made famous by another great Hawaiian female vocalist, the late Mikilani Fo.

And there is a fine version of Roselani Blossoms, and another old Island favorite, Pua Tubarose.

Maunakea and Na Moku Ilima also are given very special and meaningful treatments by Iwalani, whose bell-like voice makes her a very special singer

—Jack Williams

Charlotte Iwalani Kahalewai was born on Maul in 1934 and began singing at the tender age of six years old. The beautiful voice of this lovely lady of Hawaiian song is remembered as the pretty Maul girl who honed her skills on her home island, and after graduation from Baldwin High School, moved to Oahu

Iwalani has been a headliner in Waikiki and a star on the Hawaii Calls radio show. In 1958 she joined the Alfred Apaka show in the Tapa Room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel. After Apaka's death, she sang at Don the Beachcomber and then with Alice Fredlund's Halekulani Girls at the Halekulani Hotel. There were many showrooms in the Waikiki area where Iwalani shared her beautiful voice.

Her beautiful smile and warm personality made her a star. Iwalani made many recordings with Hawaii Calls and her famous sister-in-law, Haunani Kahalewai. Iwalani could sing and dance with the best of them.

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