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Marie Mariterangi sings in the Molokai 1965

 In researching the Mai-Kai’s history, I come across a lot of things that I am not sure will ever make it into a book, or a lecture or anywhere besides me and my wife. This weekend, with spare time due to the holidays, I did some digging. I have an October/November 1965 “Happy Talk”, a news magazine published by the Mai-Kai, and it is full of great stuff. The cover announces that Mariterangi will begin performing in the Molokai soon. I had not heard that name come up before, so I searched for the story of her life. There is not much.

There is a ton of her music online. I found Dub DJs with her in their list of music to mix. She, like many of the performers at the Mai-Kai, was from Tahiti, born in 1926. The fast tempo of the Tahitian drums is a draw for creating a live show I am sure. Toti was the lead there. Mireille was the choreographer and dancer from Tahiti. They likely knew of Marie and when she landed on the mainland of the US, they worked to recruit her. Marie came to the US via Hawaii, like many of the island performers, and created her own troupe. She started at the Bora Bora in San Francisco in 1960. That location became a Skipper Kent’s in the late 60’s after the owner was shot by his wife. Few even knew it was ever anything else. It stayed a Skipper’s into the 80s.

There were local island natives who would come to the Mai-Kai and as the evening came around, they got out their guitars and began to play and sing the songs of their homelands. It was simply a natural thing and it was enjoyed by the snowbirds as well. The Mai-Kai recognized the beauty of it and made this a standard practice there. Marie may have been the first formal player in the Molokai.

Sadly, Marie passed away of cancer in 1971. She was honored in her homeland, along with her sister Emma with a stamp. Her music lives on forever. Her voice is so full of emotion. If you can find her “Tahiti Nui”, it is a classic.

And today, the tradition lives on. It may be Mua and his guitar or any number of other musicians playing in the Molokai. Singing the songs of the islands…

Honeymoon in Hawaii LP

This record has lots of great images. It is meant to be a sort of scrapbook of your Hawaiian Honeymoon. Places to add notes and it is generally a nice bit of eye candy. I expected the most watered down tripe from the vinyl inside.

Instead I found some good music. Even some great music! The track “He Aloha No O Honolulu” at first gave me a little chill and then it shot straight into breath taking.

THIS page says: It showcases the unique talents of Bunny Brown,
Kihei Brown. Arthur Kaua, Mona Kalima, and Buddy Brown at their best; Bunny Brown recalls, “The whole album was incredibly recorded in just one session.”

Bunny passed away at age 90 in 2009.

THIS is the stuff I play in the Hapa Haole Hideaway. It gives me the feeling that is my ideallic soundtrack.

Hilo Hawaiians – Honeymoon in Hawaii

Download it HERE

Sam Makia – Live Hawaiian Party

More ripped live Hapa Haole vinyl. I had recorded this record in 2007, but just recorded it again. It appears to be from the 70s. Looks like the dying end of the Tiki Epoch. Everyone in the images is elderly. The show was recorded in the Malia Polynesian Room in Asbury Park, NJ. I find no internet record of this place existing.

Sad, as Sam Makia made one of my all time favorite records. Take it as you will.

Download it here.

Swank Vinyl Exotica is Free!

Back in 2001, I made Swank Vinyl Exotica I to sell at the first Hukilau. It turns out that was the only money made on the first Hukilau! I made a second and sold them both on my website.

I just didn’t feel like putting in the time to make the CDs anymore and they ended.

I decided to resurrect them and share them now. I do not swear by the quality of these recordings, only their mood, which at those times, they reflected.

So, download and enjoy!

Yahoo LaunchCast

I accidentally came across Yahoo’s personal radio station. I have a Live365 station and I am a VIP listener subscribed there. I have pretty eclectic and obscure taste in music. I find a lot of it on Live365. But now I am considering paying for the Yahoo radio.

It is similar to the Netflix scheme where you rate musical genres and artists and songs, etc. and it builds a playlist based on those choices. And the more you listen and rate, the closer it gets to playing what you like. So, instead of listening to say, Vegas Vic’s Tiki Lounge or The Swank Pad, and getting that great style of music, I can hear it all on one “station.”

This may not be for everyone. But I am the odd person that likes to hear Captain Beefheart mixed with Wanda Jackson and James Brown and Esquivel. If you are too, then listen to my station, or make your own!

The catalogue isn’t as diverse as I would like, but it does have a lot I have not enjoyed in a long time.

Re-uploads

I have had requests to re-upload a couple of records. So, I have put Henri Rene’s Compulsion to Swing and Bob Thompson’s Mmmmm Nice back up. get ’em while they’re there!

Commercial Recording Corp.

CRC logo

If you have listened to my Live 365 radio station, you probably have heard some of these. In the days of the radio jingle, CRC was king. Their intros and lead ins were just fantastic and they covered a couple of decades with their chorus singing “It’s Friday!” or whatever. I picked this record up on Ebay ages ago. The original tracks had an opening and closing with a 30 second or so blank space for the announcer in the middle. My download has the two pieces broken apart. This site gives some history and some great free downloads. I love this stuff. I have kept it to myself for years, but am sharing it now since my radio station is pay to listen only now.

Download here

Soundtracks With a Twist

cover I am guessing a lot of you are into the same sort of weird music I am. Lounge, but not really the normal sort of lounge. Stuff that strays just enough to give you a sly little smile. So I wanted to share with you perhaps my all time favorite CD. I have owned and listened to about every lounge CD out there and tons of records. This particualr CD I keep going back to. I put it in the player and I worry. “Will this be the day? Will this be the playing that I can no longer tolerate this CD?” No. That has yet to happen. Every time I play it, I just flat enjoy it. I think you will too.

So, ignore the many other CDs out there and buy this one. I have waded through them for you. And if you enjoy it like I think you will, let me know. Maybe I have a few other suggestions for you in the future.

Click the cover to get your very own copy.

Butch Batson – Crazy Good

twstbent.jpg

I know Vic and I know he has good taste in weird music. Weird and good music. I finally got around to listening to this post he made last month. It’s intrigued me. My. God. This is the shit! Scary and weird and brilliant, in a scary ass way. It’s the perfect follow up to the Jesco White “Dancin’ Outlaw” video. Not much I can add to this except that you must listen to “Green Girl” which I bet was written while looking at a Tretchikoff painting, and “Don’t Trust”, oh, and “Carolina Drive-In” nearly gave me aheart attack laughing… 

withdrawing my support of Hukilau. Editing all the links to point to hukilau.org insteadPablus and The Crazed Mugs

Pablus

One of the things I most look forward to at Hukilau and other East Coast Tiki Revival gatherings is the sounds of Pablus and his uke. He’s a good friend and drops by the Hideaway semi-regularly with his uke, and his company and playing are always a great pleasure.

There are a variety of people and groups out there playing Hapa Haole and island music, but when it comes to writing new songs, there are not that many doing that. And when you narrow the field to those folks who are into Polynesian Pop, it gets smaller. And then you think about who is active in the community and actually writing about the community of tiki lovers, it gets down to just Pablus.

Being the only one doing a particular thing isn’t really enough though. But, with Pablus you have all you could want. First, he is an excellent musician and surrounds himself with excellent musicians. Second, he owns one the best recording studios in Florida. Third, he really writes great songs, and forth, he really gets it.

What you end up with it an incredible sounding, well performed CD with a few standards done with feeling and some new songs that will bring a smile to the mug collectors and Beachbum Berry mixologists out there like nothing else.

When he took the stage at the Mai Kai at Hukilau this year, Otto Von Stroheim called him “our Bruddah Iz.” He’s right. I can’t recommend this CD enough. Tell him Swanky sent ya.

Ear Candy – Peggy Lee – Ole Ala Lee

cover

Peggy is pretty hot on this cover for sure. And she is such a cutie-pie on the album for sure. This is a very peppy and fun record and you just have to love Peggy for it. Not much more to say than that! Download it and enjoy!

Ear Candy

First, in the holiday spirit, I offer one of my all time favorite musical directors, Henri Rene’s “The Swingin’ Stars and Stripes.” Henri Rene’s music is not all “out there” like a Equivel. He holds it in control and puts a little something extra in there that rewards your listening.

From Stars and Stipes to Stars of Strippers, I give you David Rose – “The Stipper.” That’s America!

From Stippers to Sunset Strippers, Mel Henke has his way with the tune on “77 Sunset Stripper.” Love his stuff. It’s over the top!

As always, Bring Home the Coke. Sparkle Neely Sparkle!

And be sure to bring ice on your travels this holiday to relieve the burns and bug bites.

And for your adventures, Mel Henke’s “Adventures on the Highway” which plays on his theme for Chevrolet “See the USA in your Chevrolet.”

Enjoy the Holidays!