Fri, 12 December 2014
As you read previously, my first copy of A Merry Hawaiian Christmas from the cast of the Hawaii Calls radio shows was abridged. There was an earlier version which featured more songs and a different cover. It is the original 1962 cover that you see here. I mentioned also that there have been as many as a half-dozen different covers in the more than 50 years since the album was released. The most curious of these is just like the one you see here but without the decorated pineapple top. It was simply a plain white cover with red and green text. The plain white wrapper did not evoke the holiday spirit in me. (It was more like what fish might be wrapped in at Tamashiro’s Market.) But it is the cover of the copy in my collection nonetheless. (The cover pictured here is from the collection of ethnomusicologist and kumu hula Dr. Amy Ku`uleialoha Stillman.)
The two missing songs – “Pomaika`i Wale Ko Ke Ao” (Joy To The World) and “Mele Mai Na Anela” (Angels We Have Heard on High”) – were welcome additions regardless of the wrapper in which they arrived.
When I pulled this record off the shelf of the Ho`olohe Hou archives after not touching it for 349 days, I knew that it would take me at least two blog posts to gift you with all of the music from this album that I wanted you to hear. For we cannot omit Nina Keali`iwahamana’s rendering of “Hamau! Na Anela” (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”). Nor could we forget what may be the best reading ever of Alex Anderson’s classic known around the world, “Mele Kalikimaka,” sung here by Haunani Kahalewai.
To hear the songs I did not include in this teaser, visit iTunes or Amazon.com to purchase the entire unabridged A Merry Hawaiian Christmas for your iPod or iPhone and take it with you all year long (to cool the long, hot July days in Albuquerque). Then maybe after you have heard all dozen glorious tracks you will agree that A Merry Hawaiian Christmas warrants its spot on Ho`olohe Hou’s list of the 25 Greatest Christmas Albums from Hawai`i.
There is one more exceedingly worthy song from this album – one so iconic and representative of Christmas in Hawai`i that they still play it to this day every holiday season on local Hawai`i radio.
Next time: Sonny Kamahele recorded the quintessential song of Christmas in Hawai`i… And #13 on Ho`olohe Hou’s list of the 25 Greatest Christmas Albums from Hawai`i…
Direct download: 14_Christmas_-_Hawaii_Calls_-_A_Merry_Hawaiian_Christmas_Part_2.mp3
Category:50s and 60s -- posted at: 6:05am EDT