Mon, 24 November 2014
I wrote here previously that one of the curiosities of the TV version of Hawaii Calls (only 26 episodes airing during the 1965-66 season) was that Webley Edwards frequently featured performers on the TV show who never appeared on the radio program previously, and this sacrificed precious airtime for some popular radio show regulars who didn’t appear on the TV version of the show even once. But this was not the case with Boyce Rodrigues. While sister Nina never made an appearance on the TV show (although her disembodied voice did weekly), Boyce did several episodes. The only curious part about his appearances was that host Edwards announced Boyce as a “new member of the Hawaii Calls family.” New-ish, perhaps, but Boyce had already been part of the radio show for three years before the TV version first went to air.
Although composed as a sort of novelty number, look how casually Boyce takes the upbeat “There’s No Place Like Hawaii.” The song is often misattributed to the songwriting team of Tony Todaro and Mary Montano (who also composed such hapa-haole staples as “Somewhere In Hawaii” and “Keep Your Eyes On The Hand”). But from the “Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet” files, this is only half-correct. Todaro co-wrote the song with Eddie Brandt who had no ties to Hawaii whatsoever. In addition to being a songwriter, the multi-talented Brandt was a television writer and cartoonist. He was a scriptwriter for The Colgate Comedy Hour and The Spike Jones Show and later for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons. But his oft overlooked mark on history was that he opened one of the first video rental stores in the nation, Eddie Brandt’s Sunday Matinee, which opened in 1967 and which began renting videos in the 1970s long before Blockbuster and Netflix.
We will hear more from Boyce when Ho`olohe Hou celebrates his birthday in March.
Next time: More of the men of Hawaii Calls in the 1960s…