Fri, 28 November 2014
Hawaiian Eye star Poncie Ponce was not a regular on the radio version of Hawaii Calls, and he only appeared a handful of times on the TV version of the same show (likely host Webley Edwards’ attempt to capitalize on Poncie’s well-established popularity across the nation). But on the few occasions when he did appear on Hawaii Calls, more often than not he was permitted to do something he was not permitted to do either on Hawaiian Eye or on the records he made for his bosses at Warner Bros.: Sing a romantic ballad.
And, as you can hear here, Poncie Ponce was equally adept at Hawai`i’s romantic ballads as he was at its rollicking comedy numbers. It is a pity he did not have the opportunity to do more such performances. But such is what happens when you get pigeon-holed into a particular role in the entertainment field, and Poncie Ponce was branded – through his own actions – as the funnyman.
The song is quite a mystery as this seems to be the only ever performance of it by any artist anywhere. Presumably titled “Magic Island,” no song by this name has ever appeared on another LP recorded in Hawai`i, and a search on the lyric reveals no song by this title either. Did Poncie Ponce write it himself? Regardless of who the mystery composer might be, I hope that publishing this video encourages other performers in Hawai`i to take up the reigns and give this song new life. (This song would sound terrific on a singer like, for example, Ioane Burns.)
I hope you enjoyed this clip of Poncie Ponce which has remained far from sight and mind for nearly 50 years.