Hawaiian Room - Intermission

For the past few days – in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Lexington Hotel’s Hawaiian Room (the New York City venue which for nearly 30 years delivered authentic Hawaiian song and dance to exceedingly appreciative mainland audiences) as well as the October premier of the documentary film simply entitled The Hawaiian RoomHo`olohe Hou has been featuring the musicians that put the Hawaiian Room on the map (and vice-versa). Although we have progressed from the venue’s opening in 1937 through Lani McIntire’s passing in 1951, we must now do a little investigative research to move forward with the accurate recounting of the Hawaiian Room’s story. 

At issue is not which musicians came next in the famed room. We know all the names! What we do not know is the order in which they appeared in the room. While not a single one of the musicians who worked the room (which closed in 1966) remains with us, fortunately the documentary film features a number of “Ex-Lexes,” the affectionate moniker for the hula dancers who graced the room during the latter part of its history. (One, in particular, is the daughter of a Hawaiian Room steel guitarist of the 1960s. Rummaging through the vast Ho`olohe Hou archives, I unearthed an album by Hawaiian Room musicians from this period which featured this same hula dancer’s face and hula movements. Despite the passing of years, I would have recognized her anywhere…) I befriended many of these ladies and look forward to speaking to them to solve still more mysteries and put more myths and misconceptions to rest.  

So stay tuned to Ho`olohe Hou for more Hawaiian Room legend and lore in the coming days and weeks. Until then, we will return to our originally scheduled ambitious October schedule of celebrations of Hawaiian music and musicians. What’s on tap? Let’s just say we have a lot of catching up to do… 

This is Ho`olohe Hou. Keep listening… 

~ Bill Wynne


Category:Announcements -- posted at: 11:56am EDT