Themes (Or... What Are We Doing Here?)

Ho’olohe Hou is a blog dedicated to preserving Hawaiian music of a bygone era.  Much of the music discussed here will be forgotten by all but the families and friends of the artists and the very few (but ever growing number) of the more faithful practitioners of Hawaiian music.  But how do we do that constructively and promote conversation about the music?  One song and one artist at a time, of course! 

When this blog was previously accompanied by a podcast and - later - a radio program, I divided those programs into several thematic segments.  My goal with the new incarnation of Ho’olohe Hou is to revive those segments not as a lengthy and difficult-to-digest program, but with several short blog posts several times a week.  If you have three or four minutes to spare, you should be able to keep up with the happenings at Ho’olohe Hou

Here is a sneak peak at what we might discuss in the coming weeks, months, and - hopefully - years…  

Artists/Musicians - Discussion of a singer or musician and their importance to the history and evolution of Hawaiian music.  In time, we will have the opportunity to explore the girl singers, the boy singers, the falsetto singers, and even the vocal groups. We will also explore the men and women who mastered the steel guitar, slack key guitar, ‘ukulele, and the oft-overlooked bass.

Composers/Songs/Songwriting - Exploration of the unique art form that is the weaving of words into a lei that is a song for all of Hawai’i and Hawaiian music lovers everywhere to cherish.  

Waikiki After Dark - A once popular radio program broadcast across Hawai’i live from a Waikiki night spot, “Waikiki After Dark“ featured the best of the best of Hawai’i’s entertainers.  This blog will attempt to recreate magic moments from a forgotten era through live recordings of the legends of Hawai’i night life.  This means not only musicians who performed Hawaiian music, but also the sometimes under appreciated performers from Hawai’i who expressed themselves through other genres such as pop, rock, country, jazz, and even classical music.

OOPs - The double-entendre is that while we all know what an “oops” is, the gaff to be explored here is why a classic recording from Hawai’i has been allowed to go - as collectors say - “out of print” (OOP).  This segment will explore rare recordings from the vinyl (and even shellac) era which inexplicably have not been remastered for the CD or MP3 era.

Rarities - Recordings from my personal collection which are extremely rare or even one-of-a-kind.

Periods/Evolution/Influences - Maybe three different categories or perhaps just one all encompassing one, we will explore the various periods in the history of Hawaiian music over the last 100 years - from the earliest recording to the most recent - as well as the subtle or not so subtle transition from one period to the next and the various influences from within and outside of Hawaiian music that informed those changes.

Then and Again - To illustrate the evolution of Hawaiian music, it can be useful to listen to the same song fashioned in different ways by different artists over time.

Three Of A Kind - A whimsical contest in which we will hear three songs and you guess what those three songs have in common - for a prize!

Precious Meetings - The pairing of two outstanding Hawaiian music artists who came together for a brief, magical moment in the recording studio to create something that was truly more than the sum of its parts.

Hawaiian Music Around The World - A look at artists from outside of the islands who fell in love with the music of Hawai’i and who spent their lives sharing the joy of Hawaiian music in their homelands.

Birthdays/Passings - We will celebrate days throughout the year when legends of Hawaiian music first arrived as well as those saddest of days when they left us for the heavenly choir. 

These themes will become searchable categories and tags on the Ho’olohe Hou blog.  Note that a blog post may be associated with more than one tag. 

And these are just a few of the ideas for themes we can use as a launching pad for discussing the beauty and uniqueness of Hawaiian music and aritsts from Hawai’i.  If you think of others, drop me a line at 


Bill Wynne

Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am EDT