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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Once in a lullaby

One of the many things we discovered on our recent vacation in the Sandwich Islands was this album:

It's a spectacular recording of Hawaiian music by this gentleman. Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole made it in 1993. It's been enormously successful -- the best-selling record by a Hawaiian artist, ever -- but being the last to the party, we're just discovering it. At the time of its release, we probably heard the label "Hawaiian music" and turned away.

IZ died in 1997 at the age of 38, but he left a lasting mark. This recording will no doubt be played and enjoyed for many decades hence.

Comments (16)

Glad to see you have discovered "Brudda Iz". His stuff is amazing! Welcome to the club.

He was nicknamed Iz because people had trouble spelling Israel.

Oh, and he was amazing. Imagine picking "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" out of the air and making it your own, with a ukelele.

First heard his long playing version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" at the end of a great movie (Finding Forrester)with Sean Connery and Rob Brown around 2000. Wait for the credits at the end of the movie while the kids shoot hoops. Very infectious.

What, there is more to the World than Portland? Can I bike there?

if you need proof of Angels on earth ,
IZ is it, R I P big man.

This might be the best Christmas present than I ever given my mother, a bonafide Hawaii-ophile since her first visit in 1962. Thank you. I listened to the preview list courtesy Amazon and not a bad track, per that, in the bunch.

Oh, Heck, I forgot what I was going to say about "local artists."

Iz's medley, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World" never fails to bring me to tears. It was my ukelele-playing late wife's favorite tune and it always reminds me of our all-too-short time together.

My husband's job transferred him here in 2000. We found KINK.FM shortly after we moved here and that's where I first heard of this artist and that gorgeous song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World".

I thought Portland and surrounding areas were magical. That song is like a soundtrack for me for that first year we lived here. After September 11, 2001, all the magic disappeared. Just looking at the album brought the song immediately to mind and I got goosebumps all over and tears spilled.

A few years back my wife and I took a cruise around the islands - 10 days, all expenses paid by the company, this was the good old days - the day we slowly cruised by Molokai we were listening to Iz on the cabin stereo - wonderful memory. I saw a clip one time where Jimmy Buffet talked about how everyone who had a boat had a Jimmy Buffet CD to play on it (me included) - Jimmy said, he has an Iz CD for his boat...

While on a family vacation to Maui back in '99 I heard some of these songs on the local radio station and I told myself that as soon as we got back to Portland I was going to try to find a copy of this album to remember our vacation by. It wasn't as well known then and after spending some effort trying to remember his name I found it online, ordered it and the whole family enjoyed it. In fact, one of the kids eventually absconded with it and I had to replace it.

Oh my gosh- he is one of most favorite singers- I love his voice and music.
Phenomenal artist. Glad you found him!

The guy is fantastic. Have you never visited Hawaii? I was told all about this guy on my first day there.

Every time I'm in the Islands I surf the local radio stations hoping to hear him singing. Nothing gets you street cred better then rolling down the windows, turning it up and singing along.

there are dozens of Brudda Iz links, most with millions of views. This one is just as sweet.

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