Various Artists, 195?
a recent used record sale, while most of the crowd dug through the rock
and roll bins, I made my way to the quite empty rows of exotic/world music
records. There I picked up a slew of strickly-for-the-tourists Hawaiian
albums. Some were better copies of ones I already had (like "Hawaiian
Holiday" by Leni Okehu and His Surfboarders), but most were
your standard happy (and sometimes sexy) hula girl against a tropical paradise
backdrop. In no way can these be considered traditional folk songs of Hawaii.
These songs (and albums) were meant solely for the amusement of vacationers.
They were made to reinforce the idea of a Hawaiian paradise that never
existed, but that doesn't diminishes their entertainment value. Hawaiian
music, like exotica music, is meant to carry the listener out of there
civilized apartment or suburban home and into a more primitive, carefree
land. Of the few of these newly acquired Hawaiian albums I actually put
on the turntable, Hukilau Hulas made me the happiest. Not
only was this a great collection of hula standards, but on the back cover
was an idiot-proof diagram of hula moves to
"The Hukilau Song." One night I couldn't resist and tried to get some of
my resident cool cats and crazy kittens to dance along, but they would
have none of that. Maybe you'll have better luck.
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