26 tracks recorded by Kalama's Quartet (in both its quartet and quintet phases) between 1927-1932, as well as a 1935 recording attributed to Mike Hanapi. Varying in approach from folk balladry to uptempo jazz and hillbilly-flavored numbers, it's ebullient music that's most distinctive when the steel guitars are to the fore. The group also varied their vocal arrangements, but are most noted for the numbers featuring sweet falsetto vocals, such as the Hawaiian standard "Wahine Ui." It not only embodies some of the best attributes of vintage Hawaiian music, but also contains clear seeds of a high, pining sound that would be echoed by such later country and pop singers as Roy Orbison and Marty Robbins.
The orchestral music of the 60s was portentously represented by the great composer, arranger and conductor Henry Mancini. In a years when it was common to attend the launch of discs with original or inspired Hawaiian music could not miss the contribution of Mancini to these repertoires. In 1966 he released this album that was later reissued as a CD in 2002, with a selection of songs among which were several of the usual with Hawaiian ambience complemented with other compositions taken from movies.
The success of Hawaiian music evolved from the postwar era when became very fashionable and reached over 600 bands with that music style. Incorporating instruments like guitar, ukulele and the steel guitar' (or acoustic guitars, such as lap steel). The Big Ben Hawaiian Band, from British roots, joined this fashion offering disks on which the most successful songs of those years were interpreted with Hawaiian style instrumentation.
Hawaiian Playground is a lively collection that explores the playful side of Hawaiian music. With selections featuring the sounds of ukuleles, steel guitars and harmonious vocals, this album is as colorful as the islands which inspired it.