INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic non-Hawaiian island songs on steel
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  non-Hawaiian island songs on steel
Levi Gemmell


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 17 Mar 2017 11:11 pm     Reply with quote

In the '40s and '50s a phenomenon which some have dubbed Pan-Pacific pop music emerged which seems to be a mutual proliferation of island styles. In New Zealand this is of course exemplified by Sevesi and Wolfgramm at the steel, who included Fijian (Isa Lei, Chulu Chululu, Kisi Mai), Samoan, Tahitian, and Tongan songs into their repertoires -- as well as the Hawaiian songs, and local Maori songs. They performed with singers such as Daphne Walker, Lyn Peyroux, and George Tumahai. Daphne Walker sang often in Maori and Tahitian as well as English, and so a song like Analani E is known in New Zealand by its own local interpretation.

Danny Stewart seems to me to be a key figure at the inception of this blend of styles, and his work with Augie Goupil has become available (mainly?) via Bruce Clarke and Cumquat Records. Going even further backwards, Sol K. Bright recorded Papio, and Tomi Tomi & Ama Ama (Hawaiian songs as far as I know) smack of the southern influence. Important to my ideas, is that I definitely think it IS a Tahitian influence coming through in songs like Tomi Tomi, especially in that instance where the earliest version by Kanui and Lula lacks that frenzy!!

Eddie Lund and His Tahitians, as well as a drum group called Toti's Tahitians, were known here in New Zealand too. Who was Eddie Lund's steel player? Tahitian music obviously mixed with Cook Islands traditions - in Rarotonga, the Tahitian ukulele is played, but also folk songs such as Manea are played in frantic Tahitian rhythms, and were recorded by people like Eddie Lund. I understand George Tautu Archer and the Pagans, who cut some sides with George Kainapau, played a lot of their Tahitian songs in Hawaii and maybe even on the mainland USA?

My questions to you all are:

Apart from Sol K., Danny Stewart, George Tautu's group, and the NZ-based steelers, do we have any other old players performing these songs, and if so, who are they? I've heard David Keli'i with Al Kealoha Perry playing a killer medley of Ama Ama and Tomi Tomi! Is there more in that vein? Particularly, are there any other French steelers like maybe Harry Hougassian who play that stuff?

Most importantly, do any current non-pedal steel players use these other non-Hawaiian P.I. songs in their repertoires?

I'd love to discuss any other insights or angles on this phenomenon too!

P.S: Please forgive the disorder of this post, I want to talk about this but I haven't got it straight enough in my mind yet!
_________________
Bunny Milne Commodore #287
Shot Jackson JB Frypan #A023
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 1:29 am     Reply with quote

Aloha Levi,

I can't answer many of your questions but all I can say is that our band Hula Hut & The Seven Seas has Papio and Tomi Tomi for a couple of years in the repertoire. With the Papio version we sticked more to the Sol K. Bright version, with Tomi Tomi we are closer to Dick McIntire's version. I got Hawaiian Lyrics for Tomi Tomi from Paul Kim, Papio seems to bee Tahitian.
It's a great style with lot's of energy, a lot of people are surprised that we as a Hawaiian band play so many up tempo tunes : ) .
If you are interested pm me and I send you our Papio version that we put on our new CD.

Greetings from Berlin

Sebastian
_________________
http://www.hulahut.net
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 1:30 am     Reply with quote

By the way Levy,

do you have a resource for Tahitian Ukuleles ?
I saw one on Molokai and was impressed !
_________________
http://www.hulahut.net
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Levi Gemmell


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 3:41 am     Reply with quote

Sebastian: Great to hear from you. I became aware of your band about six months ago and have watched and listened to what I could; great stuff! I'll PM you about that track, I'd love to hear it, and I think it's wonderful you continue to play non-Hawaiian P.I. songs on the steel guitar.

Here in New Zealand, there are people of all ages who play Samoan igi guitar, and Tongan fingerstyle as well, which are both similar to slack key -- but there are as far as I know, no P.I. steel guitarists of the older generation still playing. Most have sadly passed on, with Bill Sevesi being the eldest in NZ, and the most recent to go. Sad

P.S: You may be able to buy a Tahitian ukulele here: http://www.rockshop.co.nz/shop/m-m-cook-islands-ukulele-8-string.html

Probably comes to about 250 EUR, and if you were interested and could not arrange to buy one online, I may be able to help you with that. I have no strong resources for playing Tahitian ukulele, but they are tuned GG CC EE AA like a Hawaiian ukulele with eight strings, only the C and E strings are one octave higher. They are not strung with standard nylon or steel strings, but usually with fishing line.
_________________
Bunny Milne Commodore #287
Shot Jackson JB Frypan #A023
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 4:59 am     Reply with quote

Levi's mention of Cumquat records had me wondering, once again, if the Clarke family had resumed making the recordings available. A few years ago there'd been some discussion of back-stock available through Clarke Audio, but I never managed to successfully make contact there. Anyone know more?
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 5:26 am     Re: non-Hawaiian island songs on steel Reply with quote

Levi Gemmell wrote:
do we have any other old players performing these songs, and if so, who are they?



Looking through some stuff:

The Mena Moeria Minstrels took a stab at Tomi Tomi, as did George de Fretes with the Tielman Brothers, Johnny Pineapple (David Kaonohi), The Polynesians (maybe Bernie Ka'ai on steel?), and Harry Owens (with Freddie Tavares).

Papio: done by Charles Mauu and a group named "The Hawaiian Islanders". From the 1950s I think. Mauu also did songs like Vana Vana, which I associate with Augie and Danny Stewart.


Sam Alama made a recording of Ama Ama.

I recently discovered a pretty cool version of "Hawaiian War Chant" under the title of "Tahahua" by Ella Berdy and Eileen Cowan with I think Robert Pihahuna on steel---I think they were a Tahitian group from the 1960s. Probably very familiar to you, but I only recently heard of them.

Glad to see a mention of Daphne Walker---love that stuff she did with Bill Sevesi and Bill Wolfgramm. I had thought that "Hootchy Kootchy Henry From Hawaii" was completely unknown outside of Mitch Torok's original version.

Edit:

The LP by Ella Berdy and Eileen Cowan with Robert Pihahuna on steel is on Spotify. It includes a version of Papio with a hot solo by Robert.


Last edited by Mitch Drumm on 18 Mar 2017 7:55 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message
David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 6:56 am     Re: non-Hawaiian island songs on steel Reply with quote

Levi Gemmell wrote:



Eddie Lund and His Tahitians,..... Who was Eddie Lund's steel player?
.......

Most importantly, do any current non-pedal steel players use these other non-Hawaiian P.I. songs in their repertoires?


I do sometimes play Eddie Lund's "E Tupiti".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Z61GeCOMU
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tod Johnson


From:
Hawaii, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 12:41 pm     Reply with quote

If you get to Rarotonga, my friend Rudy Aquino has a hula show there, with his wife Heidi heading up the dance halau. He played for Don Ho and gave me my onstage beginning introducing a bluegrass/Hawaiian fusion with my mandolin to the stage at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, where the Maui steel festival is. He plays the glockenspiel, mistakenly called the vibes sometimes, which complements the steel beautifully.

_______________________________________________________________________________________


Quote:
Most importantly, do any current non-pedal steel players use these other non-Hawaiian P.I. songs in their repertoires?



No steel arrangement but here is a MODERN Tahiti song that is a Hawaiian staple, as commonly played as any song here.

I believe this is the original artist from California.
https://fawsitt.com/track/826885/margarita?autostart=true

Iz playing it here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-uacvyLu3U

And the lyrics here -

https://www.justsomelyrics.com/266703/israel-kamakawiwo'ole-margarita-lyrics.html

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole Margarita Lyrics
On a hilltop in Tahiti as I gaze across the bay
At the island of Moorea, standing in the day
Oh my lovely Margarita serving cool Hînano beer
I'll be a fool in paradise, I'm a fool out here.
Hui: / Chorus:
Ia orana*, can you stand the heat?
*Ia orana = Tahitian greeting, like "Aloha"
Ia orana, bouncing in bare feet
Ia orana, when you laugh at me
Ia orana, say I....I'm in ecstasy.
Oh, your name is Margarita, the salt upon your lips
The lemon and tequila, the flavor of your kiss
All the magic and the beauty, the humor of these isles
Captured like a goldfish, the sparkle of your smile.
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)
Oh the crimson dress you're wearing,
with nothing underneath
Flower there behind your ear,
and all your rotten teeth
Margarita, Margarita, please dance with me tonight
We would dance together, where stars shine so bright
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)
Margarita, Margarita, I come from far away
Let's go take a swim down in Matawai Bay
Margarita, Margarita, please touch my hinalea*
*hinalea = a slippery wrasse fish
We go in the dark and we don't need a spear.
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)

To someone from Hawaii it would be considered a cover tune, and well recognized foot tapper. I can envision Sol Ho'opi'i ripping it on his acoustic in the 40's if it had been written back then.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Kerr


From:
Scotland, UK
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 2:16 pm     Reply with quote

I play some Hawaiian myself but would never claim to be an expert in that field, I can only point you to what inspired me and hope it adds to your knowledge.
This is all UK stuff available on the Tube.
The Felix Mendelssohn Hawaiian Serenaders with the great Roland Peachy on Steel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rHEcwOgf4o

A whole load of similar stuff here.....
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=felix+mendelssohn+and+his+hawaiian+serenaders+
Felix used many Steel Guitarists in his time including the equally talented Harry Brooker who was the father of Gary Brooker composer of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by the band Procol Harum who might be remembered by those not too spaced out at the time.



This Harry Brooker, look at that old Guitar...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR4sJAr22Pw
.James Kerr.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Kerr


From:
Scotland, UK
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

Then there is this new Electric thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaryQ2ORGs0

James.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Levi Gemmell


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 9:49 pm     Reply with quote

James Kerr wrote:
I play some Hawaiian myself but would never claim to be an expert in that field, I can only point you to what inspired me and hope it adds to your knowledge.
This is all UK stuff available on the Tube.
The Felix Mendelssohn Hawaiian Serenaders with the great Roland Peachy on Steel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rHEcwOgf4o

A whole load of similar stuff here.....
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=felix+mendelssohn+and+his+hawaiian+serenaders+
Felix used many Steel Guitarists in his time including the equally talented Harry Brooker who was the father of Gary Brooker composer of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by the band Procol Harum who might be remembered by those not too spaced out at the time.



This Harry Brooker, look at that old Guitar...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR4sJAr22Pw
.James Kerr.


James: Felix Mendelssohn's Hawaiian Serenaders seem to have been influential here in New Zealand! I have a collection of their 78s I accumulated in local junk stores. Tiger Shark entered the NZ steel guitar repertoire thru them I believe, and I have often thought that the older players here might have had similar "standards" to the UK/Dutch/Teutonic players.

Both Bill Wolfgramm, and my teacher, played South Sea Swing, a piece by A. P. Sharpe's Honolulu Hawaiians who were I think, London-based. I can only assume that others did too.
_________________
Bunny Milne Commodore #287
Shot Jackson JB Frypan #A023
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Garellick


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Mar 2017 9:46 am     Reply with quote

Aloha, wow, great thread...thanks for bringing it up. I'm a big fan of all this music!

Levi, I think that most of the big names have been mentioned. There was a group called The Polynesians (Harry Baty, Sam Kaapuni and Bob Nichols) who put out 11 albums on Crown Records in the 60s. They included a lot of Tahitian, Cook Islands, and Samoan material with good steel playing by Bob Nichols throughout. One of their LPs titled "Polynesia," has all non-Hawaiian songs, see pic below.

I also just scored a really cool LP on the Viking label (VPS 259) called "Meet The Samoan." Lots of steel throughout. The artists include Malu and the Samoan Planters, Bill Sevesi, The Grey Sisters, and Edison Heather. Great stuff!

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I regularly perform for a hula halau that does a lot of Cook Islands, Samoan, Tahitian, and Maori music in addition to Hawaiian music. I sometimes play lap steel depending on the availability of musicians. Anyways, it's fun to play lap steel in music that normally would not have it!

I keep meaning to start another thread on lap steel in Indonesia. I live there part time and have some interesting links and info to share....soon soon!

Peter

Eye Candy: 1) The Polynesians 2) Meet The Samoans (VA), 3) Rudy Wairata and others, 4) Augie Goupil reissue LP

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post Posted 20 Mar 2017 12:28 pm     Reply with quote

If you have been through the Youtube Tahitian offerings, you probably came upon this wonderful LP. It has some steel guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FS_Gmuj7vg
_________________
Hano Hano Hawai'i
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 20 Mar 2017 3:44 pm     Reply with quote

Harry Hougassian in France recorded lots of Tahitian and Tahitian-style instrumentals. He recorded under his own name and Harry Hougass, Harry Kalapana, Kalapana, and probably a few others. Also there's an French Yves Roche group LP by Takiti Ma titled "Instrumental Guitar, Ukulele" or something similar. My copy grew legs and walked off thirty years ago. Featured Joel Avaeoru on steel, a double eight Denley with six pedals, and the standard guitar pictured was a Del Vecchio Dinamico. The instrumentation was guitar, ukulele, string bass, steel, vibes, and Tahitian nose flute.
MLA
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Andy Costigan


From:
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Post Posted 20 Mar 2017 7:10 pm     Reply with quote

hi Levi,
probably the greatest Australian steeler, Kenny Kitching is still around (born 1932). I saw his Music of the Pacific show years ago. one of the best concerts i've ever seen. Kenny was accompanied by a Maori couple on ukulele and electric guitar and their three young daughters doing Poi dancing. Kenny was a friend of Jerry Byrd's and can be contacted on facebook. here he is playing Hula Blues.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn-nL7Rpl2E
here's some beautiful Maori Stick and Poi dancing (Poi starts 2m45s) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3p2dcGNpWY
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
George Rout


From:
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 4:51 pm     Reply with quote

I also, am a very big fan of all this old acoustic material. David, that Chants Thaitiens Philips recording is very interesting also. Can you or somebody tell me how to download when them when they seem to be "one of 50" plus songs the message comes up that Youtube download is limited to 20 mins or something like that...........please.
Great stuff, thanks to all who initiated this thread and participate in it. I'm just halfway through John Troutman's Kika Kila book which touches on a lot of the artists.

George
_________________
http://georgerout.com

"I play in the A Major tuning. It's fun to learn and so easy to play. It's as old as the hills....like me"
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Andy Costigan


From:
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 5:40 pm     Reply with quote

hi George,
this site lets you download tracks longer than 20mins. sometimes after clicking GO an ad will open. just ignore it and close it.
http://www.listentoyoutube.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 9:43 am     Reply with quote

Tod Johnson wrote:
No steel arrangement but here is a MODERN Tahiti song that is a Hawaiian staple, as commonly played as any song here.

I believe this is the original artist from California.
https://fawsitt.com/track/826885/margarita?autostart=true

Iz playing it here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-uacvyLu3U

And the lyrics here -

https://www.justsomelyrics.com/266703/israel-kamakawiwo'ole-margarita-lyrics.html

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole Margarita Lyrics
On a hilltop in Tahiti as I gaze across the bay
At the island of Moorea, standing in the day
Oh my lovely Margarita serving cool Hînano beer
I'll be a fool in paradise, I'm a fool out here.
Hui: / Chorus:
Ia orana*, can you stand the heat?
*Ia orana = Tahitian greeting, like "Aloha"
Ia orana, bouncing in bare feet
Ia orana, when you laugh at me
Ia orana, say I....I'm in ecstasy.
Oh, your name is Margarita, the salt upon your lips
The lemon and tequila, the flavor of your kiss
All the magic and the beauty, the humor of these isles
Captured like a goldfish, the sparkle of your smile.
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)
Oh the crimson dress you're wearing,
with nothing underneath
Flower there behind your ear,
and all your rotten teeth
Margarita, Margarita, please dance with me tonight
We would dance together, where stars shine so bright
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)
Margarita, Margarita, I come from far away
Let's go take a swim down in Matawai Bay
Margarita, Margarita, please touch my hinalea*
*hinalea = a slippery wrasse fish
We go in the dark and we don't need a spear.
(E hana hou i ka hui)
(Repeat chorus)

To someone from Hawaii it would be considered a cover tune, and well recognized foot tapper. I can envision Sol Ho'opi'i ripping it on his acoustic in the 40's if it had been written back then.


Iz' versions are pretty dark, lyrically, compared to Fawsitt's original Shocked
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron
HTTP