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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 13 Nov 2010 5:49 pm    
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Snagged and edited this from the Pahinui family facebook page...

The late Gabby Pahinui was one of the great 20th century masters of Hawaiian vocal, slack key guitar, and steel guitar, and became a true working class hero. He was a self taught musician whose musical influences were big band and jazz music brought to Hawai'i to entertain tourists at the Waikiki hotels and spilling over into the streets and bars in the district where he grew up and the traditional Hawaiian music favored by his native Hawaiian community. His ability to master any stringed instrument coupled with his unforgettable falsetto that became raspy with age and throaty deep tones made him a unique fixture on the Hawaiian music scene. Gabby's was the raw, nostalgic, earthy and powerful "under-the-tropic-stars" backyard kind of Hawaiian music, the acme of soulfulness and authenticity. Gabby is the maestro of South Seas music with a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he also ushered in the Hawaiian Renaissance, a renewed interest in traditional forms of music and a whole new era of popular culture, his music provides an important link between the old and young generations.

His career had its ups and downs and can be separated into three distinct phases: club performer in the early years, recording and concert artist in the middle years and in the years leading up to his death, a primary recording force.

The Early Years:

Phillip Kunia Pahinui, born Charles Kapono Kahahawai Jr. on April 22, 1921, came from the humblest of beginnings. Gabby was born with the help of a midwife at his family’s home on Ward St. in Honolulu's working class neighborhood of Kaka'ako. His father was pure Hawaiian, his mother a Hawaiian-German-Portuguese, were lei sellers struggling to support a growing family in Honolulu. Times were hard and when he was about seven years old, his parents gave him, his brother and one of his sisters away to be raised by another Hawaiian couple, Phillip and Emily Pahinui. It was a common and accepted thing in those days to hanai (give) children to someone who could offer them something more, Hawaiian style. It was in this rough downtown district of the 20's, all tins roofs and kinda falling apart, that Gabby was raised. Gabby got to know the boys at the pier who let him dive with them for coins when ships were in. His hair was kinky and after swimming the water would just roll off and because of that everybody started calling him Gabardine Hair which evolved into the nickname that stuck with him, "Gabby."

His young days were spent helping to support the family and attending Pohukaina School until fifth grade, after that he had to drop out to work. Gabby liked music and every chance he got he listened to musicians playing at luau's in yards next door, or he took the streetcar to Kapiolani Park with his dad and mom to see Lena Machado, Liz Alohakea, and the Royal Hawaiian Band.

To help his family he shined shoes for a dime in a Filipino plantation camp and sold newspapers in front of the Kewalo Inn at Kewalo Basin. This was the best place to eat so musicians like Tommy Castro, Knick-Knack, Steppy Rego from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel would come in to eat and play music upstairs in the cocktail lounge.

Gabby soon taught himself to play stand-up bass at the age of 10. He spent his time listening to recordings of big bands and small combos that included Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmey Lundsford, Andy Kirk, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, and Duke Ellington. Although he didn’t understand written music he played along by ear and tried all kinds of music, especially progressive jazz which became his first love. The first guitar player he really liked was Charlie Christian, who he listened to when his family was not around. When they were, they preferred the Kalima Serenaders.

So he wouldn’t have to borrow guitars anymore, Gabby’s stepmother bought him his first guitar for about $5, which was a lot of money in those days. Most of the other people he played with wanted to play Hawaiian music, so he began playing Hawaiian music when he was 12 to earn extra money for cigarettes. And really got to like it when he heard Sol Ho‘opi‘i, Eddie Bush, the Biltmore Trio, and then Andy Iona who played both Hawaiian and what was known as hapa-haole numbers. In those days everybody played with everybody so he learned a lot from the old-timers through experience, first playing with them in the bars, then drinking with them, and eventually going to jail with them.

He first played in bars when he was 13 years old. Gabby got his first real start in music during the 30's when he landed a gig as a back-up guitarist for a musician named Charley "Tiny" Brown, who played the steel guitar. Gabby stayed with him and began to learn steel. He listened to Sol Ho‘opi‘i, Puni Kaulia, for bell work, David Keli‘i, Tommy Castro, Jules Ahsee and also Jacob Keli‘ikoa. His first professional gig was in 1933 at the Red Skelton Club. One night when the bass player didn’t show up, they asked him to play for him. The going rate was $12 a week. He started playing regularly at the old Smith Cafe in Waikiki in 1937. Playing backup for Tiny and many other noted musicians of the day, he quickly built a reputation as a sound musician. It was through these experiences that he mastered steel guitar. Before jukeboxes were common live music was featured in all the bars most musicians he played back up for in those days gigged only at the various bars in town.

He first met guitarist, Andy Cummings at Chock See’s by the sea near Ala Wai Bridge where all the yacht owners went. Musicians set up along the streets and played for a kitty and split the money up at the end of the night.

In the 1930’s Gabby joined Andy Cummings and the Hawaiian Serenaders, Hawai‘i’s 1940s 'Super Group' to play at Felix’s Fountain Garden. Andy’s flair for swing permeated his arrangements and compositions with style and grace. He had a knack for composing and arranging songs that featured catchy lyrics wrapped in a memorable melody. His flair for producing a hip tune for the young crowd, in addition to performing traditional classics for the elders, attracted fans of all ages.

In addition to Andy Cummings on guitar/lead vocals, the group featured Ralph Alapa’i on uke, Joe Diamond on bass, David Nalu on steel, and Gabby on guitar. The group recorded “Kaimana Hila” and Gabby played slack key when they performed Hi‘ilawe. When David Nalu the steel guitar player died Gabby began to play steel guitar for the group and continued to until 1947 recording on Bell Records. In those days the group would do private parties and go around serenading people at the Halekulani residential area and in Kahala so he played an acoustic steel.

Though a master of the steel guitar, Gabby is most known for his mastery of the slack-key guitar. Gabby learned slack-key from Herman Keawe whom Gabby acknowledges as being "the greatest slack-key player of all time." Herman, like Gabby, lived in the Kaka'ako area. Later he traveled extensively throughout the islands and never passed up a chance to kanikapila with the old timers in the countryside.

In 1938, at age 16 Gabby met Emily Kauha while playing volleyball at Po‘okina Park in Kakaako, fell in love and had their first child. They got married a year later. Together they had 13 children though three were lost to miscarriages. Times were tough so five guitars were sold to get the babies out of the hospital. The family was moved here and there because they could not pay the rent, though he prided himself that he never asked for welfare to help. Sometimes stew was a luau. His stepmother died when he was 22 so she never got to see that he finally made it in music.

All of Gabby’s musician friends came to his house after playing the town to eat, drink and play music and then sleep over. All the performers would end up there, Mahi Beamer, Sonny Chillingsworth, Atta Issacs, Eddie Kamae, Don Ho, and Kui Lee.

As he matured, Gabby played professionally with many of the great bands and all of the great musicians of the time including such legends as Lena Machado, Alvin Isaacs, Barney Isaacs, Ray Kinney and George Kainapau among others. He also appeared on Hawai‘i Calls, a very popular international radio show that began in the 1930s.

Club Performer and Recording Years:

In 1946 Gabby made his first recording, “Hi‘ilawe,” for Bell Records. This was the first recording of a Hawaiian song with slack-key guitar. The following year came “Hula Medley,” the first recording of a slack-key guitar instrumental. During this period he made two other influential sides for Bell, the vocal Wai O Ke Aniani and the instrumental Key Koalu (a misspelling of Ki Ho‘alu, the Hawiian term for slack key), plus another version of Hi‘ilawe for Aloha Records. His music career reads typical of many great Hawaiian musicians. It took him throughout the islands and the U.S. mainland as well as many bars, lounges, luau, and concert venues. In the 1950's he worked with Eddie Spencer at Waikiki's oceanfront Queen's Surf.

Along with Eddie Kamae, Gabby originated the Sons of Hawai‘i, a name given to the group by a Waimanalo neighbor (aunty Mabel Macabe) which helped jump start the Hawaiian Renaissance. He recorded Hi‘ilawe again in 1995 and quickly became his signature song.

Despite renown in music, the Pahinui's life was one of struggle. Rent was hard to pay, with plenty mouths to feed food was something not easily put on the table. During the 50's Gabby, Emily, and the children moved to the famous Pahinui home in Waimanalo. The Bell St. home become a popular second home to many noted musicians. Weekends were a continuous jam session as they hosted dozens of musicians who would come by to jam with "the Master." Pots of rice and beef stew would always be on the stove. Pops was a sly and cheerful fellow who had the knack of eliciting instant empathy. His shirtless overalls made him seem more like a regular fellow, although he was anything but.

After the breakup of the Whiskey Hill Singers in 1961, Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio returned to Hawai‘i and being a folk music eclectic he attempted to publicize the slack-key sounds of Hawaiian folk guitar. Guard worked closely with Gabby to record and produce Pure Gabby, an album of classic Hawaiian melodies played with slack key tunings. He tried to interest major record companies with Pure Gabby, but met with little interest Guard shelved the project. In 1978, ten years after his return from Australia and at the urging of singer colleague Cyrus Faryar, who had heard Guard's Pure Gabby tapes, Guard contacted Hula Records of Honolulu about Pure Gabby, who quickly agreed to take the recordings and distribute the album.

Gabby worked as part of the City and County road crew doing pick and shovel work 14 years until a work accident ended this career.

The 1970's saw the Hawaiian Renaissance, the cultural reawakening of the Hawaiian people which sparked renewed interest in all things Hawaiian. Gabby was right at the forefront of the movement. Scholars of Hawaiian music cite him as a major influence. Yet rather than seek commercial success, he played music out of pure love, never compromising his music.

In the last few years of his life he taught Hawaiian slack key guitar to youngsters of the community for the County's Department of Parks and Recreation even as widespread acclaim eluded Gabby until late in his life. It was only in the 1970's that he was "discovered" when the 'brown' album called - Gabby was released and other exceptional albums followed. Gabby became a figurehead, an icon, a pied piper not to his generation but to his children's. He paved the wave for many musicians to come. He became known as Pops during the 70's, and Gabby recorded 4 albums on the Panini label. By the 1970's Gabby's health was failing, life long drinking habits at all hours, mixed with his work accident left his body wasted and in pain.

In 1978 he was recognized by the State House of Representatives for being the person most responsible for preserving many of the Island's sons, an honor he received while clad in his usual overalls, work shirt, and rubber slippers.
In 1979 he was one of nine persons named Living Treasures of Hawaii, by the 67th Legislative Assembly of the Honpa Hongwanji (Buddist) Mission in Hawaii.
On May 4th 1980 he won the Hawaiian music industry's coveted Na Hoku Hanohano Award for his Slack Key Medley off of his Pure Gabby LP. One of his very last performances was at the outdoors Waikiki Shell (where he wore his scarcely worn tuxedo, of which he said he had to shake the cockroaches out of...), and was joined on stage for the first time ever by fellow icon, Genoa Keawe for a few songs.

While playing a round of golf with friends, Charles Philip Gabby 'Pops' Pahinui, the ultimate Hawaiian music legend, passed away from a stroke at 2:27pm Oct. 13, 1980 at the still tender age of 59.

His music lives on.


Last edited by Ron Whitfield on 14 Nov 2010 12:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 13 Nov 2010 8:15 pm    
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I love Gabby. First time I went to Hawaii, I bought every available recording of him. That was about 1992. His voice is from the gods.
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2010 12:35 pm    
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Mike, I'll bet you didn't get what I term the 'forgotten' Gabby LP, Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites. It's so full of great music, and much of it features Gabby up front, no Pahinui collection is complete without it. You may be able to download it here http://hallofrecords.blogspot.com/2006/08/duke-kahanamokus-favorites.html hit the 'trbute album' link in the text. Pops' steel showcase Hame Pila and Varoa Tiki's Pidgen English Hula alone are worth the effort, but every tune is classic.

Gabby was the best!
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Mitch Drumm

 

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Post  Posted 14 Nov 2010 1:19 pm    
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Ron:

Thanks for the pointer to that LP; I did not have it.

I kinda did the same thing as Mike--I bought all the Gabby albums I could find in 1985 on my last visit. I think I got 5 at that time and was able to get the rest later on.

There's not enough of his steel playing available.
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Matthew Dawson

 

From:
Portland Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2010 6:16 pm    
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What a great album! What else should I look for to hear more of Gabby's steel playing?
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George Keoki Lake


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Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2010 10:46 pm    
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Hi RON....Great article ! Gabby has always been tops as far as Hawaiian entertainers are concerned...what a unique voice he had and his steel playing was awesome. Mahalo for all the (otherwise unknown) information...really appreciated. Very Happy
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John Billings


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Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 7:21 am    
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I first found out about Gabby through Ry Cooder's wonderful album, "Chicken Skin Music."
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 9:24 am    
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There aren't as many examples of Gabby's steel playing as there are of his slack key guitar playing, but his playing on Ry Cooder's "Chicken Skin Music" (especially the songs "Chloe" and "Yellow Roses") were my introduction to his work. Ry later produced the Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band CD, which contains the lovely "Blue Hawaiian Moonlight".

"Duke Kahanomoku's Favorites" is a good one. Thanks for pointing that out!
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John Billings


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Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 9:27 am    
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Brad,
His "faux" violin playing on "Yellow Roses" is truly amazing! Very reminiscent of the slick-haired guy who played violin with Lawreance Welk.
JB


Last edited by John Billings on 15 Nov 2010 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 11:45 am    
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More than happy to pass that one along guys, one of my faves too.
How's that, we got the same good tastes as The Duke!

The thing about his 'voice' is, he had at least 5 distinct styles he used often. Such an amazingly accomplished musician, all of it straight from the backyard and heart.

Agreed, the only neg to say about his steel playing ...there isn't enuf of it available.

Singing Kauai Beauty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4FJ4K8H2Y&feature=related

Ron Jacob's int.'s Gabby, and with Peter Moon they go! Dig how he asks at the end about the stew Laughing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlFOtAfczXM
There's more of this on YT.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 1:44 pm    
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These are the tapes and LPs I have, but I couldn't find one or two others:

Best of Hawaiian Slack Key, Waikiki, 1960.

Music of Old Hawaii, Hula, 1962.

Gabby Pahinui With the Sons of Hawaii, Hula, 1962.

Gabby (aka Brown Gabby), Panini, 1972.

Rabbit Island Music Festival, Panini, 1973.

The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Volume 1, Panini, 1975.

The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Volume 2, Panini, 1977.

Pure Gabby: I Just Play the Way I Feel, Hula, 1978.
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Mitch Drumm

 

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Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 2:17 pm    
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I can't get at my LPs now, but wasn't there an LP called "The Best Of The Gabby Band, 1972-1977" or something like that? On Panini?

He played both guitar and steel guitar for Andy Cummings.

There is an Andy Cummings CD out there that has a couple of pictures showing Gabby on stage with Andy and the band, but the liner notes don't say who the steel player is on the individual songs. Gabby may be on some or it may be all or mostly David Nalu or??

He plays steel on a CD called "Steel Guitar and Slack Key Instrumentals Volume 2'.

Has anyone ever attempted to compile a listing of his recorded steel performances?

I retrieved the complete 45 page printout of the Gabby file from the University of Hawaii maybe 15 years ago by FTP. It contains a lot of info about recordings, but the formatting was compromised by the FTP process, so it's difficult to decipher accurately. It runs 7500 plus words.
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Dana Blodgett

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 2:37 pm     Remembering Gabby "pops" Pahuinui
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Ron, Mahalo nui for sharing, some of the best stuff I've read in a while. I believe Gabby also had a couple of sons who are "carrying on" the tradition also at least with the slack key. About 10 years ago a work injury set me back on my regular guitar playing so instead of quiting I jumped into as much slack key as I could and I found that I could handle "Taro" patch Ok with my injury.
A couple of questions...Was Herman Kaaewe related to John Kaaewe(slack key guitarist) from Hawi/Kohala on the Big Island? Also was Mahi Beamer related to Keola Beamer? Thanks a great article...we need to hear more stuff like this, I'll be visiting soon. Aloha, Dana
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Mitch Drumm

 

From:
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Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 2:47 pm    
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Mahi and Keola are cousins.
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 3:50 pm     Re: Remembering Gabby "pops" Pahuinui
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Dana Blodgett wrote:
I believe Gabby also had a couple of sons who are "carrying on" the tradition also at least with the slack key.
article...we need to hear more stuff like this
Aloha, Dana
I've done a few 'remembering' post that you can find using that word in a search of this column.
We really do need to keep their spirits alive, we'll never see that level of music creativity again.

Yes, the kids are doing dad proud...
Cyril www.cyrilpahinui.com w/Patty Maxine on her CruzTone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESsAae9G97I&feature=related
Martin w/Bobby Ingano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCaG8g4xaxg&feature=related
Bla, the kalohe sheep of the family www.pahinui.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1OtfjBKc9I&feature=related
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Dana Blodgett

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2010 4:53 pm     remembering Gabby Pahuinui
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Mitch and Ron , Mahalo!
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Dana Blodgett
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Bill Wynne


From:
New Jersey, USA
Post  Posted 15 Feb 2011 9:23 am    
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Ron Whitfield wrote:
Mike, I'll bet you didn't get what I term the 'forgotten' Gabby LP, Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites. It's so full of great music, and much of it features Gabby up front, no Pahinui collection is complete without it. You may be able to download it here http://hallofrecords.blogspot.com/2006/08/duke-kahanamokus-favorites.html hit the 'trbute album' link in the text. Pops' steel showcase Hame Pila and Varoa Tiki's Pidgen English Hula alone are worth the effort, but every tune is classic.

Ron, fo' shame, my brother! I love that album, too, but it is not the "Holy Grail" of Gabby albums where he played steel.

The "Holy Grail" of Gabby on steel is an LP by Sam Kahalewai entitled "A Lei Of Songs From Sam." It dates back to about 1961 and was on a label from (of all places) Kansas. But it featured an all-star Hawaiian band including Sam Kahalewai's vocals, Alvin Isaacs Sr. on rhythm guitar, Norman Isaacs on upright bass, and Gabby on steel. The compositions are mostly originals by Sam and Alvin. Some of these Alvin Isaacs compositions were never recorded elsewhere by any other artist. And Gabby plays steel on every cut. Martin Pahinui agrees that this is his father's finest work, and he has been hunting down the master tapes for eventual rerelease. But we're talking Kansas here. What are the odds of finding this thing on a budget label out of Kansas from 50 years ago?

As for the hunt for "Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites," I might be able to double your chances of locating this. The album was originally released under the title "In Hawaii, The Story Starts." But Waikiki Records later rereleased it under the title "Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites" to capitalize on Duke's popularity. The album has nothing to do with Duke. He didn't pick the songs. It was simply marketing.

Finally, Mitch references a great album which is still in print and goes by the title "Slack Key and Steel Guitar - Volume II" by the Maile Serenaders. The Maile Serenaders were not so much a group as a laboratory experiment. The group always featured the finest musicians in Hawai'i, but the line-up was rarely the same twice. The "group" never performed live but, rather, was created only to produce records that would appeal to tourists while teaching them a little something about Hawaiian culture. This album was originally titled "Kani Ka Pila - Volume II" and claimed to feature Gabby on slack key guitar and The Sons of Hawaii's David 'Feets' Rogers on steel. But the hoax - deliberate or otherwise - was later revealed that it was, in fact, Gabby playing steel on these cuts. Another mystery not often revealed? The bass player for these sessions is never cited. It is, in fact, a very young Robert Cazimero - only his first or second foray into the recording studio.

Good luck in your hunt, gentlemen.

Bill Wynne
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Feb 2011 10:09 am    
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The Sam LP is so scarce it may as well not even exist.
But I've heard it wasn't that full of Gabby or classic Hawaiian tunes... the search continues.

Thanx, Bill!
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 15 Feb 2011 11:07 am    
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Bill Wynne wrote:
Ron Whitfield wrote:
Mike, I'll bet you didn't get what I term the 'forgotten' Gabby LP, Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites. It's so full of great music, and much of it features Gabby up front, no Pahinui collection is complete without it. You may be able to download it here http://hallofrecords.blogspot.com/2006/08/duke-kahanamokus-favorites.html hit the 'trbute album' link in the text. Pops' steel showcase Hame Pila and Varoa Tiki's Pidgen English Hula alone are worth the effort, but every tune is classic.

Ron, fo' shame, my brother! I love that album, too, but it is not the "Holy Grail" of Gabby albums where he played steel.

The "Holy Grail" of Gabby on steel is an LP by Sam Kahalewai entitled "A Lei Of Songs From Sam." It dates back to about 1961 and was on a label from (of all places) Kansas. But it featured an all-star Hawaiian band including Sam Kahalewai's vocals, Alvin Isaacs Sr. on rhythm guitar, Norman Isaacs on upright bass, and Gabby on steel. The compositions are mostly originals by Sam and Alvin. Some of these Alvin Isaacs compositions were never recorded elsewhere by any other artist. And Gabby plays steel on every cut. Martin Pahinui agrees that this is his father's finest work, and he has been hunting down the master tapes for eventual rerelease. But we're talking Kansas here. What are the odds of finding this thing on a budget label out of Kansas from 50 years ago?

As for the hunt for "Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites," I might be able to double your chances of locating this. The album was originally released under the title "In Hawaii, The Story Starts." But Waikiki Records later rereleased it under the title "Duke Kahanamoku's Favorites" to capitalize on Duke's popularity. The album has nothing to do with Duke. He didn't pick the songs. It was simply marketing.

Finally, Mitch references a great album which is still in print and goes by the title "Slack Key and Steel Guitar - Volume II" by the Maile Serenaders. The Maile Serenaders were not so much a group as a laboratory experiment. The group always featured the finest musicians in Hawai'i, but the line-up was rarely the same twice. The "group" never performed live but, rather, was created only to produce records that would appeal to tourists while teaching them a little something about Hawaiian culture. This album was originally titled "Kani Ka Pila - Volume II" and claimed to feature Gabby on slack key guitar and The Sons of Hawaii's David 'Feets' Rogers on steel. But the hoax - deliberate or otherwise - was later revealed that it was, in fact, Gabby playing steel on these cuts. Another mystery not often revealed? The bass player for these sessions is never cited. It is, in fact, a very young Robert Cazimero - only his first or second foray into the recording studio.

Good luck in your hunt, gentlemen.

Bill Wynne


That is very good info to have. Thanks, Bill.
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Derrick Mau

 

From:
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Feb 2011 3:12 pm    
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Definately Gabby on Volume 2.
Whoever did the album cover made a mistake.

Feet Rogers is the steel player on Volume 1

Also, I have the Duke Kahanamoku album.
I hear no Gabby on steel, but all Barney Issacs who makes use of his E13th on a number of cuts and some B11th licks on the song "Pikake" sung by Andy Cummings.

The ending of "Pikake" using an open string chimes on the 12th fret (C13th) is classic Barney.
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2011 1:41 am    
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Here's an important addition to the story of Gabby, mostly told by Eddie Kamae, whom is still alive and performing; http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/November-2004/When-Eddie-Met-Gabby/
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Bill Creller

 

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Saginaw, Michigan, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2011 7:35 pm    
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They just don't make'em like Gabby anymore....
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2011 9:36 pm    
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No kidding, Bill, with his many vocal stylings, plus steel and guitar vituousity, I'd say Gabby is Hawaii's greatest ever. And he had MAJOR competetition in those days. They don't make them at all like they used to.
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Andy Volk


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Boston, MA
Post  Posted 16 Nov 2011 5:07 am    
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Gabby had so much soul and feeling inn his music, whether on steel or slack key. I also like him equally well with Feets Rogers playing steel. Feets was the Jim Hall of Hawaiian steelers .... a minimalist; always playing just what's called for and no more but what he does play always fits perfectly with the feeling of the song. He let's harmonics sing and ring out for long duration like nobody else.

Last edited by Andy Volk on 16 Nov 2011 6:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Norman Markowitz

 

From:
Santa Cruz, California
Post  Posted 16 Nov 2011 5:35 am    
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If anyone has the Cracked Seed album by The Sunday Manoa you will find Gabby playing a wonderful version of "Pa'au'au Waltz in a style very reminiscent of Feet Rogers. Peter Moon was a very good friend of Gabby.
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