Hawaiian Musician Boys Making Progress
From the right, Samuel Keaunui, leader and manager; Dan Smith, tenor; John Kahookano, guitarist and steel guitarist; James Holstein, baritone.
There are a great and many Hawaiian youths that have left Honolulu to go to America to sing and play music, with much acclaim everywhere they have travelled, like what has been reported about them in newspapers in America, which makes Hawaiian music famous, and makes Hawaii nei famous as well.
There has been a letter received by the Editor of this press, Charles S. Crane, from Jimmy Holstein, explaining the progress made in their singing and music; this is happy news for their many friends here. Here is what he had to say:
“I am sending a picture of the Club “Lei o ke Aloha,” managed by Samuel Keaunui, a boy from Honolulu, that I want you to print in the newspaper if possible.
“We are comprised of five members, and are acting under the Acting Company, Western Show Print Co., of Seattle, Washington. We have just began, but we hope that we will travel all the states as well as Canada, as per the itinerary prepared by Thomas J. Culligan, the one making this club famous in Seattle.
“Currently we are moving from one place to another everyday, aboard trains, ships, automobiles, hardly ever spending more than a night in one place. While constantly travelling, we have much appreciation for this work because of the great delight received from our singing and music; and this is what we strive to attain. We hear much of Hawaii from those who went there and whose desire never ends to go there once again.
“Until now, we hear much of the admiration for Hawaii from the fathers of the poor and the rich, who spent some time there, and this has become something that the Hawaiian boys enjoy.
“Once we were invited to play for a ball, by a millionaire, and because of our find singing, we were invited to parties of prestigious people. The hospitality we received from various people in certain places has been great.
“We are all from Honolulu, and are not drinkers, and this is something which our leader is proud of. We are but youngsters, as seen in the picture; the oldest of us is 26, that being Dan Smith, our tenor, who was with Toots Paka before, that Hawaiian boy that was famous for some time; the club famous for acting.
“Being that we hope to travel through all the states and some of Canada, we will have a long story when we return to our land of birth. I will write to you all the time to tell you how we are doing. For now, there is nothing we have to complain about, like what we have seen, or the true enthusiasm of the audiences wherever we’ve played at, and we are working in every way to bring fame to Hawaii.
“Since we are getting ready for tonight’s gig, I will stop here; give the boys’ aloha to Honolulu, and my great aloha to the boys of the press.
(Kuokoa, 8/15/1919, p. 2)