Charles E. King critique of “modern” Hawaiian music, 1939.

King Says Hawaiians Ruining Island Music

Venerable Charles E. King, whose Song of the Islands is among the most widely known of all Hawaiian music, pulled no punches in a talk before the Hawaiian Civic club today on modern  day treatment of island songs.

“Hawaiian music,” said Mr. King, speaking at the club luncheon at the YWCA at noon, “is being murdered—and by Hawaiians.” Continue reading


“Haaheo Kilohana i ka Lai,” 1952.

FRAGRANT MEMORY—In memory of the late Mrs. C. M. Cooke, who founded the Honolulu Academy of Arts 25 years ago, this group of Hawaiian women will sing and play “Haaheo Kilohana i ka Laʻi” at tonight’s opening of the Academy Members’ Annual Show from 8 to 10. The song was composed for Mrs. Cooke by Mary Jane F. Monatno. It was set to music by Mrs. Bina Mossman. Shown above are: left to right, Louise Akeo Silva, Flora Hayes, Julia Nui Hoopili; back row, Joanna Wilcox, Kuualoha Treadway and Bina Mossman.—Academy photo.

(Star-Bulletin, 2/27/1952, p. 22)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume LVIII, Number 18548, Page 22. February 27, 1952.

Name song of the Honolulu Academy of Arts by Mary Jane Montano, 1937.


Mrs. Maryjane Montano wrote the words of the name song of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which was dedicated to Mrs. C. M. Cooke, it was pointed out today. Mrs. Bina Mossman set the words to music and sang the song on the opening day. She is repeating the song this afternoon at the 10th anniversary program. Continue reading

Mele found everywhere in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers, 1912.


Keu a ka ono, o ka alo piko la,
Kahi momona o ka hiu ia la,
Ha’ale ke kai ke pepenu iho la,
O ka luau keu ka maneo la,
O ka nioi keu ka wewela la,
O ka ina mona keu a ka ono la,
A he ono i ka puu ke mo—ni.

[This mele excerpt is included in an article on a Labor Day celebration which took place in Keauhou, Kona, Hawaii. The writer of the article, Harry Haanio, says that it is a famous song composed by his older brother, who lives in Koloa, Hawaii Island, famous for the iliili hanau, the rocks that give birth.

Would this be what inspired Bina Mossman to compose her famous mele, “He Ono”? There are many, many old oli and mele which get altered and added to in later years. There are countless beautiful poetic pieces in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers. Composers of today might consider looking within its pages for their own inspiration!]

(Kuokoa, 9/13/1912, p. 5)

Keu a ka ono, o ka alo piko la...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVIII, Helu 37, Aoao 5. Sepatemaba 13, 1912.