“A Night in Hawaii of Old,” by Kaai Glee Club, 1913.

KAAI WILL GIVE UNIQUE PORTRAYAL

“A Night in Hawaii of Old” will recall to the memory of readers of Hawaiian history the days when the Kapu was destroyed and the Hawaiians adopted to some extent the manners and customs of the English speaking people. Ernest Kaai and the members of his Glee Club will portray scenes of this period on the twenty-third of January at the entertainment given for the passengers of the Cleveland. At a…

ERNEST KAAI

…rehearsal Thursday evening, Mr. Kaai cut the play so that there will be but three short acts, each one full of interesting events. One of the scenes will show the Hawaiians alphabet taught by the missionaries. Another part of the play which will perhaps be more exciting than the rest will  be the battle scene when the first shot was fired by the whites.

As dancing was one of the chief forms of entertainment in those days the services of some of the most talented of the Hawaiian dancers has been secured and they will give exhibitions of the most ancient of the dances during the evening.

There have been several of the concerts given by Kaai, but Mr. Kaai feels sure that the coming one will excell all of the others.

(Star-Bulletin, 1/20/1913, p. 12)

StarBulletin_1_20_1913_12.png

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume XX, Number 6489, Page 12. January 20, 1913.

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Ernest Kaai’s Hawaiian Troubadours in New Zealand, 1925.

AMUSEMENTS.

“NIGHT IN HONOLULU.”

The ukulele, the hula-hula, and the steel guitar, as entertaining products of Hawaii, are known all over the civilised world that comes under the influence of vaudeville circuits, but such segregated examples as have hitherto been shown in Auckland are mere museum specimens compared with the living actuality of the performance given in His Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday night by Ernest Kaai’s Hawaiian troubadours. These minstrels exhibited ukulele and guitar with all the sweet setting of their native haunts, the strains of the strings enriched by vocal harmonising in which the Hawaiian exccels, and the harmonising enhanced by quaint falsetto and yodelling effects that thoroughly delighted a house packed to the doors.

The curtain rose on a pretty palm-fringed beach scene, when it could be seen, for the house was in darkness when a harmonious chorus of Hawaiian voices, with stringed instrument accompaniment, was lifted in song to welcome the doming dawn. It was a native harmonising chorus set to music by Queen Liliuokalani, and entitled “Aloha Oe,” which swells to a paean of joy as the rising sun lights up the expectant world—in this case quite an effective stage scene. A similar characteristic effort of voice, strings, and light, symbolising twilight, with the stage fading melodiously into darkness, marked the ending of the first part of the programme, while in between dawn and twilight came a series of novel, interesting and thoroughly entertaining items. An Island folk-song by eddie Kniley, a ballad by Frank Luiz, hula dances by Gertila Byrnes and Layley Leywood, and a steel  guitar selection by Thelma Kaai were given with effective voice and string accompaniments. It was the part-singing in trios, however that most captivated the audience. One such number by David Kaili, Thelma Kaai and Eddie Kinley was emphatically encored, but when Queenie and David Kaili and Thelma Kaai appeared in whimsical part songs in which Queenie appeared as a soubrette of talent with a quaint gift for vocal ornamentation, the house was so vastly entertained and amused that the party were recalled four or five times. Continue reading

Hawaiian music in Aotearoa, 1925.

NEW ZEALAND IS JOYFUL WITH HAWAIIAN MUSIC.

A news item published in the newspaper Auckland Star on the 20th of April past described the enthusiasm of the people of New Zealand for Hawaiian songs, given at the concert held by Ernest Kaai and his band which is going around New Zealand.

When one of the concerts opened in the theater, the interior of the theater was decorated with greenery, and the theater was darkened, and when the music began, accompanied by the voices of the singers, it was as if the scene then was the coming of light at the break of dawn; and the audience held their breath when Aloha Oe was sung, as the instruments played along. Continue reading

Famous singer, John Sumner Ellis, passes on, 1914.

VOICE OF SINGER FOREVER STILLED

John Sumner Ellis, Who Made Hawaiian Melody Popular on Mainland, Called by Death.

(From Thursday Advertiser.)

Following an illness of nine months, John Sumner Ellis, known as Hawaii’s premier tenor singer, died Tuesday afternoon shortly before five o’clock at the home of Deputy County Clerk Eugene D. Buffandeau, 1205 Alexander street, his brother-in-law.

Ellis was a victim of tuberculosis, which he contracted in the East. He…

JOHN SUMNER ELLIS

…returned to Honolulu three weeks ago with the avowed intention of seeing his beloved island home before he passed away. His wish was gratified to the extent that he died in his native land, surrounded by the friends of his boyhood.

The funeral will take place at ten o’clock this morning from the undertaking parlors of H. H. Williams, Fort street. Ellis’ remains will be buried in the family plot in Nuuanu cemetery.

Ellis was born in Honolulu on April 11, 1877, and would have been thirty-seven years of age on April 11 of this year had he lived. He was the son of the late Charles K. Ellis, who was at one time connected with the old Honolulu Iron Works, and Nancy Sumner Ellis, and a grand nephew of John Sumner, Honolulu’s well known pioneer.

Mourning his loss and surviving him are his wife, who was Mrs. May Barnard, and who married him in Chicago in 1909; his six-year old stepdaughter; William Sumner Ellis, a brother, and also a well known singer who resided now in New York, and Mrs. Victoria Buffandeau, of Honolulu, a sister. He also leaves a fourteen-year-old son who resides in San Francisco with his mother, Ellis’ divorced wife. Willie Davis, of Honolulu, is a cousin of the deceased.

John Sumner Ellis was educated in St. Louis College of this city, where he early made a mark as a singer. He was a member of the college band and after leaving school joined the Royal Hawaiian Band under Capt. Henri Berger. Ellis will be remembered as one of the foremost players with the Maile football eleven in the nineties.

Ellis was a member of Ernest Kaai’s well known musical organization when it first started out. He left the Islands on May 30, 1905, almost nine years ago, with “Sonny” Cunha’s Hawaiian quintet for a tour of the mainland. When this organization returned to Honolulu Ellis remained on the mainland, singing in vaudeville in the East. He was employed for a long time by the Hawaii Promotion Committee. He sang in grand opera shortly before being attacked with the disease which finally put an untimely end to his promising career.

He was possessed of an unusually sweet tenor voice wherever on the mainland he sang Hawaii’s plaintive airs he immediately became a favorite. Ellis was instrumental, probably more so than any other Hawaiian singer, in popularizing Hawaiian melodies on the mainland and especially in the east. He was attractive in appearance, well mannered and readily made lasting friends. With his passing away Hawaii has lost a son who was a credit to her, both at home and abroad.

(Hawaiian Gazette, 2/27/1914, p. 5)

VOICE OF SINGER FOREVER STILLED

Hawaiian Gazette, Volume VII, Number 17, Page 5. February 27, 1914.

Another political mele for Curtis Piehu Iaukea, 1904.

C. P. IAUKEA THE REPRESENTATIVE THAT WILL SAVE HAWAII.

P—Piha hauoli na mokupuni,
I—I ke Alakai hou o Hawaii,
E—Eia mai ka Elele Lahui,
H—Hanohano ai oe e Hawaii,
U—Ua kohu pono ma ia kulana.

I—Imua kakou e ka lahui,
A—A welo hou e ka Hae Hawaii,
U—Ua lokahi na makaainana,
K—Kakoo like i ka Moho Lahui,
E—E ola ka Elele Demokalaka,
A—A au i ke kai me ka lanakila.

[The islands are filled with joy,
In the new Leader of Hawaii,
Here is the Representative,
In whom you, O Hawaii, will be proud,
He will be right for the position.

Let us move forward, O Lahui,
And let the Hawaiian Flag flutter once more,
The citizens are unified,
And support together the Candidate of the People,
Long live the Democratic Representative,
And travel the sea in victory.]

[Once again inspired by a post by Nanea Armstrong-Wassel. Here is the mele she speaks of  by Ernest Kaai, “Lanakila Iaukea,” found in the Kuokoa, 10/26/1906, p. 4, here.]

(Aloha Aina, 11/5/1904, p. 4)

C. P. IAUKEA KA ELELE OLA HAWAII.

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke X, Helu 46, Aoao 4. Novemaba 5, 1904.

Kamehameha Glee Club on stage, 1912.

THE TWO OF US IN THE JOYFUL NIGHT OF HALALII

In K. P. Hall [Knights of Pythias Hall], tomorrow night, Saturday, the people of town will hear for themselves the singers of the Island of Keawe, known by the name “Kamehameha Glee Club,” because on that night, those singers will entertain with their deep voices, pleasing the girls of Honolulu nei so that they will not be able to sleep at night because of the beauty and sheer vigor.

Their fame of this glee club of the students of Kamehameha and Hawaiian teachers is only heard of, but during this concert of the Hawaiian Band Organization to be soon held; actually seen is the swaying of all those who listen to them; the ears tingle, making the singers of this town no match [lihi launa ole] for them.

This glee club has been travelling around Hawaii from one place to another, with much acclaim; songs that have become commonplace [paku-a] and not fun to listen to are like brand new songs when these boys sing them, and that is how they have gained fame. Continue reading

The Maori and Hawaiians, 1911.

Hawaiians and Maori Talk to Each Other.

In a letter sent by Ernest Kaai from New Zealand to H. P. Wood of the Hawaiian Promotion Committee [which seems to be a precursor to the visitor’s bureau], he shows the progress of their musical touring of Australia and New Zealand. The Hawaiians could hear the Maori language and the Maori could hear the language of Hawaii.

Kaai said that when they went to some villages, they were hosted by Maori people, where one of them said words of welcome and friendship in their mother tongue. But the Hawaiians understood what was being said.

From the side of the musicians, Mr. Kaai stood and gave [rest of the paragraph unclear].

It was not long ago that [also unclear here, but they seem to be talking about the relationship between Aotearoa and Hawaii].

Everywhere that Kaai and his musical group went, the theaters would be filled with them.

When this letter was written, the number of places that Kaai them performed at was about 21, with them going around Australia and reaching New Zealand[?]

[A great deal of the Hawaiian Language Newspapers are bound into book form, and because they were purposely printed without much empty margins, often the printed portions that fall in the margin area of the books are not legible, especially when scanned. To get a clear image of the entire page, the books will have to be unbound first. That, it seems, takes a great amount of funding.]

(Kuokoa, 6/30/1911, p. 8)

KAMAILIO PU NA HAWAII ME NA MAORI.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVII, Helu 26, Aoao 8. Iune 30, 1911.