1978 “20 Most Recorded Hawaiian Songs”

Okay, this list was compiled by Enid Aldwell, a fan who worked at the old House of Music in Ala Moana Shopping Center. (You remember, don’t you, next to Honolulu Book Store?) Enid Aldwell was one of the major forces behind the House of Music’s record catalog published in 1978. Well, she shared this list with Ha’ilono Mele,  the monthly newsletter of the Hawaiian Music Foundation. Speaking of Ha’ilono Mele, we are very fortunate that the entire 6-year (approximately) run of the newsletter has been scanned and is now online at the MELE Project Hawaiian Music Archive Collection, hosted by Ulukau Hawaiian Electronic Library.

Anyway, here is the list of “20 Most Recorded Hawaiian Songs” as compiled from sources available or identifiable in 1978. The list appeared in the September 1978 newsletter.

Ke Kali Nei Au – 141 recordings

Aloha ‘Oe – 95 recordings

Blue Hawai‘i – 71 recordings

Beyond the Reef – 70 recordings

My Little Grass Shack – 68 recordings

Pearly Shells – 56 recordings

Sweet Leilani – 55 recordings

Akaka Falls – 54 recordings

Lovely Hula Hands – 53 recordings

Song of the Islands – 48 recordings

Hi’ilawe – 45 recordings

To You, Sweetheart, Aloha – 44 recordings

Hawaiian War Chant – 44 recordings

Hukilau Song – 44 recordings

Little Brown Gal – 42 recordings

Waipi’o – 41 recordings

Tiny Bubbles – 37 recordings

Lei Aloha, Lei Makamae – 33 recordings

I’ll Remember You – 32 recordings

Kanaka Waiwai – 32 recordings

Now, before you encyclopedic brainiac collectors start hopping up and down, remember that this list was compiled in 1978 by someone who was not a collector herself, and she was working with what was then available for sale. In looking at these numbers now, we can be pretty sure that by 1978, quite a few of these titles were recorded many many more times than was reported here. What is remarkable, however, is the METHOD used–namely, counting frequency of recordings as a measure of significance.

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One Response to 1978 “20 Most Recorded Hawaiian Songs”

  1. Wanda Certo, Cleveland, OH says:

    The good thing is how significantly that list may have changed in the ensuing years. Now we have songs such as Wahine `Ilikea, Koke`e, Morning Dew, Opihi Moemoe, and so many others that are very popular and have been recorded many times. They are also now standards and kanikapila and family parties. This is good. This is, well, “healthy” I’d say. Thanks for the article, Amy.

    Me ke aloha pumehana,
    Auntie Wanda

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