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.