“Hiʻilawe” — tracking recordings

1949: Phillip “Gabby Pahinui.” 78rpm (Bell LKS-505 [HI]). Reissued on Hawaiian Masters Collection Vol. 2 (Tantalus TR-1003, p1993 [HI]); The History of Slack Key Guitar (HanaOla HOCD-24000, p1995 [US]), Show Biz Hula (HanaOla HOCD -22000, p1995 [US]); Lei of Stars (HanaOla HOCD-31000, p1998 [US]); Yuki ‘Alani Yamauchi presents The History of Hawaiian Music  (Office Sambinha RICE OSR-405, p2001 [JP]); Twilight in Hawaii (Sounds of the World SOW 90203, p2002 [Portugal])

Here is one example of a set of discography citations that follow one particular recording of the song “Hiʻilawe” through its multiple reissues. In 63 years, the song first appears on a 78rpm. It resurfaces when Harry B. Soria curates the Hawaiian Masters series on Tantalus Records. Then when Michael Cord launches his reissuing of the 49th State Records catalog, this one particular recording appears on three different compilations–one curated by George Winston, the other two by Harry B. Soria. Then Yuki ʻAlani Yamauchi issues his historical anthology in Japan, and it is followed by another anthology produced in Portugal. Quite a journey for a humble track by Gabby Pahinui on Bell Records. The citations are listed chronologically so that it is possible to glimpse a historical perspective on this trackʻs reappearances. For the 1949 dating of the Bell recording, I am most grateful for Malcolm Rockwellʻs exhaustive discography work on Hawaiian music.

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One Response to “Hiʻilawe” — tracking recordings

  1. Russell Letson says:

    The other fun puzzle is tracking all the *versions* of a given song a given artist has recorded. I *think* I’ve found all of Gabby’s recordings of “Hiʻilawe”–seven, if we count the one that ends the “Family & Friends” video. The third–Waikiki #558, with Gabby backed by Andy Cummings and His Hawaiian Serenaders–seems not to have been reissued on any of that label’s compilation LPs, as most of his sides and sessions from the 1950s and early 1960s were. It did, however, surface on the “Best of Hawaiian Slack Key with Gabby Pahinui” CD in the 90s. Peter Medeiros places it as a 1955 single and a (relative) hit for Waikiki. This kind of research just encourages my obsessive-compulsive side.

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