Hawaiian Music Records

Do you like Classical music? What about Hawaiian music?

Hawaiian music was popular in the mainland United States in the first quarter of the 1900s. Radios played Hawaiian music with the strums of ukulele, toots of flutes, and singing in English and Hawaiian. Popular songs included “She Sang Aloha to Me,” “Pretty Baby,” and “I Left Her on the Beach at Honolulu.” Hawaiian performers and dancers, such as Toots Paka Hawaiian Troupe and Irene West Royal Hawaiians, toured in the United States and internationally. Meanwhile, ads about Hawaiian music records appeared in American newspapers.

Victor Records

Victor Records was the first out of the first big three American companies to record Hawaiian music in 1905. Here are some of their ads:

Text: “New Hawaiian records for the Victor sung by Kaai Glee Club. Honolulu Music Company.”
Hawaiian star, January 20, 1912, Page 2

Text: “Have you heard the new fascinating Hawaiian music?

“There’s a quaintness and charm to Hawaiian music that makes it appeal to almost everyone who hears it. And the way to hear it is on the Victrola.

“The three organizations largely responsible for the introduction and popularity of Hawaiian music in America are the famous Hawaiian Quintet of the Bird of Paradise Company, the gifted Toots Paka Troupe, and the Irene West Royal Hawaiians. It is these three organizations that bring this captivating music to you in your own home on the Victrola. …”

The Evening Herald, June 9, 1916, Page 4

Columbia Records

Columbia Records was the next Hawaiian music record company in 1910.

Songs include “Aloha Oe,” “Hawaiian Medley,” “Maunakea,” “Kaala,” “On the Beach at Waikiki,” and “Hapa Haole Hula Girl.” Musicians include Toots Paka Hawaiian Company, Henry N. Clark, Robert Kaawa, and Helen Louise and Frank Ferera.

The evening herald, February 17, 1917, Page 8

Songs include “On the Beach at Waikiki,” “My Luau Girl,” “Hawaiian Waltz Medley,” “Aloha Oe,” “Kuu Home — Native Plantation Song,” and “Kohala March.”

Performers include Horace Wright and Rene Dietrich, Lua and Kaili, E.K. Rose, the Hawaiian Quintette, S.M. Kaiawe, Pale K. Lua and David Kaili, and the Irene West Royal Hawaiians.

New-York tribune, February 21, 1917, Image 5

Text: “The haunting charms of Hawaiian music.

“Hawaiian music has a fascination that grows. Listen to the strange, sobbing plaintiveness of voices, the all-but-human notes of the Hawaiian guitar and the rhythimic [sic] throbbing of the ukulele in these Columbia double-disc records and you will feel the weird enchantment of night in the South Sea Islands. Hear the latest Hawaiian records at this store. Also the latest popular son hits, as ‘What Do You Make Those Eyes at Me For?’ ‘It’s Not Your Nationality,’ ‘Ukalou,’ etc.

“Columbia double-disc records can be played upon any disc machine. Sands-Dorsey Drug.”

The Tucumcari news and Tucumcari times, March 08, 1917, Image 8

Text: “Mid-Month List of Columbia Records”

“‘Beautiful Ohio’ and ‘Till We Meet Again’ by Hawaiian Orchestra. These beautiful melodies, marvelously played in waltz time by the Kalaluki Hawaiian Orchestra, make perfect dances. Hawaiian music set in waltz time has a witchery all its own. It is a novelty that will appeal to you. 85 cents.”

Monroe City Democrat (Missouri), September 26, 1919, Image 5

-Alice Kim