Any 78 record collector has seen the name of Ben Selvin, who might have been the most prolific band leader of the 78 RPM record era. He also voiced early opposition to radio. This song “Don’t Say Aloha, When I Go” is early jazz at its best. This song has been recorded by many. This version by The Columbians is by far the most noteworthy. There is so much I don’t know about this version, but it’s great.
Here’s another classic Ukulele gem from the “Under The Ukulele Moon” collection, lovingly compiled by Happy Puppy Records. Accompanied by a small brass band and choir and of course a gleeful ukulele strum, this topical tropical number has lyrical references to the Women’s Suffrage movement of the time, and hula dancing. Of course! Enjoy with a nice umbrella drink in your finest beach apparel. And don’t forget to vote.
Here’s a lovely ode to Hawaii, performed by American popular music and early radio legend Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards, accompanying his romantic vocal on, what else? Ukelele! It’s a beautiful song without a trace of irony, from a time when beautiful songs without a trace of irony were beautiful and not ironic. Jump in, the water’s nice! This is from a compilation called “Under The Ukele Moon” which you can find at archive.org, in time for your next Luau.
When legendary Hawaiian music innovator Andy Iona sings the praises of a girl with “Naughty Hula Eyes,” you might need an umbrella drink! The lyrics to this classic song somehow manage to be sexy, innocent, sweet, and naughty all at once. Iona’s fluid lead vocal and his Islanders’ velvety smooth choral vocals, along with that trademark Hawaiian Steel Guitar, all add up to paint a picture of a blissful, other-worldly beach scene. Aloha.