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Today is Wednesday, and…

… that means it’s Hawaiian Shirt Day here at the ARC! 

Once a week we’re forced to don colorful garb, lunch on exotic grub and catalog tropical discs in our little grass shack on the isle o’ Manhata.  Enjoy the shirts from the 50s and 60s and listen to some 78rpm discs from the 30s and 40s that we’ve collected.  So far we’ve digitized 416 of these authentic and suspect Hawaiian sides – more to come soon at the Great78Project site.

Ukelele Lady  by Frank Crumit was recorded 6/10/1925 on Victor.  One good reason to save these relics-of-what-happened is that I learned this song from a Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band LP (Jug Band Music.  Vanguard, USA,  ‎LP, VRS-9163, 1965), and Jim got it off an old 78.  We have yet to digitize a copy of the original version by Vaughn De Leath who made it famous, but I once heard Bette Midler offer a live version, dressed as a mermaid (her, not me), at a roller rink in Ann Arbor Michigan.  It’s a great skate song by the way.  Much recorded, even Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy did a version!

Thanks to Gus Kahn for writing those lika like-a lyrics.  One intro line, “And all the beaches are filled with peaches” certainly the inspiration for that other jug band, the Stranglers (“Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches.”  The Stranglers. Peaches/Go Buddy Go.  United Artists, UK, UP 36248, 7″ 45rpm single, 1977)

More authentic is Kuu Lei Momi (Kaena) by George Kainapau and His Harmony Hawaiians.It’s on Bell Records, a Honolulu, Hawaii based label.  There are quite a few Bell releases at the Great78Project site.

This one from 1954 matches our shirts to a tee…Hootchy Kootchy Henry (From Hawaii) by Cousin Herb Henson And His Trading Post Gang.  Can’t wait for Grass Skirt Sunday…


Also published on Medium.

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