Monday 28 December 2015

The first Home Grown compilation from Hawai'i, from the year 1976

The old Lewers Street in Waikiki was the main but least respectable path between the long beachside boardwalk and the main boulevard running parallel behind, called Kalakaua.  Full of cheap motels with backpackers, surfers, and bums, an old McDonalds and some coffee joints, it was deemed inappropriate for the upscale tourists that were pouring in from both N. America and more importantly Japan and was taken away more than a decade ago, to be replaced by an astroturfed outdoor mall renamed "beach walk" full of the mandatory Starbuckses, the ubiquitous P.F.Changs, Hard Rock Cafes, and Ruth's Chris Steakhouses found in every American city nightspot area or generic mall, but thankfully, a heavy helping of Hawai'i-content smaller boutiques sprang up among the weedy and totally unnecessary proliferation of Honolulu Cookie Co's.... and there a month ago, hanging from the wall of a new surf shop, I saw a display of old Hawaiian LP sleeves: the previous Kalapana, Olomano, Country Living, Seawind (in my opinion the best), Tender Leaf, and Home Grown... my jaw dropped when I saw those covers... I didn't know any of them at the time but, needless to say, I proceeded to collect a huge mass of seventies records from the islands, and here are some of them...

This VA compilation features some unknown artists and some who gained fame in that era like Country Living.  Notes on the rear are quite instructive for those who are curious though as usual discogs has all the database information.  As far as I know a series of four such records were made by the radio station up until 1980 and I'll post them all for some variety show fun.

For myself the mix of baroque fuguery with acoustic guitar and piano from an artist called "Cooper's Still" is the most delightful find though how that integrates with a depiction of the Big Island is not as clear, perhaps due to the constant fog and rain that envelops the windward, Hilo side :

"Nothing less than paradise-- it calls to me..."

When we're done with these Hawai'i rips I'll mention my favourite records from there, other than my amazing discovery Mofoya, and the aforementioned Seawind albums.... sadly, some are available on itunes and thus will not be downloadable.
But through it all, Hawai'i calls to me...

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