Kou Aloha Mau A Mau



The palaka print is for the Reverend Dennis Kamakahi, who joined the Sons of Hawaii in 1973 replacing Gabby Pahinui. He played with the Sons until 1995 and for a time with my mentor Uncle Braddah Smitty. Uncle Eddie supported Dennis’ song writing and encouraged him to blaze his own path and put his own stamp on the group. He wrote such beautiful and classic numbers as Wahine Ilikea, Pua Hone, Koke`e, Ka `Opae, Sweet By and By, Aloha Mau A Mau, Golden Stallion, Kanaka Waiolina, Honeymoon Hotel, E Hihiwai, Hualalai, and on and on and on…

Of course he went on to a magnificent solo career, but it was with the Sons that he got his start expressing himself as a song writer, something I deeply respect him for. I was very privileged to get a first hand account from Smitty about the composition of Wahine Ilikea as he was with Dennis when he wrote the song. The art of Hawaiian song writing is an under appreciated art and Dennis was a master at it. He will always live in my heart and in my mind as I compose mele.

Thank you Uncle Dennis for inspiring me. Thank you for reading this, if you are not familiar with the Reverend Dennis Kamakahi I suggest you listen to some of his recordings which are widely available. He was a true true master artist in the world of music. You will be missed, your enduring spirit was valued. Your originality and expression of the Hawaiian way through your mele is truly remarkable. Aloha mau a mau, aloha ke akua.


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