DON HO 1930-2007

Hawaiian crooner Don Ho passed away from heart failure this morning following several years of battling various heart ailments. Ho, for the past four decades wearing his trademark raspberry tinted sunglasses, had entertained hundreds of thousands of visitors at his Waikiki show - an evening of songs, jokes, Hawaiian history, double entendres and audience participation.

Ho was best known for his most famous song, Tiny Bubbles. In addition to his name being synonymous with the Waikiki entertainment scene, Ho also hosted ABC's the Don Ho Show from 1976 to 1977 and appeared on the famous Hawaii episodes of The Brady Bunch. His daughter, Hoku, is also a pop music performer.

Author Unknown

DON HO has become more than a bit of a legend. At Duke's in Hawaii he's a bigger tourist draw than Mauna Loa. His seductive voice has laid more people out flat than the sands of Waikiki. London may be where "it's happening," but Honolulu, hun, is where it's getting done.

Don Ho's doing it...packing them in, swinging some songs, getting everybody to suck 'em up to the point of no return. He looks and sounds as if he's grooming himself to star in "The Return of the Sybarite." The hard life, Ho style: getting a little juiced, singing the good songs, getting nuzzled by the visiting ladies, making a good buck.

The Mainland is slowly but surely coming 'round. Don Ho is breaking down a couple of centuries of Puritanism quicker than a missionary can say, "Now girls, on with your T-shirts."

If there's going to be an Ambassador of Ho for the Mainland, it'll probably be H.B. Barnum, the spectacularly talented young man from California who flew over to Hawaii, dug, dug some more, had a couple more Mai Tais, really dug some more, then flew back to the Mainland before it all got the better of him. His assignment: write the arrangements for Don Ho.

Don Ho came to Hollywood to record this album. The sound and the excitement should please longtime Don Ho fans. It should knock down and drag around three times anyone who's never been near the Don Ho magic. With the aid of an augmented orchestra and a sneaky little group of girls who keep putting delights behind Don's voice, Don Ho pulls off his most "with it" album to date.

If you thought Don Ho swung, then listen again. Lolled in a Hollywood recording studio. In white pants and boots. His velour shirt tossed over his shoulders. His thick black hair falling like a palm frond over his forehead. Grinning, relaxing, concentrating, grooving. A different kind of Don Ho session, producing a new kind of Don Ho music.
From Tiny Bubbles grows much music.

The final part of my tribute to Don Ho is a nice oddity. It's an animated music video of Don Ho covering Peter Gabriel's Shock The Monkey.