Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hawaii's Radio Oldies are Easier to Find

Island Summer 60s & 70s

Many records released in the Hawaii market during the 1960s and 1970s became huge local, radio hits in the island while never making it quite big on the mainland. I've spent many years looking for CD and digital copies of those hits that I originally had on vinyl but needed to upgrade. In recent years several compilation CDs have been released to make these hard-to-find tracks available to a wide audience once again.

Starting with this post, I'll occasionally highlight my favorite CD compilation of hard-to-find single tracks. First up:

Island Summer 60s & 70s

"Island Summer 60s & 70s", is a compilation CD that brings back top 40 and local Hawaii hits that ruled the islands’ radio airwaves. The compilation CD released by Neos Productions in 2004, is still available at Hawaii music retailers throughout the state. The disc contains 16 classic radio tracks including several songs that were not available on a digital format until the issuance of this album.

These songs include the 1970's karaoke favorite, "Forevermore" by the Tokyo Happy Coats, (which is sung mainly in Japanese), the debut single and top 10 hit by The Sweet Marie, "Remember Mary" and Maui's Merrill Frankhauser's laid back track, "On Our Way to Hana".

Also appearing for the first time on a local compilation CD are Three Dog Night's cover of the Jesse Colin-Young track "Sunlight", Liz Damon & the Orient Express' only Billboard Top 40 hit, "1900 Yesterday," and The Stylistics' classic B-side which became a local radio hit, "Ebony Eyes".

Other favorites include Ku'i Lee's original recording of "I'll Remember You," the Makaha Sons of Niihau's "Hawaii 78", Cecilio & Kapono's "Sunflower", Country Comfort's "Pretty Girl" and Kalapana's "You Make It Hard." Well known top 40 hits also on the disc include Sonny Geraci & Climax's "Precious & Few" which hit #1 in Hawaii back in 1971, 6 months before it hit the top 10 nationally; The Stampeders' "Sweet City Woman," King Harvest's "Dancing in the Moonlight," Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones," and Beverly Bremers' "Don't Say You Don't Remember."

Most of the songs on Island Summer 60s and 70s were in regular rotation on AM radio stations in the 1960s and 1970s including KKUA, KPOI, KORL, KMVI and KCCN.

“Island Summer 60s & 70s” is a great CD to add to your collection if you are trying to find these previously hard to locate tracks. It certainly is a major upgrade if all you have of these songs are still on scratchy old vinyl or tape.

Track List

1. Sweet City Woman - Stampeders
2. You Make It Hard - Kalapana
3. Precious and Few - Climax
4. Sunlight - Three Dog Night
5. Dancing In The Moonlight - King Harvest
6. Ebony Eyes - Stylistics
7. Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
8. Sunflower - Cecilio & Kapono
9. 1900 Yesterday - Liz Damon & the Orient Express
10. I'll Remember You - Ku'i Lee
11. Don't Say You Don't Remember - Beverly Bremers
12. Forevermore - Tokyo Happy Coats
13. Pretty Girl - Country Comfort
14. Hawaii 78 - Makaha Sons of Niihau
15. On Our Way To Hana - Merrell Fankhauser
16. Remember Mary - Sweet Marie

QUOTES: What others are saying about "Island Summer 60s & 70s"

"If you grew up in the era of transistor radios and vinyl 45-rpm singles and 33 1/3-rpm long-playing albums, this one connects you to the past.... the disc packages acts that attracted audiences in big concerts, small gigs and dance hall gatherings here.", Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser, Sept. 12, 2004.

"... there's a song here of sufficient rarity that island residents who remember it may want to buy this album just to get it. "Nevermore [sic] (Kinito Itsumademo)," by the Tokyo Happy Coats, was a hit here, but the Japanese group never even reached Billboard's national "Bubbling Under" chart. So anyone who has been looking for the Tokyo Happy Coats' single on eBay can now end their search with the release of this album." John Berger, "Island Mele" column, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sept. 24, 2004.

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