Don Ho R.I.P.--Aloha
Don Ho died this morning at the age of 76.
It is hard to imagine Hawaii, or at least Waikiki, without Don Ho.
Some people, like Herb Caen and San Francisco, become inseparable from a particular time and place. Don Ho and Waikiki were like that.
My wonderful wife first met Don Ho when she was a little girl living in San Francisco. On a visit to Hawaii with her parents her father, who had done some private work for Ho, took her to his show and introduced her.
Some 40 years later my wife and I took her father & step-mother to the Don Ho show and I got to meet him myself. His health was poor but he still put on a cliche-filled, self-deprecating and entertaining show.
Don Ho was a good man who helped shape the ambiance of Waikiki for more than a generation of tourists. He was not particularly representative of Hawaiian music by any stretch of the imagination but he was respected. The Honolulu Advertiser's headline called him "The King of Waikiki Entertainment."
His schtick was "Tiny Bubbles" and he squeezed every drop of sentimentality out of that song as he could! He did it with so much class that nobody really minded all that much.
Don Ho: We will miss you. Thank you for singing for us all these years. Aloha.
Note: You can access the Honolulu Advertiser's Don Ho photo gallery here and his biography here.