Supa ukulele

Jun 13, 2010

The season finale of Glee last week featured a rendition of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World reminiscent — but nowhere near the beauty — of the recording by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

Supa! Everytime I hear that song by Iz, I recall the day I met him in the Ala Moana Tower Records in Honolulu in 1993. I think I happened to be walking past the store that day but noticed a sign about his visiting to promote his new record, Facing Future. I walked in, bought a CD and asked him sign it to my family.

Iz was a giant both physically and musically, and with his tiny ukulele and angelic voice, he was a Hawaiian superman. Meeting him was a highlight of my time in Hawaii.

Another highlight of my time in Hawaii was when I went to the Kona Coast of the Big Island to interview David Gomes, a master craftsman of ukulele and guitar. (Looking for the article I wrote about him; will post later.)

There’s a new documentary about the ukulele. Listen to this NPR story.

Anton Zuiker

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