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April 05, 2002

Back in the day

Stella's entry about the Lamest Cover Versions of Popular Songs by Hawaii Bands got me thinking of the "old days" of local radio--the days when groups like Kalapana

and Cecelio and Kapono and Country Comfort reigned supreme. Sure there were a few covers in the albums (and, yes, they were real vinyl albums--not CDs, not cassettes -- although I do remember 8-track tapes) but the majority of the popular songs were original compositions.

Sadly, Billy Kaui (Pretty Girl, Mr. Reggae, Hello Waimanalo) and Mackey Feary (Nightbird, Moon & Stars, The Hurt, Lost Again), have passed on. They live on the music and inspiration that they've left behind. They helped to shape the future of contemporary music in Hawai'i.

Anybody else remember those days?

Posted by Paradise Ali at April 05, 2002 01:01 PM


Posted by Dianna Chai - Huntington Beach CA --1979 to 1981 on October 5, 2004 11:00 AM:

It is so real that you bring up C & K!!! I just in the past 2 weeks went on line and bought 3 CD's s-Night Music, Eula , and Cecilio & Kapono with the coolest Hawaiian Shirt Back groud. It has been uplifting to hear toons like - Good night and Good Morning, Sailin', of course Night Music, Summer Lady and just all of them..... Remember the concert at Aloha Stadium -
I think it was in 1980.. That is when Kapono had a Hugh Birthday party for his Daughter who was turning 2 years old....I brought her a Tweety Bird outfit and when I ran into Kapono later he had taken the time to mention that his daughter loved that Tweety outfit.. They were both real ....I have alot of fascinating - happy - peaceful - memories..... Cheers to C & K and all of us Fans that truly miss the old days...Dianna - Huntington Beach CA -1979-81.....

Posted by macpro on October 5, 2004 5:32 PM:

I remember when I first saw Cecilio & Kapono in Hilo back in 1975, the concert was only $5 at the Hilo Civic Auditorium (now Afook Chinen).... They had just released the "Elua" album (which I think is their best album ever) and were poised to have hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 issued by Columbia records. The hit singles never happened, but the duo established itself as one of the most popular contemporary music artists from Hawaii of all time.

The three C & K albums issued on Columbia were:

"Cecilio & Kapono" (1974)- the first one with the aloha shirt design; issued as a single off that album was "Gotta Get Away." Local radio played this song and just about everything else on the LP. These songs were played on both top 40 and AOR formats.

"Elua" - the 2nd album was issued in 1975. The first single was "Goodnight & Goodmorning" and then "About You" was issued. Again local radio played many of these songs too. Remember back then there was no "island music/reggae format" so we are talking mainly about top 40 radio... KPOI 1380, KKUA, KIKI, etc. Mostly AM dial.

In 1976 Columbia issued the single "Searching" which never appeared on a C & K album until the release some 25 years later of the "Journey Through the Years" compilation CD in 2001 or so.

1977 saw the final C & K Columbia album, "Night Music" which saw the release of "I Love You" as that album's single.

In 1978 C & K was dropped from Columbia and their next album was issued on the local "Starbolt" label.

Top 40 radio in the late 60s and 70s was fun, but that is probably a topic for another post or thread.

Posted by ali on October 5, 2004 9:03 PM:

Hi Dianna & Macpro!

Those were the days, huh! I was a big Kalapana fan. My dad (good sport that he is) used to take my best friend and I to their concerts in Hilo and a few times in Kona. When Mackey Feary branched off with his own band, we actually went over to Kona on Christmas eve to go to their "concert" in one of the hotel bars. Somehow, Kalapana was never the same after he left. Malani Bilyeu still sounds awesome but they seemed to go more towards the jazz fusion than the old time ballads that we loved.

Posted by macpro on October 6, 2004 9:35 AM:

I went to see Kalapana in Hilo way back in the summer of 1976... same place as the C & K concert. I think the 2nd Kalapana album was just about to come out. Was a good concert. And I wholly agree, that Mackey Feary was the heart, soul and voice of Kalapana. Their best 2 albums of all time were the first 2. He left at the third album but came back a few times over the course of about 20 years..

Nothing can beat such classic Kalapana standards as "Nightbird," "The Hurt", "You Make It Hard", "Moon and Stars," "Naturally," and "Black Sand" among other great tracks from those 2 albums. On their later albums I especially like "Many Classic Moments" and "Hurricane."

Posted by Carlos on February 11, 2006 11:36 AM:

Having left Hawaii in '83 and being completely out of touch with the old music scene, last night I got to thinkin about Mackey and found out about his death. Needless to say I'm devastated about the circumstances. I never knew that he was depressed and addicted to drugs, unbelievable considering how much JOY came out in his beautiful voice.

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