Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fathers and Sons

Gabby Pahinui made the first commercial recording of Hawaiian slack key guitar in 1946, with his rendition of “Hi‘ilawe,” the story of a love affair that took place in Waipi‘o, on the island of Hawai‘i. Gabby, one of the all-time greats of slack key, took the younger Sonny Chillingworth under his wing when Sonny was a teenager and they played together for many years. Ledward Kaapana grew up in Kalapana on the Big Island in the postwar years and was influenced by some of the great players of the previous generation like Gabby, Sonny, and Leonard Kwan as well as popular guitarists like Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, and The Ventures, and is one of Hawai‘i’s most popular guitarists. So . . . here are three beautiful interpretations of the classic tune “Hi‘ilawe,” played by Gabby Pahinui, Sonny Chillingworth, and Ledward Kaapana.

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