Letters To The Editor
March 09, 2011 - MidWeek
Thanks much for giving Tia Carrere, Daniel Ho and Amy Stillman the opportunity to express their feelings about their most recent Grammy award and the negative reaction of some.
I congratulate that talented trio for producing an award-winning recording. And I congratulate the other talented finalists, who also produced very good recordings.
In the days following the award ceremony, I had e-mails and phone calls from dozens of fellow recording artists, producers, songwriters asking how I felt about the results.
I’ve been in the business of Hawaiian music for more than 50 years and in the recording business for more than 30. I’ve worked with some of the best musicians, singers, song-writers, engineers and producers in Hawaii, and I understand how it feels when you “know” your recording is better than the one that won. But it does little to endear you to your peers and the public when you criticize those who won. Remember, what you are critical of today in NARAS competition also happens in the local HARA awards, Hawaii Music Awards and other competitions, where members who know little or nothing about Hawaiian music and language also have the opportunity to vote in all categories.
To Tia, Daniel and Amy, I share the thoughts of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, and I paraphrase: “People can only hurt you if you let them.” Don’t.
The Hawaii Music Awards in the past 15 years has received many compliments for its fairness - and the resulting winners from voters and nominees - because of our system of being Hawaii’s people’s choice ballots.
As a person who was a major part of the Hawaiian Grammy campaign, and one with inside knowledge as to the workings of the system and how it came to be, I do agree with those who say we as a music community have to represent the music of Hawaii and the people of our great state by showing the best side of who we are, win or lose.
Membership voting by their peers - referred to as the “academy” - has always had its issues because within its own limited pool of voters there are cliques and lifelong friendships. Unfortunately, it oftentimes comes down to which record company bought the most memberships to be able to vote for their own stable of artists that influences the end results.
The beauty of the Hawaii Music Awards is we are truly the people’s choice awards with no regard to paid favoritism, bias membership voting, contestable musical expertise or buying of the votes. HMA is instead a free and open choice for anyone to express their love for music from and about Hawaii.
HMA voting online ballots are free to access, and it’s free to participate in the voting. We believe the result is a better measure of the winners by the people whose opinions really matter - the ones buying and listening to music.
That’s why Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom deservingly won this year for Hawaiian Contemporary music, and Tia Carrere won in the Children’s Music Category, while Cyril Pahinui won a Hawaii Music Awards category for slack key in the Compilation Album category with Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 3. Hawaii Music Awards, for the past 15 years, have been the only legit company that allowed Hawaiian musicians living outside of Hawaii to have representation in their own home state, another important step in being inclusive and supportive of Hawaiian music around the world and in our own backyard.
Hawaii Music Awards
Raid train fund
Hawaii is notoriously rated as having the fifth worst roads in the U.S. It is no wonder since the Highway Fund has been raided; the Stimulus has come and gone, and congressional earmarks are only to assure political contributions in return, or to establish a legacy. I suggest that the train fund be raided to get our major mode of transportation up to par. If this is not viable, the city/state should go the cheaper route by establishing a couple dozen free tire balancing and alignment shops so that drivers will be able to cope as the roads deteriorate further.
25 years later
This is in regards to Poll question, “What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?” and Dean Wilson’s response: “My father told me when I date a girl to look at her mom because that’s what she’s going to look like 25 years from now.”
Considering that he looks old, gray and overweight, perhaps his wife’s mother should have told her that when you date a guy, look at the father, because that’s what he’ll look like in 25 years.
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