Rockin’ Doo-Wop And Eddie Kamae

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - September 01, 2010
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The Love Notes back in the day

Doo-wop is defined as “a vocal style of rock ‘n’ roll characterized by the a cappella singing of lyrical syllables in rhythmical support of the melody.”

For Pete “Dr. Doo-Wop” Hernandez, doo-wop is much more than that.

“Doo-wop originated in inner cities with people who weren’t able to afford musical instruments and began singing barbershop quartets. But instead of four or five guys singing the words together in harmony, each person imitated an instrument with their mouth,” says Hernandez, who moved to Hawaii from New York City in 1977.

Founder and producer of the Love Notes, Hawaii’s premier doo-wop group, Hernandez and the original members will be back on stage for the first time in 20 years for the Doo-Wop Spectacular happening 7 p.m. Saturday at Neal Blaisdell Arena.

Joining the original crew (Hernandez, Felix Bonet, Johnny Valentine, Mike Baker and Lucas Clemente) on stage are special guests Cassandra Lehua and Meleana Manaoio of Hawaii’s Dream Girls, and world-renowned dancer and choreographer Colleen Nomura.

“We’re going to represent all of the best doo-wop groups of the era,” says Hernandez.


For those who were too young to remember the Love Notes’ shows in Waikiki throughout the 1980s and early ‘90s, there’s a good chance you know the youngest Love Notes performer, Bruno Mars aka Peter Hernandez Jr. (son of Pete Hernandez).

“I am blown away by Bruno’s success, but in my heart I always knew it,” says the proud dad. “It doesn’t surprise me. Bruno sang with the Love Notes from when he was 2 years old until he was about 17. He was always a star.”

Rounding out the lineup of doo-wop legends starring in the concert are Joey Dee & The Starlifters, The Dovells, The Angels, The Orlons and The Crests.

Eddie Kamae will be honored Sept. 10 at the Ka Himeni Ana Hawaiian music competition

Tickets cost $45, $55, $65, and $129 for limited VIP seating and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

“We hope to springboard this show back into a major showroom in Waikiki and reinvent doo-wop once again,” says Hernandez. “We want to expose the young generation to authentic doo-wop style.

“We hope to sing doowop for the rest of our lives.” ...

Ukulele legend Eddie Kamae will be honored at the Ka Himeni Ana Hawaiian music competition Sept. 10 at Hawaii Theatre.

“For me, it’s a surprise,” says Kamae, a Waikiki resident. “I’m honored whenever I’m honored.”

Kamae has spent the past 70 years entertaining the Islands with his Hawaiian music, and at the age of 83 he’s still making weekly Sunday appearances with “my boys” at Honey’s in Kaneohe (Ko’olau Golf Club).

“I’ve been playing Hawaiian music for many years and I was fortunate to have had three teachers, including Mary Kawena Pukui, who always encouraged me,” Kamae says, recalling his first live performance when he was about 14 or 15 at a police benefit show.

It didn’t take long before Eddie formed Ukulele Rascals with Shoi Ikemi in the 1940s. The duo then joined The Ray Kinney Band and toured the Mainland before returning to the Islands for a regular gig at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. In 1959, Eddie met Gabby Pahinui, and the two gathered friends and formed Sons of Hawaii. The group was one of the strongest voices in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, in which Eddie was an instrumental figure until his retirement from the group in 1992.

Today, Sons of Hawaii includes Mike Kaawa, Analu Aina, Ocean Kaowili and Paul Kim. The group’s latest CD, released last year, is titled Eddie Kamae & The Sons of Hawaii: Yesterday and Today (Volume 2).

“It makes perfect sense to honor Eddie Kamae at Ka Himeni Ana,” says Rick Towill, son of Ka Himeni Ana founder Richard M. Towill. “The objective of this music competition is to preserve the traditional, authentic Hawaiian music, which Eddie has been doing throughout his entire musical career.”


Kamae just finished recording a children’s album with Sons of Hawaii and it’s expected to release this year.

“There’s still a lot I want to do, but it all depends on time and what I’m working on,” says Kamae. “I was taught to ho’omau, to continue on. Keep going until everything is finished.”

The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20 and $30. For more information, visit hmhof.org.

This year’s competing groups are Ho’olono, Ho’opi’i ‘Ohana, Ka’ana, Kaimana Kono, Keanu, Mokoli’i, Sons of Kapalama, Sour Poi Band, Sunset Serenaders and Waimanalo Sunset Band ...

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