Popular Hawaiian Music
What is the popular traditional music in Hawaii? Why is it the music many people listen to?
Hawaiian music is like no other. Hawaiians were once known for sweet melodies that match the sounds of the accompanying guitars and bassists. Hawaiian music brings a warm feeling to all who hear it. It’s a sound that is quite inviting and reminds you of your favorite time of watching the sun set. The music got its start when Spanish cowboys from California were brought to the islands to round up wild cattle that were once illegal to be killed in Hawaii. At night when the cowboys and Hawaiian natives would rest, the cowboys would bring out an odd instrument called a guitar. Hawaiians used one for their own music making but added their smooth gentle tones to create an entirely new way of music.
By the middle of the 1950's Hawaiian music had been played on hundreds of radio stations around the world. But less than 10 years later, when the rest of the United States was enjoying the post-World War II frenzy that included good times and looser morals and music, Hawaiian music started to lose its popularity. It wasn’t long, however, when you might recall a man by the name of Don Ho became a Hawaiian legend in popular music with his famous song, "Tiny Bubbles." Don Ho instantly put Hawaii back on the map when it came to musical culture.
That’s when Hawaiian music took off. More and more popular artists were blooming, not only performing quiet, sweet "grass music," but more and more frequently creating and performing all sorts of rock and jazz themes. Groups like The Peter Moon Band, Krush, Cecilio, and Brothers Cazimero. Some current popular Hawaiian artists include the Freitas Brothers, Brickwood Galuteria, Na Leo Pilimehana, Mango, and Ledward Kaapana.
Hawaiian radio stations boast music as diverse as their artists. Depending on which islands you’re visiting, you can listen to all types of music. On the big island, you mainly can listen to contemporary music on the radio. On Oahu, country, rock, and Hawaiian music rule the airwaves. And on Maui, mainly rock music is touted across your radio dial.