First off…HAPPY 4/20 everyone!!! I hope you’re having as much fun there as I am here in Portland. And as promised..my 4/20 tune for all of you…and it’s from Brudder IZ! Yes, we have IZ’s mix of Somewhere over the rainbow & What a wonderful world!
Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole , also called Bruddah Iz (Brother Iz), was a Hawaiian musician, entertainer, and sovereignty activist.
His voice became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and television commercials. Through his skillful ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres (such as jazz and reggae), Kamakawiwoʻole remains a very strong influence on Hawaiian music.
Kamakawiwoʻole was born at Kuakini Hospital in Honolulu to Henry Kaleialoha Naniwa Kamakawiwoʻole, Jr., and Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwoʻole. The notable Hawaiian musician Moe Keale was his uncle and a major musical influence. He was raised in the community of Kaimuki, where his parents had met and married. He began playing music with his older brother Skippy and cousin Allen Thornton at the age of 11, being exposed to the music of Hawaiian entertainers of the time such as Peter Moon, Palani Vaughn, and Don Ho, who frequented the establishment where Kamakawiwoʻole’s parents worked. Hawaiian musician Del Beazley spoke of the first time he heard Israel play, when, while playing for a graduation party, the whole room fell silent on hearing him. Israel continued his path as his brother Skippy entered the Army in 1971 and cousin Allen parted ways in 1976 for the mainland.
“Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” is a medley of Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” by IZ and released on his albums Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future. ”Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” was originally recorded in a spur-of-the-moment demo session in 1988, and was done in a single take. At the time, copies of the recording were only made for Kamakawiwoʻole himself and recording engineer Milan Bertosa. Five years later, in 1993, Bertosa played the song for producer Jon de Mello while the two were completing work on Facing Future, and de Mello decided to include it in the album.
So, sit back, enjoy the ganj, love one another, eat some bacon, Enjoy 4/20 & KEEP IT WEIRD!!!