Deadsplinter Up! All Night: The King

The real king of Hawaiian music was actually a king!  When Christian missionaries convinced Hawaiian royalty to leave their heathen ways and accept Christianity, they also convinced them that Hawaiian music and the hula should be made illegal.  When David Kalakaua took the throne in 1874, things changed and the hula once again became a celebration of Hawaiian culture.  For his coronation he issued invitations to all Hawaiians that had knowledge of the old chants & music to participate in this ceremony.  During his reign, Portuguese immigrants introduced him to the ukulele and he embraced it and became proficient in playing it.  He would even entertain visitors accompanied by his personal music group.  Today he is remembered fondly as the Merrie Monarch & each year a hula festival by that name is held in Hilo Hawaii in April for the best hula halaus (schools) in the world.

Flash forward to 1969, possibly the most star filled Hawaiian band consisting of legends Palani Vaughan, Cyril & Bla Pahinui, the Cazimero brothers & the great Peter Moon recorded a tribute to King Kalakaua.  David in Hawaiian is Kawika & this song is based on a 1930’s mele about how the king traveled to England & France to try to get financial aid for Hawaii.  Sunday Manoa became so popular they are often credited with helping bring on a Hawaiian heritage cultural renaissance.  Interest in Hawaiian language, music, cultural pride and a sovereignty movement grew out of this.

Sunday Manoa – Kawika


  1. My favorite of the three King’s, Freddie.

    I love how the audience is waiting in anticipation for the show to start, but big Freddie just takes his sweet ass time picking out a guitar and putting the strap on.

  2. Went to Merrie Monarch maybe 3 years ago. Mind-blowing. Love the Big Island.

    Sticking to the theme of kings here:

    Love this song for its applicability to, uh, current socio-political situations.

    • +1 bonus star for going to Merrie Monarch!

  3. The Band – King Harvest ( Has Surely Come)

  4. Robert Randolph and The Family Band: Going In The Right Direction

    • Robert Randolph is absolutely one of favorite artists! I love the way he kills it on the pedal steel guitar and his positive vibes are amazing!

      I’ve heard that if you are in the audience and you aren’t diggin’ it, RR will come off the stage and dance with you until you are!
      Great post! Thank you!

      • He must be losing a couple liters of sweat on every performance. Like you say, he kills it on the pedal steel guitar. The whole band kills it!

        Thank you!

    • Goddamn Keitel, another rabbit hole.

      • …these threads really ought to come with some sort of disclaimer/warning type thing about how “we” can’t be held responsible for how suddenly you seem to be missing time…but at least know that you are not alone down there?

  5. Keitel took me to see this band in NYC. Tiny basement venue. Great show.
    Swim Deep, King City.

    • Nothing like taking your wife to see her boy band crush.

  6. I Used to be a King – Graham Nash

    • Nice post, Jonee!
      I always thought that Graham and all of his talents sometimes got lost in C,S,N and sometimes Y.

    • I have a ’74 Les Paul that looks just like Brad Whitford’s. But it looks better without the pickguard.

      • …ladies & gentlemen I give you “the purist”

        …fair point, though…& congrats…that’s a nice guitar you got yourself there, sir.

  7. Am I doing this right?

    • …for a given value of right?

      certainly living up to your handle, any road…

    • You are! Welcome! Great song & great band.

    • Reading the thread, I was so going to post this song too! Great pick

  8. oh yeah… this is the way to wake up

    • …yup…I’m awake now…uh…thanks?

    • i scrolled past it and it got stuck in my head……thats impressive

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