25 October 2007

Bruddah Iz

I first took note of the tune when we rented the Chick-Flick
"Meet Joe Black".
The tune starts with a Ukulele solo, sweet and simple.
A few bars later you hear a clear tenor voice,
And that's it-
Just the Uke and one voice.
It was beautiful.

I'm an oddball about watching movie credits. I want to know who directed, who wrote the book from which the screenplay was adapted, who wrote the screenplay. I like to know who flew the helicopter. I also read the credits if I'm impressed by the music.
The tune that impressed me was the medley

"What A Wonderful World/Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, known in Hawaii as "Bruddah Iz".
You've probably heard the tune. I also heard it later in the soundtracks of
"Finding Forrester" and
"50 First Dates".

I've been thinking of Bruddah Iz and Hawaii a lot lately.
We leave for Hawaii early Halloween morning.

We'll stop in Mesa and spend the night with Big Bubba, then the three of us will board an ATA 757 for the trip to Honolulu. We'll meet a few friends there and will be there for a week.
My only other visit to Honolulu was in 1968, when the stretched DC-8 carrying me and about 299 of my best friends stopped to refuel on the way to Saigon. Most of the 300 of us made our way to the airport bar... we had an hour or so layover. I had two Scotch-and-Water with a Twist doubles, and since it was night-time, don't really remember much about Honolulu, except that the weather was perfect.

So this really will be my first time there.

We intend to visit the Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri, and tour Pearl Harbor/Ford Island. (That'll be easy- we're staying on Ford Island.) We also intend to find our way to the Big Island to get as close to molten lava as possible. But beyond those sights we need help. Got any suggestions about "must-see's" while we're there?

Back to Bruddah Iz...
He died at age 38 from heart problems, no doubt brought on by the fact that he was 6' 2" tall and weighed 753 pounds.
A lovely, talented man, dead 'way too soon.

I found this video with the tune I referred to. Watch carefully near the end and you can see them casting Bruddah Iz's ashes to the beautiful, blue water:


the golden horse said...

Even though Iz has been gone for about 10 years, he lives on in so many ways over here.
His whole family died at a very young age.
He had a brother that played with The Makaha Sons of Niihau, Iz later joined them and they were beautiful. They live on now and are tremendously popular.
They did a beautiful 1 hour documentary on Iz that is amazing. About his life, his love and his music.
He married his high school sweetheart, a tiny little beautiful lady and they had a beautiful daughter.
The documentary tells a story about when he would go to school, he would skip classes and go out into the school yard and sit under a tree and play his uke all day. That is where his heart was, in music.
We were all so blessed to have his beautiful music touch our lives in many more ways that we would know.

Now as for what to do while here, I suggest spending time at the Polynesian Cultural Center. A wonderful place that has hands on experiences with 7 islands of the Pacific. Young people from these islands come here to study at Bringham Young and the put on a wonderful show. It opens around noon and ends at 9pm and you won't want to miss a moment. The final show of the evening is absolutely breathtaking. We have gone many times and are ready to go again.

Then of course, you have to eat, eat and eat some more.


Never been to Hawaii so I can't help you with tourist stuff. Hope you have a great time, though.

The song is so beautiful and I remember it well from the end of Finding Forrester--the window scene. No other song would've fit as well as that one.

Enjoy your trip!!

cary said...

Gorgeous voice. Beautifully done.

Thanks for sharing, Greybeard!