Background information Birth name
Donald Tai Loy Ho Also known as
Don Ho Born
August 13, 1930 Origin
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA Died
April 14, 2007 (aged 76) Genre(s)
Vocals Years active
1959 – 2007 Label(s)
Reprise Records Associated
The Ali‘is Website
Because of the massive media coverage of the slaughter at the Virginia Tech Campus, other news stories worthy of coverage were pushed aside. A case in point is the passing of a great entertainer, Don Ho. In a tribute to the man and the entertainer and as a tribute to my friend and his mom who never missed one of Don Ho's shows, the following is my memoriam to Mr. Ho.
Don was born in the little Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, German parentage but soon moved to Kaneohe. Don's climb to today's heady heights began in a cocktail lounge in the windward Oahu town of Kaneohe called Honey's, named after his mother. After returning from the Air Force, Don took over Honey's in Kaneohe, Hawaii. "When I took it over, the place was empty," says Ho. It was packed everyday during the war years. My dad said 'Son, why don't you go make music." Ho gathered a couple of friends who knew how to play musical instruments and started a band. "I was terrible," says Ho. "So, I just played very softly." Needless to say, business boomed.
Playing and learning from the talented musicians he hired for shows, Ho created his own musical image. In 1962, Ho began playing at Duke's in Waikiki. "That's when things started happening for us with records, TV shows and everything," says Ho. These were the days of Don's greatest development as an entertainer and a star. Backing him were the sensational five Aliis, playing piano, drums, two guitars, xylophone and doubling on half a dozen other instruments. Don presided at the organ, a glass of scotch in his hand, a cigarette burning in the ashtray. (Not anymore. He quit drinking and smoking fifteen years ago) The music was outstanding; the humor was fast and snappy. Tourists came, but so did locals and, after a while, visiting Hollywood stars--any of whom might take to the stage. Raising his glass in salute, Don would urge the audience to "suck'em up," and they did.
Those rowdy, rollicking years brought stardom to Don and made Duke's Hawaii's most popular nightclub. Don, the Aliis, Duke Kahanamoku, Kimo McVay, young singers like Robin Wilson, Angel Pablo, Sam Kapu and everybody else on stage had a ball every night. The audience felt it and shared it and kept coming back for more. During his years at Duke's, Don literally erupted on the national show biz scene, first and most suddenly in a two-week engagement at Hollywood's ultra-posh Cocoanut Grove in 1966. His opening night was a triumph, breaking all previous attendance records, and he went on to play to turn-away crowds nightly.
Taken from Wikipedia and www.donho.com.