Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, March 05, 2003
WAIKIKI IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME….This is sorta last year’s news, but there’s this guy Dave Stewart in the San Francisco area who’s put together a TEN HOUR MP3 compilation of Hawaiian 78s from 1925-1938. I’d never heard of such a thing, but I wholeheartedly support this sort of endeavor. The title is – nyuk “Waikiki Is Good Enough For Me”, and there are 188 tracks, all from a time when the craze for Hawaiian-accented music was in vogue. This fertile format yielded some very otherworldly sounds in the form of slack-key guitar weirdness, brought to life by Sol Hoopii and His Novelty Quartet, Andy Iona and His Islanders, Kane’s Hawaiians, and – yes, that master of Hawaiian melodies, “the singing Haole”, Jimmie Rogers! (represented here on track #176, “Looking For a New Mama”). Because of the scratchy 78rpm-style feel of these recordings, I’d put them closer in spirit to the then-current olde time Mountain music or even call it akin to a more commercialized Southern blues than the likely mainstream or even novelty audiences these numbers were aimed at. It might only sit well for an hour or two, but when you’ve got 8-9 more hours of listening to go, that’s usually just fine. Mr. Stewart is obviously a connoisseur of this decidedly “specialist” form, and for a mere twenty bucks or something, he’ll ship one of these discs to you. Check it out at his web site for it, and remember that you can only play this on your computer or high-end stereo that plays MP3s. He’s got a couple of newer MP3 CDs of his old 78s out now as well.