Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Pearly Shells (Pupu A ‘O ‘Ewa)

First recorded (in English) by The Hawaii Calls Orchestra (1962).
Hit version by Burl Ives (US #60/MOR #12 1964).
Also recorded (as “First Night of the Full Moon”) by Jack Jones (US #59/AUS #8 1964).
Also recorded by Don Ho (1967).

From the wiki: “‘Pearly Shells’ was based on the melody of an old Hawaiian song, ‘Pupu A ‘O ‘Ewa’. English lyrics were written by Webley ‘Web’ Edwards, creator of the radio program Hawaii Calls, and Leon Pober, and was first recorded in English by The Hawaii Calls Orchestra in 1962. In 1928, Edwards had relocated from Oregon to Hawaii where he became an auto salesman. It was during this time he developed a keen interest in native Hawaiian musical traditions. In 1935 he became the producer for a radio show which showcased authentic island music, Hawaii Calls.

Hawaii Calls debuted on July 3, 1935 and was broadcast for 37 years. (Edwards was the first radio announcer to broadcast the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. It was he who said on air: ‘Attention. This is no exercise. The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor!’ He was also one of only two broadcast journalists aboard the USS Missouri during the surrender ceremony at Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.)”

“Burl Ives recorded a modest MOR hit with the song in 1964; Jack Jones enjoyed Top-10 chart success in Australia with a completely lyrically-different rendition titled ‘First Night of the Full Moon’ he recorded in 1964. But, ‘Pearly Shells’ has a very strong association with Hawaiian singer Don Ho who recorded several different versions during his long career, including one for the Japanese market 1967.”

Burl Ives, “Pearly Shells” (1964):

Jack Jones, “First Night of the Full Moon” (1964):

Don Ho, “Pearly Shells” in Japanese (1967):

Don Ho, “Pearly Shells/Tiny Bubbles” from Hollywood Palace (1967):

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