Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Don Ho

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.)”

Galveston

First recorded by Don Ho (1968).
Hit version by Glen Campbell (US #4/C&W #1/UK #14/CAN #2/AUS #5/NZ #3 1969).

https://youtu.be/VxYFBlmTsqQ

From the wiki: “Composer Jimmy Webb (‘Up, Up and Away‘, ‘The Worst That Could Happen‘, ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix‘) was on a beach in Galveston, Texas, when he wrote the song ‘Galveston’, making up the story about a Spanish-American war soldier and the girl he left behind. ‘Galveston’ was originally recorded by Don Ho, releasing it in 1968 as the B-side of his single ‘Has Anybody Lost A Love?’ with no chart impact.

“Ho recalled he gave Campbell a copy of the single and told him, ‘I didn’t have any luck with this, maybe you will.’ Ho would later appear on Campbell’s TV variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in Oct. 1969 to perform the song.

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