What Do Jason Castro and American Idol Have to do with Hawaiian Vacations?
Not a trick question. And glad you asked.
Well, anybody that pays attention to the pop news knows that Jason Castro scored big on American Idol with his rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, while artfully strumming a Ukulele. So simple, and so great.
Well, Jason certainly got his inspiration from the great and beloved Isreal Kamakawiwio`ole … Bruddah Iz … and his world renowned recording of the same tune. Bruddah Iz passed on in 1997, but his music remains strong, in Hawaii and around the world.
(In fairness to all parties, the song was first recorded in 1939 by Judy Garland for the box office hit “Wizard of OZ”. I believe it was the first Technicolor film I ever saw, and that was in early 1940. So there. And I was 8 years old … so there, again.)
If you’re prepping for your first visit to Hawaii, knowing about Bruddah Iz is an essential. Many of his songs address the desire of the Hawaiian people to protect their cultural heritage, as well as giving the world a sense of what Hawaii’s all about. You’ll hear his music everywhere. You may already know some of his work.
His great version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was included in the soudtracks of “Meet Joe Black” “Finding Forrester” and “50 First Dates.” On a personal note, I recall seeing “Meet Joe Black” when I lived on Maui. The song came on towards the end, maybe while the credits were being shown. I can tell you this, nobody left that auditorium ’til the song was completed. There was a litte throat clearing and eye dabbing going on, too.
Strangely enough, I read an article about that film written by a so-called movie critic of a major national magazine. This critic claimed Bruddah Iz’s song somehow insulted the memory of Judy Garland. Well, Thrrruuup! on you Mr. Movie Critic. History has certainly proved otherwise.
Please do acquaint yourself with Bruddah Iz before you go to Hawaii. It’ll make your Hawaii Vacation just that much more pleasurable.
So, spend a few enjoyable minutes listening and viewing the videos below. You choose which one you like the best. Yeah, and leave a comment about your choice. Then, check out the sources for Bruddah Iz’s great songs.
First, Here’s Bruddah Iz
Now comes, Jason Castro
And, finally, Judy Garland
And, I’ve also listed a few opportunities to add Bruddah Iz to your music library.
OK, can’t leave this post without my stimulating, mind blowing News Flash and Hawaii Fun Facts features:
News Flash: Island Air announces new service, Honolulu to Lihue, Kaua`i. Find out about it Here
Fun Facts About Hawaii: Kilauea Mountain on Big Island is considered to be most active volcano in the world.