Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Ford Hawaiians in Ukulele Magazine

Pleased to announce that fellow ukulele educator and bon vivant Jim D'Ville and I have an article in the Fall, 2023 issue of Ukulele Magazine.

Jim moved to my boyhood environs (The Motor City) a while ago and I asked him if he was aware that Henry Ford was instrumental (ahem) in popularizing Hawaiian Music. Jim was not, and thus began a little research project, the fruits of which you can read for yourself in Issue 42. 

The topline is that Henry Ford was smitten by the music played by Henry Kailimai and his ensemble at the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. So much so that he hired the band after the PPIE closed, renamed them "Ford's Hawaiians" and moved them to Detroit.

I've written about Henry Kailimai and Ford's Hawaiians (aka "Ford Hawaiians") previously (golly, 18 years ago), but sadly most of the related links are dead.

But here are links to recordings by Ford's Hawaiians (not included in the magazine article) for your enjoyment!

If you don't already subscribe to Ukulele Magazine (and you really should, you know), you can buy issue 42 here: Link

Mahalo nui loa to Peter T. Young for his research and excellent article on Ford Hawaiians. Also to Jim Tranquada and the late John King for their pieces on Kailimai and Ford in their seminal The 'Ukulele: A History. And to the archivists at the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford museum.

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