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Don Ho
Birth name Donald Tai Loy Ho
Also known as Don Ho
Born August 13, 1930
Origin Honolulu, Hawaii
Died April 14, 2007 (aged 76)
Genres Traditional pop
Pop
Hapa haole
Occupations Singer, musician
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1959 – 2007
Labels Reprise Records
Associated acts The Ali‘is
Website www.donho.com

Don Ho, born Donald Tai Loy Ho (Chinese: ; Cantonese: Ho4 Daai6 Loi4), (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007) was a Hawaiian and traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer.

Contents

Life and career

Ho, of Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Dutch, and German descent, was born in the small Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaʻako, but he grew up in Kāneʻohe on the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. He was a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools in 1949 and he attended Springfield College in 1950, but returned home to earn a bachelor's degree in sociology at University of Hawai'i in 1953. In 1954 Ho entered the United States Air Force and spent time flying fighter jets in both Texas and Hawaii. He said that when he was stationed at Keesler AFB, he went to the local town of Concord, CA and bought an electronic keyboard from a music store, and recalls, "That's when it all started."

Don married his high school sweetheart, Melvamay Kolokea Wong, on November 21, 1951. She was the mother to the first six of his children. Ho was married to Melvamay for 48 years until her passing on June 8, 1999. While in the military, Ho traveled from state to state with Melvamay and their young family until he was called home to help his mother Honey Ho, with the family bar business called Honey's.

Ho left the United States Air Force in 1959 due to his mother's illness and began singing at his mother's club in Kaneohe. Honey's became a hotspot for the local entertainment and the growing customers from the Kaneohe Marine Base servicemen. Ho always honored the military remembering his own years of military service. In 1963, he moved the Kāneʻohe Honey's to Waikīkī. After much success, and little room to grow, he was sought out to play at a night club called Duke's owned by Duke Kahanamoku, where he caught the attention of record company officials.

Ho was originally signed to Reprise Records.[1] Ho released his debut album, Don Ho Show, in 1965 and began to play high profile locations in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and New York City. In 1966 he released his second album, a live compilation called Don Ho — Again!, which charted in the early part of that year. In the fall of 1966, Ho released his most famous song, "Tiny Bubbles", which charted on both the pop (#8 Billboard) and easy listening charts and caused the subsequent Tiny Bubbles LP to remain in the album Top 20 for almost a year.[2] Another song associated with Don was "Pearly Shells".

In his stage show, Ho would make jokes about being sent in the mid-1950s to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi and being Hawaiian. Don Ho enjoyed asking for a show of hands of veterans of World War II. He would ask for all the Pearl Harbor survivors to stand. He would tell the men from the European Theatre, "you got your glory in the movies" and they could watch. The veterans of the Pacific Theatre were invited on stage to join the hula dancers.

Guest appearances on television shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, Sanford and Son, Batman, Charlie's Angels, and Fantasy Island soon followed. Although his album sales peaked in the late 1960s, he was able to land a television series on ABC from October 1976 to March 1977 with the Don Ho Show variety program which aired on weekday mornings (which by coincidence, replaced Hot Seat and got replaced by Second Chance, both game shows were hosted by Jim Peck).[3][4]

Entourage

Ho often toured with Pattie Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, as backing singers. In fact it was no secret that they were also his Mistresses. On tour they shared one hotel room.

While in his fifties, he had his second batch of four children, two with each with Pattie Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara. Ho took to living with Swallie and Geuvara and the four kids and visiting his wife. Sometimes he visited his wife with his mistresses, and the two sets of children were in contact.

Ho says that he didn't restrict his relationships even to long term mistresses, and he didn't place restriction on his wife or mistresses.[5]

Altogether, Ho had ten children. His children often worked alongside with him either on stage, behind the stage or with his business throughout his career. He loved to work with his children teaching them the entertainment business.[6] His daughter, Hoku, performed with her father in his Waikīkī show and in 2000 went on to become a nationally known recording artist in her own right. In 2005 he sang a song that was used as the opening theme to the direct-to-video and DVD movie Aloha, Scooby-Doo!.

Ho lived at his Diamond Head residence, raising his young family with their mothers, his two mistresses. It was also where his business office was located. In 1995 at the age of 65, Ho's health began declining which began with a mild stroke. By 2002, he had developed an incurable heart condition. Despite his health, Ho was always hopeful, and resilient to find a solution. He also continued his nightly performances.

Ho was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2005 and had a pacemaker installed.[7] He contacted a biotechnology company specializing in treating heart conditions with adult stem cells working in conjunction with Dr. Shoa, cardiac surgeon and pioneer of the use of adult stem cells for heart disease. On December 6, 2005, Ho had his own blood-derived stem cells injected into his heart by Amit Patel and his fellow surgeons in Thailand. The treatment went without incident. Later in the month, Ho said, "I'm feeling much better and I'm so happy I came up here to do it."[8]

Around September 12, 2006, Ho married Haumea Hebenstreit, who was a production assistant for his show at the Waikīkī Beachcomber.[9] A few days later Ho went into cardiac arrest. Although he had a new pacemaker installed on September 16, 2006,[10] Ho died in Waikīkī from heart failure on April 14, 2007.

Since Ho's passing, his estate has been in limbo because of numerous management conflicts [11] and legal changes that transpired while he was struggling with his mental and physical health.[12]

References

  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (April 15, 2007).Don Ho, 76; singer was best known for 66 hit 'Tiny Bubbles'. Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Wilson, John S. (November 25, 1966). Don Ho Abandons Little Grass Shack; Hawaiian Is Voice of Islands' New Sound Brings Kui Lee Songs to the Royal Box New York Times
  3. ^ The Motley Fool (March 31, 2006). Interview: Don Ho. NPR
  4. ^ Advertiser Staff (April 15, 2007). HAWAI'I'S ICON DON HO, 1930 - 2007: Don Ho dies. The Honolulu Advertiser
  5. ^ Used to Crowds in his private life. Used to Crowds in his Private Life People Magazine
  6. ^ Nii. Esme Infante (April 14, 2007) Don Ho's life: from Kane'ohe to stardom. The Honolulu Advertiser
  7. ^ Ryan, Tim (December 23, 2005). Ho comes to terms with getting older. Honolulu Star Bulletin
  8. ^ Associated Press (December 9, 2005). Singer Don Ho says he's feeling better.
  9. ^ Chinen, Nate (April 15, 2007). Don Ho, Hawaiian Musician, Dies at 76. New York Times
  10. ^ Associated Press (September 21, 2006). Don Ho to be released from hospital soon.
  11. ^ Honolulu Star Bulletin, April 22, 2008 A restaurant without a name, Don Ho's Island Grill will soon lose its famous name
  12. ^ Honolulu Advertiser, February 28, 2008 Don Ho's family fights sale of Lanikai home

External links

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Don Ho
Birth name Donald Tai Loy Ho
Also known as Don Ho
Born August 13, 1930
Origin Honolulu, Hawaii
Died April 14, 2007 (aged 76)
Genres Traditional pop
Pop
Hapa haole
Occupations Singer, musician
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1959 – 2007
Labels Reprise Records
Associated acts The Ali‘is
Website www.donho.com

Don Ho, born Donald Tai Loy Ho (Chinese: ; Cantonese: Ho4 Daai6 Loi4), (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007) was a Hawaiian and traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer.

Contents

Life and career

Ho, of Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Dutch, and German descent, was born in the small Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaʻako, but he grew up in Kāneʻohe on the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. He was a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools in 1949 and he attended Springfield College in 1950, but returned home to earn a bachelor's degree in sociology at University of Hawai'i in 1953. In 1954 Ho entered the United States Air Force doing his basic training at Keesler AFB, Mississippi and spent time flying fighter jets in both Texas and Hawaii. Transferred to Hamilton AFB, California he went to the local town of Concord and bought an electronic keyboard from a music store, and recalls, "That's when it all started."

Don married his high school sweetheart, Melvamay Kolokea Wong, on November 21, 1951. She was the mother to the first six of his children. Ho was married for 48 years until his wife's passing on June 8, 1999. While in the military, Ho traveled from state to state with and his young family until he was called home to help his mother Honey Ho, with the family bar business called Honey's.

Ho left the United States Air Force in 1959 due to his mother's illness and began singing at his mother's club in Kaneohe. Honey's became a hotspot for the local entertainment and the growing customers from the Kaneohe Marine Base servicemen. Ho always honored the military remembering his own years of military service. In 1963, he moved the Kāneʻohe Honey's to Waikīkī. After much success, and little room to grow, promoter Kimo Wilder McVay sought Don to play at a night club called Duke's owned by Duke Kahanamoku, where he caught the attention of record company officials.

Ho was originally signed to Reprise Records.[1] Ho released his debut album, Don Ho Show, in 1965 and began to play high profile locations in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and New York City. In 1966 he released his second album, a live compilation called Don Ho — Again!, which charted in the early part of that year. In the fall of 1966, Ho released his most famous song, "Tiny Bubbles", which charted on both the pop (#8 Billboard) and easy listening charts and caused the subsequent Tiny Bubbles LP to remain in the album Top 20 for almost a year.[2] Another song associated with Don was "Pearly Shells". From 1964 to 1969, Don's backing group was The Aliis: Al Akana, Rudy Aquino, Benny Chong, Manny Lagodlagod and Joe Mundo.

In his stage show, Ho would make jokes about being sent in the mid-1950s to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi and being Hawaiian. Don Ho enjoyed asking for a show of hands of veterans of World War II. He would ask for all the Pearl Harbor survivors to stand. He would tell the men from the European Theatre, "you got your glory in the movies" and they could watch. The veterans of the Pacific Theatre were invited on stage to join the hula dancers.

Guest appearances on television shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, Sanford and Son, Batman, Charlie's Angels, and Fantasy Island soon followed. Although his album sales peaked in the late 1960s, he was able to land a television series on ABC from October 1976 to March 1977 with the Don Ho Show variety program which aired on weekday mornings (which by coincidence, replaced Hot Seat and got replaced by Second Chance, both game shows were hosted by Jim Peck).[3][4]

Altogether, Ho had ten children. His children often worked alongside with him either on stage, behind the stage or with his business throughout his career. He loved to work with his children teaching them the entertainment business.[5] His daughter, Hoku, performed with her father in his Waikīkī show and in 2000 went on to become a nationally known recording artist in her own right. In 2005 he sang a song that was used as the opening theme to the direct-to-video and DVD movie Aloha, Scooby-Doo!.

Illness

Ho lived at his Diamond Head residence, raising his young family with their mothers. It was also where his business office was located. In 1995 at the age of 65, Ho's health began declining which began with a mild stroke. By 2002, he had developed an incurable heart condition. Despite his health, Ho was always hopeful, and resilient to find a solution. He also continued his nightly performances.

Ho was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2005 and had a pacemaker implanted.[6] He contacted a biotechnology company specializing in treating heart conditions with adult stem cells working in conjunction with Dr. Shoa, cardiac surgeon and pioneer of the use of adult stem cells for heart disease. On December 6, 2005, Ho had his own blood-derived stem cells injected into his heart by Amit Patel and his fellow surgeons in Thailand. The treatment went without incident. Later in the month, Ho said, "I'm feeling much better and I'm so happy I came up here to do it."[7]

Around September 12, 2006, Ho married Haumea Hebenstreit, who was a production assistant for his show at the Waikīkī Beachcomber.[8] A few days later Ho went into cardiac arrest. Although he had a new pacemaker installed on September 16, 2006,[9] Ho died in Waikīkī from heart failure on April 14, 2007.

Since Ho's passing, his estate has been in limbo because of numerous management conflicts[10] and legal changes that transpired while he was struggling with his mental and physical health.[11]

References

  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (April 15, 2007).Don Ho, 76; singer was best known for 66 hit 'Tiny Bubbles'. Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Wilson, John S. (November 25, 1966). Don Ho Abandons Little Grass Shack; Hawaiian Is Voice of Islands' New Sound Brings Kui Lee Songs to the Royal Box New York Times
  3. ^ The Motley Fool (March 31, 2006). Interview: Don Ho. NPR
  4. ^ Advertiser Staff (April 15, 2007). HAWAI'I'S ICON DON HO, 1930 - 2007: Don Ho dies. The Honolulu Advertiser
  5. ^ Nii. Esme Infante (April 14, 2007) Don Ho's life: from Kane'ohe to stardom. The Honolulu Advertiser
  6. ^ Ryan, Tim (December 23, 2005). Ho comes to terms with getting older. Honolulu Star Bulletin
  7. ^ Associated Press (December 9, 2005). Singer Don Ho says he's feeling better.
  8. ^ Chinen, Nate (April 15, 2007). Don Ho, Hawaiian Musician, Dies at 76. New York Times
  9. ^ Associated Press (September 21, 2006). Don Ho to be released from hospital soon.
  10. ^ Honolulu Star Bulletin, April 22, 2008 A restaurant without a name, Don Ho's Island Grill will soon lose its famous name
  11. ^ Honolulu Advertiser, February 28, 2008 Don Ho's family fights sale of Lanikai home

External links


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