When living in Hawaii (6-8th Grade), in 8th Grade, I and nearly everyone else was taught to play Hawaiian and other music on the Ukulele (and a bit of Guitar when a friend taught me to play HIS)....and immediately fell in LOVE with SLACK KEY GUITAR (Ki Ho'alu)
, esp.Gabby Pahinui, Ray Kane, Sonny Chillingsworth [a Haole born in Oahu], and my FAV of ALL TIME: Leonard Kwan, NOT just because he is slow enough for a Beginner with JUST a Ukulele [below video reportedly continues on for 67 tracks]. Unfortunately, all I had to play Vinyl Records on back then was my Parent's Mono Cabinet with a needle so fat and heavy it ruined all of the grooves....and all of my mother's incl. Many Movie Musicals and a few '40's Boogie-Woogie tracks that blew me away....which I later learned from her on the Piano:
Slack Key Guitar Music:
In 1963-5, while I was in High School, my 4-year older Brother and I put enough $$'s together [half-and-half] to get a Garrard Record Changer with an affordable Cartridge (Shure M44G) that tracked at about 1 to 1.5 grams. And eventually replaced ALL of my ruined Vinyl Records....mostly Slack Key, but also Kingston Trio and groups like the Four Preps....which even today, ALL play just FINE. So the SHURE M44G PHONO CARTRIDGE [later V15 Types]
was the FIRST Audio Component that sparked my interest in TRUE Hi-Fi....along with a Heathkit Stereo TUBE Amp and a Pair of HUGE DIY Speaker Cabinets that my brother and I built (inexpensive 12-in Woofers, Tweeters and Individual L/C Crossover Components from Radio Shack)....which I kept all thru College as he earned enough cash to afford an Upgrade:
It was supposed to be for only 3-months [but one of my trained replacements died from excessive alcohol consumption], so for the first SIX Months in 1971, we (incl. new Baby) volunteered as a $25/day Per Diem Field Engineer working in a fairly remote part of Japan. Upon return, we were quite the sight at Customs in Hawaii with multiple Still & Movie Cameras draped around our necks [all different brands so no duty when "gifts" for my brothers], a new Sony Direct Drive Turntable [with Shure V15 Type II Cartridge], new Kenwood KT7001 AM/FM Tuner [US version so could only listen to 88-95 MHz out of 76-95 MHz Japanese Band...just enough to listen to ADVENTURES OF CHICKEN MAN...BRACK!!!!], new Guitar, two big/heavy boxes of unopened Chinaware [EACH service for 6 (or was it 8?), expected to be reduced due to breakage over the years], assorted Baby "Stuff"....and my old Heathkit Stereo Amp with two "baby" DIY Speakers I had built just for the trip. With NO RENT and Food partially subsidized for 6 months, I returned home and immediately bought a pair of the "Best" [WAF] Speakers I could find/afford: ALTEC Voice-Of-The-Theater Flamenco's
with 15-in Woofers and 800-Hz Sectorial Horn with Compression Driver...which is for SURE my SECOND Best Purchase that sparked my interest in TRUE Hi-Fi.....BTW: Driven by new Dynaco PAT-4 Preamp and Dynaco Stereo-120 Kits. [And as I've remarked numerous times, the ALTEC's were later repurposed (and retuned) as my current pair of Sub-Woofers.....]
PS: In several trips to Hawaii for work in the 1970 & 1980's, my wife and I heard [Sensei Master] Keola Beamer and his brother Kapono several times at two-drink-minimum venues in Waikiki. Much later we met their Mother, Nona Beamer (well known Hawaiian Music Composer), who was a resident at the Hi-Rise Retirement Home that my Dad/Mom managed....at dinner we expressed our appreciation for the talents of her two sons. And over the years, we have met and talked to my CURRENT FAV: [Best in Person] Ledward Kaapana several times, incl. others at a Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele Festival in Waimea.