Fans of lounge music praise the golden age LP's of Yma Sumac, Martin Denny, Les Baxter and the like. The Ultra Lounge series, releasing primarily the lounge music from the Capitol vaults was taken by many as "Exotica 101"; pure text book. The cool thing about them is they highlighted the more obscure, but, most definately talented performers in the genre; such as Dean Elliott, Chuy Reyes, Walter Schumann, Alvino Rey, Tak Shindo, etc. Everything has origins however, and so, I will be highlighting from time to time on this blog the pioneer records that influenced the genre. Les Baxter was once Leslie Baxter. Art Van Damme released an 78 rpm album entitled "Cocktail Songs" during the big band era.
Exotica and lounge music from the pre-1950's, the 78 rpm era is sorely overlooked, and I hope to cure this. This is real Hawaiian music, recorded in Honolulu by Al Kealoha Perry. This is an early solo recording on the first label he recorded under his own name, the short lived, self-produced "Aloha" label. The label art is amazing, and I'll have to scan it when I get the chance. You'll notice right away when listening to this, the rawness, as opposed to the clean hi-fidelity studio productions Perry did later with Webley Edwards. Ke Kali Nei Au is a beautiful melody that is sung in traditional Hawaiian. The chorus of men is inturrupted by Helen Johnson singing the verses. Hawaiian Moon is an equally as beautiful song sung by a trio in English. Is it just me, or does it sound like a rewrite of Moonlight Bay?