Sunday, April 15, 2007

This Time "Ho" Is Not A Bad Word
Singer Don Ho Dies At 76

He entertained Hollywood's biggest stars and thousands of tourists for four decades. For many, no trip to Hawaii was complete without seeing his Waikiki show -- a mix of songs, jokes, double entendres, Hawaii history and audience participation. When I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon 8 ears ago, I even got onstage and sung this song at a leuau! It's a sad day for the "Ho's" of the world...and not the bad kind either!

Legendary crooner Don Ho, (a real "Ho" and not a "street ho") known for his raspberry-tinted sunglasses and catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," has died, his publicist said. The singer died Saturday morning of heart failure. He had suffered with heart problems for the past several years, and had a pacemaker installed last fall. In 2005, he underwent an experimental stem cell procedure on his ailing heart in Thailand in 2005.

Shows usually started and ended with the same song, "Tiny Bubbles," which Ho mostly hummed as the audience enthusiastically took over. He has been performing his special show for more than 40 years. His official website describes an evening with Ho as "magic." Over his four decade career, Ho has also performed in venues around the the country, including Hollywood's Coconut Grove, The Sands in Las Vegas, Harrah's at Lake Tahoe, the Palmer House in Chicago, the Americana Hotel's Royal Box in New York.

Besides "Tiny Bubbles," his other well-known songs include "I'll Remember You," "With All My Love," and the "Hawaiian Wedding Song." "I had no intention of being an entertainer,” Ho said. “I just played songs I liked from the radio, and pretty soon that place was jammed. Every weekend there would be lines down the street.”

Honey's became a happening place on Oahu, with other Hawaiian musicians stopping in for jam sessions. Ho began to play at various spots at Hawaii, and soon, he was packing places such as the Coconut Grove in Hollywood and the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Stars such as Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra were known to be in the audience for Ho's shows.

There isn't much to say but great things for a man who entertained the masses for so many years. This is one "Ho" that the world is going to miss. I don't think there are many people out there who never heard the "Tiny Bubbles" tune. It's got a melody that just sticks in your head and even the master himself couldn't stand that song sometimes. His words say it best...

"I hate that song," he often joked to the crowd, adding that he saved it for the end because "people my age can't remember if we did it or not."

Goodbye Don. You're the "Ho" that will be greatly missed!