"Not Forgetting Details of Her ... Grace and Charm"
Kenneth S. Fujii | Fresno, CA | 10/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After retirement from the steel business, Dave (with his wife, Virginia) spent each winter at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, a pleasant escape from the chilly weather of central Ohio. I remember having breakfast with him at the Royal's Surf Room some years ago, where we were discussing local music changes during the 1980s. "It's not like it used to be" -- he said, as his eyes filled with tears -- "they're not like Emma" (although she was still active with special performances). He continued a monologue for some time about Emma - remembering few of her songs, but not forgetting details of her appearance, grace and charm. Emma made a favorable and lasting impression on generations of Mainland tourists who loyally attended her performances at the Halekulani or Royal Hawaiian, and bought her records, as Dave certainly did.
"The Best of Emma" is divided into three sections - much like her live performances. The first group of songs is her established favorites - mostly hapa haole - and the second group is traditional Hawaiian songs, sung mostly in the native language. She finishes with international songs from Japan, China, the Philippines, and Korea (music of the Islands' early settlers) - all sandwiched between her opener, Charles King's "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" (Ke Kali Nei Au) and the closer, Kui Lee's "I'll Remember You." I particularly enjoy "Kamehameha Waltz," "I'll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You," "Tutu," and "Chamarita," as well as the opener and closer - but, everything that Emma sings has become one of her classics.
Brent E. Wholeben | Illinois | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having taught school on Oahu 1970-75, I "grew up" with Emma, her music, and her husband's constant reference to her as "Golden Throat." Her music, after all these years, still brings tears to my eyes, and the memory of all that was at that time, what could have been, and never was. 'Life happens' to us all."
Paul Ewing | connersville, in usa | 07/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"living in hawaii in the early 70's i found this music by emma
to be one of my most favorite. both my wife and i love her voice and manner, always reminding me of my military service there many years ago, thanks for the ability to obtain this cd, i once owned the lp but through the years lost it.