Sure, recorded Hawaiian music was a fad in 1915/16 and, yes, the 1915
exposition helped fuel it BUT Hawaiian music lasted even after the 10
year craze over the ukulele as a portable instrument ended. It has even
outlasted the steel guitar, which the rest of the world still equates
Bad musicology? No, just simplistic.
But consider the audience the writer is aiming at. Just like Tin Pan
Alley for Facebook users!
As to authentic Hawaiian music, one of the selling points for "Bird Of
Paradise" was the authentic Hawaiian band that accompanied it. It was
the impetus that drove Hawaiian music to develop in Britain and Europe
when the play toured there.
The first commercial Hawaiian recording endeavor goes back to c. 1906
when ALL of the material was of Hawaiian origin and no steel guitars
appeared therein. That didn't happen until 1911/12. So by 1916 there was
more than a little Hawaiian presence in the recording world.
Finally, consider this: By 1916 recording technology and the search for
something saleable was old enough and sophisticated enough so that most
ethnic groups were being exploited to one degree or another. To the
general public all of this music and comedy, although stereotypical, was
NEW! And that drove record sales; the recording companies generally
could have cared less about ethnic diversity as long as the money was
rolling in. Hawaiian music was just one aspect of a much larger picture.
On 7/12/2016 11:00 PM, David Lewis wrote:
> In particular addressed to Malcolm Rockwell, but shared with everyone,
> there's this:
> My feeling is that this is sort of bad musicology. You can read the history
> this way, but along with the faddish Tin Pan Alley stuff an awful lot of
> authentic Hawaiian music also appeared on records and in print in 1916 and
> they don't mention that. And I do not think "Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula" is
> 'worse' than Justin Timberlake. Just my thoughts,
> David Neal Lewis