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Hawaiian Music In Hollywood Movies - 1930-1960

Within just a few years after Al Jolson sang in the first ever ‘talkie’ motion picture in 1927, the public clamored to view and hear Hawaiian music in Hollywood movies.

Most of these earliest ‘tropics’-based films featured Hawaiian music, musicians, and dancers prominently. Hawaiian music got additional publicity to augment the popularity already being generated by wide exposure to radio audiences. Now, on the large theatre screens and sound systems, the public was able to experience the majesty of the Hawaiian Islands, and the Hawaiian singers and dancers who created Hawaii’s music and hula.

Harry B. Soria, Jr., founder and host of the vintage Hawaiian music radio show, Territorial Airwaves, for the past 4 decades, conducts this fascinating analysis of the history of Hawaiian music in Hollywood movies during the final 3 decades before Hawaii’s Statehood, with a riveting power point presentation. John Berger, in Hawaiian Music and Musicians, says of Soria: “…no one did more during the final decades of the 20th century to preserve and perpetuate the musical legacy of the Territorial Era (1900-1959).” Territorial Airwaves received the Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award on October 15, 2017.

Kilohana Silve, noted Kumu Hula of Halau Hula O Manoa, with students in Paris, France, Rome Italy, Juneau, Alaska, and Manoa, Hawaii, underscores the presentation by dancing hula representative of each era depicted in the workshop. Kilohana has studied hula and with Emma Bishop, Ellen Castillo, George Holokai, and Kimo Alama Keaulana, and chant with Sam ‘Ohu Gon of Halau Mele.

Harry B. and Kilohana have teamed up on this highly entertaining and educational workshop for the Chigasaki Makana Hula Festival in Chigasaki, Japan, the France-Hawaii Association in Paris, France, and Princess Cruises.

This workshop can also be expanded to include a hula workshop conducted by Kilohana Silve where she will teach a representative hula to any number of participants.

For more information about this unique offering that may be the perfect feature for your organization or event, please contact:

Harry B. Soria, Jr. at, (808) 387-4630 or

Kilohana Silve at (808) 318-8549.

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