The Sounds of Hawaii Echo at the Corner of Park and Calhoun
An unexpected record may tell us something about a collection but an unexpected stack of records tells us something about the collector. In the Knott family record collection there are five records containing Hawaiian music from 1925 or earlier.
Hawaiian guitars are to be expected but Paul Whiteman has a woman whistle the melody of Honolulu Eyes in the style of a steel guitar:
Paul Whiteman (1920)
B: Honolulu Eyes
There are waltzes and foxtrots and like most of the dance music in the collection they contain novel instrumentation and a vocal chorus, in this case in Hawaiian.
It would be easy to conclude this grouping of records was an accident, but a browse through the Knott archives turned up the sheet music for one of the recordings. Beautiful Kahana is right there, a version self published by the composer and lyricist.
The Knott collection has the first recording of the song. It was performed by Nat Shilkret and the Victor Salon Orchestra in 1925.
The search is on for more examples of matching records and sheet music.
Victor Salon Orchestra (1925)
A: Imi Au Ia Oe
B: Beautiful Kahana