April 15, 2007

Too Much Respect To Go for the Easy "Ho" Joke

Don Ho passed away at the age of 76.

Most famous for his song "Tiny Bubbles", the man was a high school football star good enough to get a sports scholarship on the mainland. During the Korean war he piloted cargo planes between Hawaii and Tokyo.

When he returned home and took over his parents' struggling neighborhood bar, Honey's, he put together a band and started performing at his father's request.

"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 in Hawaii, then had a breakout year in 1966, when appearances at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood helped him build a mainland following, and the release of "Tiny Bubbles" gave him his greatest recording success.

Soon he was packing places such as 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.

Ho also became a television star, and hosted the "The Don Ho Show" on ABC from 1976-77. One of Ho's most memorable TV appearances was a 1972 cameo on an episode of "The Brady Bunch."

"I've had too much fun all these years," he said in the 2004 interview. "I feel real guilty about it."

He did his final show last Thursday night.

Posted by Ted at April 15, 2007 06:43 AM
Category: Links

First I heard it. That is a major bummer.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at April 15, 2007 08:38 AM
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