Update: Mahalo to Greenwood’s Wayne Nakamura (Bari, Tenor, Alto Saxes) for putting all these displays together!
When I arrived at the 70s Night Club Reunion last weekend, I immediately took notice to the row of memorabilia that filled half a dozen display boards. It was the first thing I saw, and it mesmerized me.
‘Memory Lane’ you might call it, though it was more of an extended corner that showcased clippings from Honolulu newspapers, night club posters, discotheque stationary and souvenirs, vintage photos of friends and a scattering of set lists from Greenwood.
Some of the set lists were long. Greenwood must’ve jammed all night to make it through this set list:
Hawaii’s Garden Isle, aka Kauai, got its share of talented disco and contemporary Hawaiian acts:
Trust me, there was a lot to look at! How’s this ‘Homegrown T-Shirts‘ poster (far right)? Anyone out there have one of these in their closet? I’ve seen too many of these LPs floating around, it’s about time I come across the shirt.
Aura started out as The Nomads in Hawaii’s disco scene, but soon changed their name to Aura as they found success. The name change was just one factor that helped launch them further into Hawaiian funk/soul stardom! (Another factor was the fact that they not only had a female lead singer, but two female lead singers! No other band boasted such a lineup at the time.)
Plenty of Hawaii’s other R&B music were popular then, even if their music isn’t widely known today. Most of the following groups I’ve never heard of before and I wonder if they ever had a chance to record their music to vinyl.
Excitement hit me hardest when I saw advertisements for the Mackey Feary Band. Sent down some shivers just imagining how his voice sounded live, in person.
I wonder just how long a list of Waikiki discos would be. Some of the musicians at the Reunion told me there were over a dozen at one time, others told me 50 (!). Nightclubs with big name acts like Natural High, Phase VII, Aura—these clubs would be packed to the point you could hardly walk through the people. Baby steps just to push your way to the stage.
Speaking of Natural High, Irwin ‘Supes’ Santos told me when they reunited for a previous 70s NCR, tickets sold out in five minutes. I’m not kidding! OK so now where can I find their music on wax? (You can check out two of their songs in *gulp* lower quality sound at 70snightclubreunion.com).
That’s just a scratch on the surface of what’s out there. Maybe it’s time to start digging through the public library’s newspaper microfilms?
Bands featured in this post:
- Country Comfort
- Richard Natto
- Nomads (Aura)
- Live Wire
- The Intruders
- Sounds of Innocence
- Pinky’s Rose Garden
- Glass Candle
- Carole Kai
- California of Hawaii
- Jonah’s Whale
- Macky Feary Band (Mackey Feary)
- Phase 7
- White Light
- Man’s Temptation
- Tony Compton (Tony Compton Show)
- Natural High
- Country Living
- Sky Odyssey
- Power Point
- George Street
- Asian Blend
- The Point After
- Kauai Resort
- Oasis Nite Club
- Hotel Miramar Hawaii
- Waikiki Fall’s Showroom
- Foxy Lady Too (Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel)
- Another Foxy Lady Disco (Keauhou Beach Hotel, Big Island)
- Ambassador Room (Guam Dai-Ichi Hotel)
- C’est Si Bon
- Ala Moana Banquet
- Magic Mushroom
- Hawaiian Hut
- Tiki (Tiki’s)
- Beef ‘n’ Grog
- Cock’s Roost
- Hula Hut
- The Ranch House
- The Sugar Mill (Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Maui)