"This is bigger than one band, it's a reunion of an entire era"
The Hawaiian version of Tatsuro Yamashita's "Sparkle" was recorded by disco-soul group Greenwood in 1985. Greenwood started in 1972 as a group of 9th graders at Kaimuki High School. The guys are alive and performing today in Hawaii. Their main gig? Probably the 70s Night Club Reunion, a popular concert series that reunites well-known bands from Oahu's disco days. The next reunion is August 14, 2010. And there's definitely more in the future. (Check out the flyer and see who's performing).
The 70s Night Club Reunion website is full of history on local bands, plus a jukebox with "Sparkle", tracks by Natural High, and a single track by Aura. OK, I don't know many of these artists (aside from Nohelani Cypriano of Golden Throat), but reading their bios brings a rush of excitement—nightclubs named off in long lists, uniformed bands posing for promo photos, musicians' full names and affiliations, even where-are-they-now kine stuffs.
...This is a goldmine for me, but I can only imagine what else is out there. What was it really like in the 70s? The website is only a sliver of gold, but a great place to start.
By the way, Greenwood's "Sparkle" is used for a YouTube video of Japanese baseball players, via Cool Tropical Jazz.