The Krush: Hawaii's Favorite Band


It's a huge claim to make: being Hawaii's favorite band. But back in the 1980s, nobody could touch the Fabulous Krush. Honolulu entertainment writer John Berger once described The Krush as "charismatic, dynamic and superbly talented," a band that gave its audience "good, clean fun and a happy wholesome entertainment" with every performance.

Hawaii's The Krush throughout the years
Hawaii's The Krush throughout the years

Instant success

Krush won two Na Hoku awards in 1981—the quickest way to ensure instant success—Best Album of the Year and Most Promising Artist. Five days following the 4th annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards, the Fabulous Krush launched straight to the top of Hawaii's music scene.

An evolving act

Like I mentioned earlier this week, the Krush went through several transformation before finally dropping "Fabulous" from their name:
  • The Exotic 5, a humble North Shore act from Waialua
  • New Experience, a "marginally successful cover band"
  • Fabulous Krush, featuring the addition of Glass Candle's Bobby Gonzales
  • The Krush, a name change that coincided with the evolution of the band's rock sound
The Fabulous Krush
The Fabulous Krush

How the band was formed

The Krush began in 1977 when Yemun Chung, one of Hawaii's top talent managers and booking agents, created a simple formula:
  • Hire the marginally successful cover band New Experience
  • Add Bobby Gonzales of Glass Candle
  • Debut a new show band, the Fabulous Krush.

Rising stars

Despite a near constant rotation of members, the Fabulous Krush shot straight to the top, fast. Their biggest gig in Hawaii? A headliner act at the Outrigger Hotel's main showroom (they shared the space with the Society Of Seven).

A new direction

Manager Chung resigned and retired from show business, giving the Krush to make their own destiny. Moving away from pop material and into a louder and more rock-oriented sound, the Krush eventually outgrew their Outrigger showroom. The Fabulous Krush continued their successful career with mainland performances, sold-out concerts, and TV appearances like the Mike Douglas Show.

Saying Goodbye to The Krush

Lead singer Edwin Ramones left the group in 1987 with plans to live on the mainland with his wife and sons. Without an official public annoucement, the Fabulous Krush disbanded.

Hawaii's Favorite Band

Over the years, various Krush members would reunite with the same mission of bringing happiness and good, clean fun to the dance floor—it's what makes them Hawaii's favorite band. Check out one of my favorite Krush cover songs, "Blame It On The Night."

2017 update:

I received an email from a woman named Tina George who lived in Hawaii in 1977. Her older sister worked at the Hilton Bar and Grill. "After school I would come to her work kick back on the beach and hang out til she got off," Tina wrote me. "Needless to say I was 17 at the time and fell in love with the guys haha." Tina shared some photos of the Fabulous Krush with singer Anna Lea at their performances at the Hilton Bar & Grill. "We hung out some and I have a whole photo album of the group and individual pictures on the beach. A few times over the years I have tried to track them down. I had found I believe it was Macky and Edwin maybe that had played in Las Vegas at the Hilton for a while, but they were not there when I got there. I hope everyone is in great health. I did notice John no longer in band and a lot of new people." Mahalo Tina for sharing these photos!

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