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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff.
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Original Post By: ritonmousquetaire Date: 7/31/2017 11:33:22 AM
Hello everybody,

looking at the recently digitized King Bennie Nawahi records from the Keystone transcription discs here : https://secondround.bandcamp.com/ made me wonder if there were any records made of Nawahi's ukulele playing after 1950. (Check out his amazing version of "Ukelele Benny" here, in which his uke playing is displayed way more than in the version he recorded with the Georgia Jumpers!)

It seems that he didn't record much between the late 1930s and 1949. Two discs were issued in 1949, one of which is included in the website I linked to above. But after that I can't find any mention of a record featuring his ukulele playing (or any record at all actually).

Yet it is a documented fact that Nawahi was still playing the ukulele professionally at least until the mid-1960s, mostly as a live act in restaurants. If you search for "King of the uke" or "ukulele king" on the web you can easily find old newspaper ads for his shows.

At that time, magnetic recording was available for amateurs, so he could theoretically have been recorded on wire or on tape.

Do anyone happens to know wether such records exist? His ukulele playing was great, but only a few records are available for us to listen. It's a pity to see that the keystone ukulele benny version has remained unavailable to the public for so long; it's a great piece of ukulele history!
Posted By: Tom B. Date: 7/31/2017 9:35:55 PM
I don't know, but I'm grateful you're asking the question. You might look into recordings made by the various band names under which Nawahi recorded. According to Wikipedia:

"By 1928 Nawahi had begun recording for multiplerecord labels,[8]including Columbia, Victor, Q.R.S. and Grey Gull, under multiple names (including Red Devils, Q.R.S. Boys, Slim Smith, Hawaiian Beach Combers, Georgia Jumpers, Four Hawaiian Guitars and King Nawahi & the International Cowboys), with bandmates that included soon to beSons of the Pioneers,Tim Spencer (singer)and Leonard Slye (later to become cowboy starRoy Rogers)."

Good luck and let us know what you find out!
Posted By: J Boy Shyne Date: 8/1/2017 9:34:48 AM
Here's a nice write up on King Bennie with a pic from the 40s (or 50s) with Bennie on uke. http://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/gods-of-uke-king-bennie-nawahis-lasting-legacy

Kinda cool that King Bennie and Sol Hoʻopiʻi played together when they were kids. 2 lap steel giants. Add in Andy Iona and that would have been one helluva a power trio.
Posted By: ritonmousquetaire Date: 8/1/2017 5:00:04 PM
Thanks for the infos, Tom! I think you're right, until now I searched only for Nawahi's name but not for the many different bands he played with. I'll take a look at the ones you posted.

Thank you for the link J Boy Shyne. Ho'opi'i and Nawahi playing together, what a great show it must have been! Too bad they never recorded as a duo, now we can only try to imagine how they sounded like.

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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff. -