Friday, October 25, 2002

Waikiki rallies for
‘The Giant’


In his prime Dick Jensen was known as "The Giant" -- an apt name for a showman who not only stood more than 6 feet tall, but had talent in proportion. He headlined showrooms from New York and Las Vegas to Waikiki.

Jensen became a polished entertainer of international stature in the tradition of Sammy Davis Jr. (The late Tony Todaro proclaimed Jensen "one of the top 10 entertainers in the whole world.") Jensen also recorded for Philadelphia International records and several local labels.

A life-shattering experience many years ago caused Jensen to reassess his life and discover religion. As times changed the Waikiki entertainment industry, he stepped away from the Waikiki showroom scene.

Jensen returned to Waikiki for a short but impressive engagement with Loyal Garner, Nephi Hannemann, Iva Kinimaka and Melveen Leed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in the early 1990s.

"The Giant" was felled recently by a heart attack and is recovering from a triple bypass operation that has left him with horrendous medical bills. A group of friends and colleagues -- Don Ho, Carole Kai, Andy Bumatai, Mel Cabang and the Society of Seven LV top the bill -- will be performing Sunday in a "Kokua for Dick Jensen" concert to help him pay down his medical bills and to show that Hawaii hasn't forgotten Dick Jensen.

Fund-raiser for Dick Jensen

Where: Ainahau Ballroom, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
When: 11 a.m. Sunday
Admission: $25
Call: 735-0292

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