Wood Craft

Ben Wood

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Stars put on a great show
for pianist Betty Loo Taylor

Some of Hawaii's finest singers and musicians performed for pianist Betty Loo Taylor as she received a lifetime achievement award from the local chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Monday at the Pacific Club. Smooth emcee Jimmy Borges said Betty picked Melveen Leed, Gabe Baltazar, Nina Kealiiwahamana, Sydette Sakauye and Robert Cazimero to appear. Pianist Paul Conrad played dinner music after one-man band Jay Marion performed during cocktails. NSAL local President Ramsay Goldstein intro'd Betty, who was full of witty quips and darts. She played beautiful renditions of "Spring Is Here" and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most." Bassist Steve Jones and drummer Sonny Froman backed the guests along with Betty. Gabe on alto sax sat in with the trio after his exceptional solo of "Europa." Jimmy knocked out "This Is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." Sydette sang a powerful "Cabaret." Melveen did "Poor Butterfly" and "One Note Samba." Da Tita is still hot. Golden-voiced Robert sang "Who Can I Turn To" and "Little Grass Shack." Guests could have heard a pin drop during Nina's lovely "Akaka Falls" with Robert at the piano. The stars seemed to sound just a little bit better than usual to give Betty a wonderful evening ...

Strike up the band, Lynne Johnson

Lynne Johnson, board chair of the Honolulu Symphony Foundation, will conduct the Symphony in a short piece Friday. Her husband, Randy Moore, was top bidder for the conducting shot at last year's Symphony Ball. Lynne has a cast on her hand thanks to a skiing accident. If she still has the cast on Friday she will put glitter on it and the orchestra members can follow that instead of a baton, she said. The sold-out Symphony Ball is scheduled Saturday at the Sheraton Waikiki and the chance to conduct will be in the auction again. Ken Robbins was the high bidder in 2002 ...

The Honolulu Polo Club's 2004 season gets under way June 6 at the Waimanalo field and will run for 19 weeks. Tournaments will be held to recognize former polo standouts Robert E. MacGregor, Tommy Campos and Colin Ogawa. Alice Lombardo is sponsoring the annual Wahine Challenge. Mike Ebinger continues as club manager, his mother, Annette Ebinger, and Alice Vinton are hostesses ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things every Wednesday and Saturday. E-mail him at


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