Thursday, August 25, 2005


Isle singer shared
his smiles with
upbeat songs

Bartolome "Bart" Bascone was always laughing or smiling -- just what you'd expect from the guy who wrote "Who Is the Lolo (Who Stole My Pakalolo)" and "Puka BVDs."

"His songs were all upbeat," said Lorna Silkwood, Bascone's longtime girlfriend. "He was a very upbeat person, but with the most kindest of hearts."

The Chicago-born musician, who found a niche for novelty songs and jingles in the islands but was also a composer and arranger for several well-known Hawaii singers, died July 22 after suffering a heart attack. He was 55.

A celebration of Bascone's life will be held Sunday afternoon at Maalaea Harbor on Maui, during which his ashes will be scattered at sea. More than 100 people are expected to attend, including many of Bascone's musician friends.

The day will be rounded out with hula, prayer and performances of Bascone's songs, including "My Last Aloha."

Bascone came to the islands in 1970, after playing with bands on the mainland and studying under Don Costa, an arranger for singer Frank Sinatra. Soon, he was conducting and arranging for shows in Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Over his lifetime, Bascone wrote songs for several well-known singers and musical groups, including Kealii Reichel, the Makaha Sons of Niihau and Mel Cabang. He also wrote jingles for Hawaii businesses, including Caesers Cleaners in Honolulu.

"He had such an ear for music," said Silkwood, who started dating Bascone 23 years ago.

Besides his girlfriend, Bascone is survived by sister Judy Hemingway.

To attend his memorial services, call Silkwood in advance at 250-9200 or send an e-mail to c21lorna@aol.com. The program starts at 1 p.m., and attendees should arrive by 12:30 p.m.

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