Ho’s singer in early years, Allyn, treasures memories
When Jackie Smythe
told me the afternoon of April 14 that Don Ho
had died it was a shock. Don had been entertaining for so long it was hard to believe. I thought he would just keep rolling along like Old Man River.
I knew him ever since we were teenagers in 1948 and wrote about some of our experiences in yesterday's Star-Bulletin special section on Don. Don's ashes will be scattered off Waikiki this afternoon and a celebration of his life will be held at Queen's Beach. Among the crowd of some 25,000 that is expected in Waikiki today will be Tobi Allyn
, Don's singer during 1967-71, some of his biggest years. Singer-actor Lani Kai
recommended Tobi to Don. At the time she had a bit part in "General Hospital" ...
Tobi flew in from Arizona this week. I met her at the Halekulani's House Without a Key Thursday where she got a "Hawaiiana fix" watching the hula of Kanoe Miller and listening to the music of Harold Hakuole, Lem Aweau and Helene Woodward, with Waikiki beach and Diamond Head in view. Tobi told me that the day Don died, she, Connie Stevens and Judy Jensen were talking about Don in Arizona. Connie was being honored at a Child Help U.S.A. event. Judy is the ex-wife of the late singer Dick Jensen. Hours later they learned Don had died ...
Tobi sang with don on Carson, Sullivan shows
Tobi has many Don stories. She said when they appeared on Johnny Carson's
show it was Ed McMahon's
birthday and Don told her to give a lei to Ed. Tobi, beautiful and sexy, said she walked right past Johnny, who stood up and leaned over expecting the lei. But she gave the lei and a kiss to Ed. After she and Don sang a duet -- she believes it was "Sweet Someone" -- Johnny got up and gave her a big fat kiss "that lasted over a minute," she said. That was for passing him by. She also said once in Don's Waldorf Astoria suite, Ed Sullivan
walked in with Diana Ross
and another Supreme.
Tobi and Don sang a duet on Sullivan's show. This was pretty heady stuff for "a small-town girl from North Dakota," said Tobi, who was in her early 20s at the time. She couldn't wait to tell her mom, she said.
Don deserves all the accolades he received during his long career and all of those that are still pouring in today. He was great. Aloha Don ...
, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things in our Hawaii. E-mail him at email@example.com