Cheers to Genoa Keawe, a living legend, on her 89th
Happy Halloween and happy birthday to the incomparable singer Genoa Keawe
, a living legend, who turned 89 today. I had a super time on my recent birthday vacation, visiting favorite spots and getting together with good friends. My birthday was Friday but the fun started Oct. 19 at Matt Catingub's
"Back to Romance" album release party at the Halekulani's Lewers Lounge. There I learned Vicki Borges'
birthday was Oct. 28. Vicki is now with the Hawaii Theatre. Her husband, Jimmy,
is one of the singers on the album and her cousin is "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron
. Jackie Smythe
and I continued on to the House Without a Key to catch hula dancer Kanoe Mille
r and the trio. Kanoe has released a DVD, "Romantic Waikiki Hula," backed by the Hiram Olsen Trio
and singer Gary Aiko
My former neighbor Barbara Campbell and I take each other to dinner for our birthdays. We started at the House Without a key Oct. 23 and Halekulani GM Janis Clapoff bought us a drink. Then it was on to Ruth's Chris at Waikiki Beach Walk. Barbara is one of Outrigger's stars and leased every restaurant and shop on the Beach Walk. I had birthday lunch with my niece Kaina Awaa at Alan Wong's Pineapple Room Friday. A big event took place at Chai's Thursday. Melveen Leed sings jazz there every Thursday with pianist Tennyson Stevens and bassist Steve Jones. They dish it out hot and sweet. Attending were Andrea Kia, Daynin Dashefsky, Rachel Simmons, Myra Brandt, Margaret Murchie and her sister Barbara Bishop, Charlie Beeck and Kristian Lei ...
Winding up with Mihana, Kristian and Duc
When Mel was pau, Kristian and I zoomed up to Duc's Bistro hoping to catch singer Mihana Souza
. When we arrived, Mihana was pulling out of the parking lot to come find us. She took us back into Duc's. We all sat at a table with owner Duc Nguyen
and she and Kristian sang. One last word about Melveen, who is also quite a comedienne. She sang at my wedding to The Frau
at Kawaiahao in 1974. I had asked her to sing three of my favorite Hawaiian songs. Just before the ceremony, Melveen entered the room where my bride-to-be and her attendants were waiting and said, "Ben asked me to sing 'Please Release Me Let Me Go.' " The women nearly fainted ...
, 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