Whatever Happened...

An update on past news

Wednesday, February 5, 1997

The late Kui Lee
wrote several hits

What ever happened to Hawaiian singer and songwriter Kui Lee? Did he have any major hits other than the still popular "I'll Remember You"?

Kui Lee died of cancer at age 34 on Dec. 3, 1966, in Tijuana, Mexico, where he had gone for Laetrile treatment. The controversial drug Laetrile was being used in Mexico to treat cancer, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had banned its use in the United States.

Kui Lee was buried at sea in waters off Waikiki Dec. 9, 1966.

Four of his biggest hits were "I Remember You," "Lahainaluna," "One Paddle, Two Paddle" and "Days of My Youth."

He also wrote dozens of other songs and entertained at Queen's Surf, singing and playing guitar with his group.

Lee was born in Shanghai, the son of Hawaiian entertainers. He was of Hawaiian-Chinese-Scottish descent. Brought up in Hawaii, he loved the beach. "I became a beach boy with no real purpose in life," he later said. He drifted into show business, first as a sword dancer, having taught himself by watching more experienced performers. He later became a singer, eventually trying his hand at songwriting, and his lyrical talent soon became apparent.

Ever wonder what happened to a person, event or issue that has been in the news? We'll try to find out for you if you call the City Desk at 525-8640, email to citydesk@starbulletin.com or write us at P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802. Whatever happened to . . . runs Wednesdays.

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