BiographyThe explosion of Hawaiian music can be traced back to the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and the popular Hawaiian exhibit featuring hula dancers and musicians. Before long, the Sears catalogue was selling ukuleles and lap steel guitars, while college campuses echoed with the sounds of luaus. Sol Ho'opii rode this wave of popularity to great success in the '20s and '30s, performing many concerts throughout the U.S. and even running a talent agency that placed Hawaiians in Hollywood films. He recorded Ragtime, jazz, popular tunes, and, of course, Hawaiian standards. Whether playing sweeping crescendos, bending notes in every manner possible, or simply sliding on chords, his music was sophisticated but always fun. Hugely influential from Harlem to the Mississippi Delta to the heart of the Congo, Hoopii typifies the exotic charm of the Hawaiian guitar more than anyone else.
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