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The Ho`opi`i Brothers

The Ho`opi`i Brothers


Music wasn't something you had to think about where the Ho'opi'i Brothers grew up in rural Maui -- everyone just sang, all the time. In fact, big brother Sol says the only way he could get his little brother (and eventual bandmate) Richard to stop crying when he was a baby was to start singing. Richard would eventually learn the song and sing along, and the great duo was unofficially born -- before Richard could even properly walk. Inspired by the singing style of "Auntie" Genoa Keawe, the boys' singing became a staple of church and family functions for years. They started their own group, the Ho'onanea Singers, in 1968, and that group eventually morphed into the Ho'opi'i Brothers. The duo went on to perform together for 42 years, perfecting the kind of falsetto singing (leo ke'eki'e) and yodeling-like vocal breaks, or ha'i that makes Hawaiian music so distinctive and dreamy.
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