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May 19, 2020 11:47 PM   Subscribe

Google Doodle honoring the birthday of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, who would be celebrating his sixty-first birthday today. In addition to his ukelele music, Kamakawiwoʻole was known for his activism for Hawai'an independence.
posted by praemunire (14 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

(Thanks. I didn't realize it was geo-locked until a couple of minutes ago; mods, if you wanted to replace with the direct link, I'd appreciate it!)
posted by praemunire at 12:42 AM on May 20

Perennial favorite
posted by growabrain at 2:39 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]

Thank you.
posted by allthinky at 6:29 AM on May 20

It's nice that Google is honoring him but weird they made their own music video. The official video is worth a watch. Also going to link here Maui Hawaiian Sup'pa Man which is great fun.

Also worth reading: the Second Hawaiian Renaissance. This predates Izzy by a generation but there's a straight line that leads to him, particularly in music.
posted by Nelson at 7:15 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]

[Replaced the link!]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:17 AM on May 20

Don't miss Pixar's Lava, which was inspired by Iz and his wife. Warning: it's a 2-kleenex affair.
posted by jquinby at 8:18 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]

I walked down the isle to his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

posted by meese at 8:26 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]

"Late one night in 1988, Israel sat down in a Honolulu studio, closed his eyes, and in a single take, sang an emotional `ukulele-backed version of the classic song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

daaamn, one take. Learning that he nailed it on the first take just makes the song hit a little harder for me.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:24 AM on May 20

> It's nice that Google is honoring him but weird they made their own music video. The official video is worth a watch.

It was; now I do not think it is weird that Google made their own video. The "official" video was so weird in fact that I went looking for other ones and here's a nearly identical unofficial one that manages to feature all of the same footage, more Iz, less stock photography and less weird cuts where they try to align unrelated performances into a split second-timed "aaah." Legit minorly disturbing, the official one.

Also, its a doodle so what a doodle do.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:05 AM on May 20

While I knew Israel Kamakawiwo'ole died young, I didn't realize his entire immediate family, father, mother, older brother, older sister, and younger sister all died before the age of 56. Damn.
posted by RichardP at 10:13 AM on May 20

Life expectancy of Native Hawai'ans around the time he was born was a shockingly low ~65. I imagine the number for men in particular was even a few years lower than that.
posted by praemunire at 11:32 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]

I always cry when I hear him sing. It hits me deep. Not a lot of music does that for me.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 11:50 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]

previously Sadly, most if not all of the links are borked. I don't remember where I 1st heard the song, except that I immediately went out and bought the cd. It's pure magic. If you are ever lucky enough to visit Hawai'i, you will hear Iz everywhere. This is an excellent thing.
posted by theora55 at 12:01 PM on May 21

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