Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Beautiful Aurora

The beautiful Aurora.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hawaii's First Action Hero │ Detective Chang Apana - The Real Charlie Chan

Detective Chang Apana and Warner Oland, as Charlie Chan, during the filming of "The Black Camel" in Honolulu in 1931.

It is not well known that Detective Chang Apana, who lived in Hawaii, was the prototype for the fictional detective Charlie Chan, created by author Earl Derr Biggers.  There a a number of items that appear in the Charlie Chan novels that can be linked directly, or indirectly with Detective Chang Apana.  In “The Black Camel” (1929), it is mentioned that Chan’s oldest daughter is named Rose. Chang Apana’s youngest daughter was named Rose.  In the “House Without A Key” (1925), the captain of detectives is named Hallet. From 1923 to 1927, a man named Kellett was the Captain of Detectives of the Honolulu Police Department.  In “The Black Camel” Charlie Chan laments “…there has been upheaval in local police department…”, as a result Chan gets promoted to the rank of inspector.  On February 20, 1928, Chang Apana is promoted to Detective First Grade, after a major police scandal.  Before becoming a policeman, Chan worked for a wealthy white family, the Jordans.  The same can be said of Apana who worked for the Wilder family as a hostler.  Both Chan and Apana were excellent cooks.  Apana was chef in charge of a big luau that was given for the Prince of Wales when he visited Honolulu.  Chan lived on Punchbowl hill, while in 1908, Apana lived on Punchbowl near Hotel Street.  Chan worked very slowly and meticulously on cases…”I have never been demon for speed…” (“The Black Camel”).  The same can be said of Apana.  In their respective modus operandi on cases, both Chan and Apana worked alone.  Chan spent most of his time running down gamblers; that was also Apana’s major job.  In “The Black Camel”, it is mentioned that Chan has 27 years of service on the job; Apana by the time of the writing of “The Black Camel”, would have served approximately the same length of time.

Chan’s method of inquiry on a case was to investigate the human heart.  Apana, too, was a keen student of the human heart and character.  Neither Chan nor Apana drank alcoholic beverages. Both Chan and Apana resisted many and all attempts of bribery; as Chan says “All those years on the force, beset with temptations, but always honest, always irreproachable,” (“Keeper Of The Keys”).

In two Chan novels there appears an Inspector Duff: For many years Apana worked under a Chief of Detectives named McDuffie.  In “The Keeper Of The Keys”, there is a Chinese servant named Ah Sing, who spoke in a high shrill voice and used broken English.  Interestingly, Apana’s given first name was “Ah Ping”, and he too spoke broken English in a high shrill voice.  In appearance, Chan was fat, but Apana was slim. The device of polarity is often used by authors to disguise the original that a character is based on (see above, Rose being Chan’s oldest daughter and in actuality Rose was Apana’s youngest daughter)

It is easy to see from the items mentioned above that the similarities between Chan and Apana are more than just cursory.

Detective Chang Apana was really Hawaii's first action hero.  He once arrested forty suspects all by himself in Chinatown, with absolutely no backup at all.  That is an accomplishment that has never been equaled in the historical records of the Honolulu Police Department.  Here are some of Detective Chang Apana's exploits as described in a soon to be released book about his life called "Charlie Chan's Hawaii":

"Fred Kramer, retired Captain of the Guards at Oahu Prison and Halawa Jail, had some interesting reminiscences about Detective Chang Apana.  Kramer actually saw Apana in action leaping from roof to roof in Chinatown, like a human fly. In appearance, Kramer recalls, 'Apana looked so frail that one slap could break him apart.' "

"Apana, though fragile in appearance, was in reality a very tough guy.  Once while Apana was attempting to raid a gambling game, he was hurled from a second story window, but like the proverbial cat, he landed miraculously, on his feet unhurt.  Another time when arresting a dangerous Filipino suspect, he was slashed across the stomach with a knife. Again he emerged unscathed as the knife landed on a broad belt that he was wearing."

"Apana had another close brush with death during the arrest of a prison escapee. He was assigned with Chief of Detectives Arthur McDuffie, and Assistant Chief John Kellett to capture a Korean, who had broken out of jail, and who was known to be a desperate character when cornered.

They finally located their quarry, hiding under a house. When he was ordered to come out the suspect replied with a fusillade of shots, one of the shots boring the palm of Kellett's hand.  More shots followed that narrowly missed hitting McDuffie and Apana.  In a lull between the shots being exchanged between the escaped felon and the officers, Apana sneaked around to the back of the house, while the other two officers held the fugitive at bay.  In the twinkling of an eye, Apana pounced on the escaped prisoner.  He was in the midst of a life and death struggle when the other two officers came to his rescue.  At the end of this ordeal, Apana was in such bad shape, that he had to be taken to the hospital for a week to recuperate."

In this edition of Angel Watchers we are featuring two cool videos.  Please click on video widget right below this post to watch "The Legend Of Chang Apana" that was produced by Jon Brekke, for Oceanic Creative Services in Honolulu.  It is the pilot for a proposed TV series that hopefully will be in production soon.  Unfortunately, though,  they got Detective Chang Apana's badge number wrong.  It's supposed to be badge number 100, not badge number 352.  That badge number however was retired after the death of Apana.  When the series finally gets going they should have technical advisers on hand to catch mistakes of this kind.  The creators of "The Legend Of Chang Apana", have put together incredible graphics, along with a script that has a smooth contemporary feel to it, to tell the exciting story of Detective Chang Apana.  It stars Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa as Chang Apana.  This movie is hip, slick, intelligent, and very now.  My congratulations go out to the makers of "The Legend Of Chang Apana", for doing such an outstanding job.  The bottom video is a short clip from a Charlie Chan movie called"The Black Camel" that was filmed on location in Honolulu in 1931, starring Warner Oland as Charlie Chan, and Bela Lugosi as Tarneverro.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

"The Legend Of Chang Apana"

 "The Black Camel"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Con La Misma Piedra │ David Campos

In this edition of Angel Watchers we are featuring David Campos who comes from Bucaramanga, Columbia.  David, who was born on August 20, 1998, has been singing and playing the guitar since the age of five.  His voice is amazingly powerful for his age.  David's high notes have a wonderful richness to them, and they sound  full with warm overtones.  When I first heard David sing "Con La Misma Piedra (With The Same Stone)", which was written by well known Mexican composer Jorge Massias, I was amazed by his poise and innate musicality.  He also seemed to have had a lot of fun making the video.  By-the-way, David's cover of "Con La Misma Piedra" is excellent and it has a feel good quality to it that is completely infectious.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Razvan Dobai │ My Way

Razvan Dobai is a terrific singer from Bihor, Romania.  In this edition of Angel Watchers we feature him singing "My Way", that was made popular in America by Frank Sinatra.  Razvan does a powerful heartfelt rendition.  By-the-way, "My Way" is the most covered song in the history of recorded music.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'll Fly Away │ Daves Highway

Daves Highway is a terrific gospel group from Mississippi.  The members of the group are Delaney, Zachary and Erika Daves, and yes, they are siblings.  My Dear Aunt Martha recommended that I listen to Daves Highway, and I'm glad that I did.  Their music is very uplifting to the spirit, and they have such a clean and wholesome sound.  By-the-way Daves Highway has a cool website that can found at this link:  Daves Highway - Official Website  Please give it a visit and help to support them by purchasing some of their music.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Voice │ Jared Cardona

Jared Cardona, from South Africa, is a new singer with an amazing voice.  In this edition of Angel Watchers I am featuring Jared singing "One Voice" that was made popular some years ago by Billy Gilman.  Jared actually does a great cover of that classic song, and at times he sounds exactly like Gilman.  Jared has been singing and studying music for less than a year but he has come a long away.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Angelic Prayer

Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Césaria Évora │ A Magnificent Singer

In this edition of Angel Watchers I am pleased to present the great singer Césaria Évora, from Cape Verde.  Césaria is well known internationally, but is largely unknown in America, which is a shame because she is such an awesome singer, and performer.  By-the-way, Césaria always performs with bare feet, that is why she is also known as the "barefoot diva".  The video below is an excerpt from a concert sponsored by Heineken, that she gave in the year 2000, at the Teatro Alfa in São Paulo, Brazil.  In it Césaria sings the hauntingly beautiful "Cabo Verde Manda Mantenha (Cape Verde Greets You)", that was composed by the late Manuel de Novas, the Poet Laureate of Cape Verde.  For those of you who are interested, the lyrics are a creole combination of Portuguese and Cape Verdian dialects.  Unfortunately, Césaria Évora passed away on December 17, 2011,  in São Vicente, located in her native Cape Verde.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.

Cabo Verde Manda Mantenha
Composed by Manuel de Novas

 Tcham canta, m'bem
Traze boses
Um aroma daquel pais
Cabo Verde terra querida
Qu'nos tu quere na coracon

Cabo Verde manda mantenha
Se benson nun bes d'sodade
Pa tud ses fidj' na terra longe
El d'zem pan fla boses
Ma se ragos tem quel calor
Pa tud ses fidje
Ku mesm' amor

 Cape Verde Greets You
(English Translation)

Let me sing
I have come to bring you
The aroma of this country
Of our precious Cape Verde
Loved by all

Cape Verde greets you
With a kiss of nostalgia
It sends its blessings
To all its children scattered
Throughout the world
It sends you word
That it's bosom
Offers the same warmth
And the same love
To all its children

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greyson Chance │ An American Original

In this edition of Angel Watchers we are featuring the incredible Greyson Chance.   He was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on August 16, 1997, but currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma.  It is not very often that we get to write about American singers on Angel Watchers, but we do so whenever we get the opportunity.  Unfortunately, in the United States, no value is placed on music education in the elementary and secondary school systemsIn fact, now-a-days, with educational budgets being cut, music classes are the first to feel the axe when it falls, and the first to go.  That is not to say that America does not have a lot of talent.  What we are saying is that this talent does not get the proper nurturing, and training that it should.  If you go to YouTube you will find a lot of young singers from America, but alas, most of them are so untrained, and their potentials so truncated, that it makes us very sad.  But along comes Greyson Chance who has beaten all the odds and managed to become a fantastic musician, singer, and performer.  You can log on to Greyson's cool website by clicking on this link:  Greyson Chance - Official Website  Greyson does a magnificent job of singing "Waiting Outside The Lines".  His rendition is very moving and haunting.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.