Saturday, March 10, 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow - What A Wonderful World │Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (Brother IZ)

This is a very special edition of Angel Watchers, which I would like to call "From Hawaii With Love".  Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was a remarkable person and entertainer.  He was born on the island of Oahu on May 20, 1959 in Kuakini Hospital located in beautiful Nuuanu valley.  Israel's parents noticed, even as an infant, that their son had special spiritual qualities and gifts.  In his early childhood he lived with his family in Kaimuki, a sleepy little town located just outside of Honolulu.  But, as fate would have it, as a young teenager, his family relocated to Makaha located on the extreme West coast of Oahu.  It was there that he met Moon Kauakahi, Sam Gray, Jerome Koko, and they formed the legendary vocal group, the Makaha Sons of Niʻihau.  The rest, as they say, is history.  By-the-way, Makaha is one of the most hallowed places on the island of Oahu.  It is right next to the sacred Kaena Point, that Hawaiians believe to be the portal to Heaven.  Actually, I also believe that the be so.  I lived in Makaha for many years, and one of my favorite things things that I liked to do, was to ride my bicycle out to Kaena Point to enjoy the spiritual and mystical ambiance of the place.  Israel's haunting rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is a Twentieth-Century classic.  It has been used in numerous films and advertisements internationally.  It is interesting to note that Israel's recording is very simple and honest.  It does not contain any drums, bass, or background vocals.  It's just Israel singing and playing his ukulele.  There are no pretensions, just a sort of innocent humbleness, that is so intoxicating to the ears and heart.  Singlehandedly, Israel was responsible for a resurgence in the popularity of the ukulele in Hawaii and elsewhere.  You might say that Israel helped pave the way for ukulele virtuosos like Jake Shimabukuro, to be noticed and heard.  Israel ceased his earthly existence on June 26, 1997 in Honolulu.  I am also featuring the re-mastered version of Brother IZ singing "What A Wonderful World", a song that was made famous by Louie Armstrong.  This superb arrangement was created by Jack de Mello, who is the father of Jon de Mello, the current CEO of Mountain Apple Records.  So, without further ado, please click on the video widgets below for an enchanting journey to Hawaii.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Angel Watchers, wherever you may be.


  1. Great post dear friend.

    1. Hello Pablo,

      Brother IZ was indeed an incredible singer. I'm happy that you like the post.

      With a hug,