Loa maika’i eluhelu e pili ana no Don Ho. (Possible grammar issues notwithstanding, that’s Hawaiian for â€œA very good book about Don Ho.”)
Hawaiian vocalist/songwriter Ho released his first album in 1965, and from then until his death in 2007, it could be argued that he was the island version of Sammy Davis Jr.–a versatile entertainer as well as a compelling singer. He cut the lilting ballad â€œTiny Bubbles,” his first big hit and his signature song until the end of his life, in 1966, and soon afterwards took the mainland by tropical storm. From Las Vegas to New York, the affable Ho performed anywhere and everywhere. He hit his peak of popularity in the late-’60s and early ’70s, thanks in part to appearances on such TV shows as The Brady Bunch, Batman and I Dream of Jeannie. Ho led a relatively drama-free life–no documented heroin binges, polygamy or the like–which one would think might make for a less-than-scintillating autobiography. But the performer was so beloved that the reader can’t help but be charmed by this generous outing. It’s formatted as an oral history rather than a straight narrative, which gives the book a conversational, relaxed and intimate vibe–the kind of vibe that Ho himself likely exuded. Filled with dozens of photos and heartfelt reminiscences from family, friends and showbiz industry cohorts, My Music, My Life isn’t an autobiography as much as a celebration. Ho summed it up best when he said, â€œPeople used me as a good excuse for a party a thousand times.” And that’s exactly what My Music, My Life is–a party honoring an island icon.
Don Ho lovers rejoice; this colorful coffee table book is everything readers could possibly want from an autobiography of this Hawaiian treasure.