Thursday, April 19, 2007

THE UN-NAPPY-HEADED HO - Tiny Bubbles and Shock the Monkey

Don Ho seemed to be on the road to recovery after controversial stem-cell therapy in Thailand. His heart was failing him, and he had the cell procedure done in 2005, and a pacemaker installed, and actually returned to performing in January of 2006. Perhaps all the "nappy headed ho" stuff from Don Imus stressed him out. Nobody seemed able to ignore-Imus and maybe the 76 year-old Ho was one of them.
If you're one of the many who love Hawaiian music, lounge, Martin Denny and exotica...don't thank me. I only posted "Tiny Bubbles" because the guy died in the middle of a "Ho" controversy. Illfolks has the same opinion of the tune as Don did. "I hate that song," he'd grin. He told audiences he only performed it as an encore because "people my age can't remember if we did it or not."
Besides, "tiny bubbles in the wine" could be guppy farts. You don't know what's lurking in your Gallo these days.
Did you know Donald Tai Loy Ho didn't intend for a show biz career? He graduated the University of Hawaii with a sociology degree, then joined the Air Force. Home from Korea, he took over Honey's, a failing bar run by his parents. He made it a success, mostly because of the entertainment — him. He ended up the most famous singer in Hawaii, and in 1976 even had his own "Don Ho Show" on ABC.
Don kept on going, even taking on contemporary tunes like Peter Gabriel's "SHOCK THE MONKEY," which turns up on a compilation of surprising cover versions by various artists, titled "When Pigs Fly" and available from Amazon and others.
Since the Ho jokes are just too easy, let's just end this dubious tribute by saying Don had a great life and was a good guy. He told an interviewer in 2004, "I've had too much fun all these years, I feel real guilty about it." Right, as guilty as illfolks feels about putting "Tiny Bubbles" and "Shock the Monkey" on the blog for free.

DON HO sings TINY BUBBLES instant download or listen on line

DON HO covers Peter Gabriel SHOCK THE MONKEY

Update: On May 11th, Don's 51 year-old daughter Dayna Ho-Henry was found dead, a very untimely passing, and added heartache for the Ho family, friends and fans. Update: June 19th: an autopsy revealed she died from an accidental methamphetamine overdose.

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