Israel Kamakawiwo`ole – News Archive

May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997

His Life | Albums | DVDs | Books | Guestbook


[Courtesy Electronic Arts

Subject: Iz Online Street Team Newsflash! 04.03.01

Aloha nui loa, my Iz friends!

I wanted to take a moment and let you know about two new places to find Iz
on the internet!

If you take a look at, there is a full-page feature, all
about Iz. Plus, if you click on the different albums, you can listen to
Iz music right there at your desk. (If you’re like me and you’re at work
all day, you might as well make it a pleasant experience by listening to
Iz, right?)

Here’s the direct link to the goodies:

Another site that’s just put up an Iz feature is If you head
there you can listen to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Here’s the direct link for you:

It’s excellent to see Iz featured alongside lots of other types of music.
You all knew how wonderful his music can make you feel — now the rest of
the world is *finally* catching on! 🙂

I hope all of the Amazon review winners are enjoying their prizes! 😉


Iz Online Street Team Newsletter Vol. V



I received an incredible email from Michael R., and I thought I’d share it
with the whole team. He’s got a truly touching recollection of how he
first encountered Iz’s music. Take a look!

“I had been to Hawaii several times, but the music I heard in the tourist
areas did not interest me enough to explore further until I heard the
awesome melodies of Hawaii 78 while sitting in the garden at the Kapa’a
Fish and Chowder House on Kauai. I asked the waitress who it was, and she
said it was IZ. I immediately bought the tape at the nearest ABC, bought
the rest of his tapes the next day, and his CD’s the following month. I
now have almost 150 Hawaiian CD’s and play the music incessently. IZ is
still my favorite performer. While others may have better voices or more
technical skills, no one shares Aloha like IZ could. When I go to the
islands I wear my IZ concert shirt that I got at Auntie Maria’s Hawaiian
Music Island, and it always generates conversations with the
locals. Those who were fortunate enough to meet IZ during his short
lifetime all tell me that he was a beautiful and as natural a person as he
appears to be on his CD’s.”

Mahalo to Michael for sharing such a personal memory. I hope to hear more
memories from the rest of you!

—-> IZ 101: INTRO TO THE MAN & HIS MUSIC, Part Four!

Here’s some more “did-you-know” info about Iz, courtesy of a link sent to
me by Iz OST member Vicki W.

“We became really close when I use to call him live on my radio Show,
‘Uncle Charlie’s Drive Home Show.’ People would really enjoy his
conversations on the radio. I use to tape him for birthday and anniversary
dedications and the listeners would request his recording. Once in a while
I would call him live and wish the person on the air a happy birthday.
Sometimes I would have the person on the telephone and I would call bradda
and we would have a conference call going with all the listeners. I also
helped him when he was deciding to split from the Makaha Sons, that was
hard. When I got my computer, he use to send me messages and help me on
line, by calling me by phone and making sure I got it right. [He also sent
me this little cyber-makana – he called it “i`a stew”…]” — Uncle
Charlie, 1997

You can see the “little cyber-makana” Uncle Charlie was talking about if
you click this link:

I hope to receive more of these tidbits from you for next week’s
newsletter, so keep the email coming! I’d especially love to hear from
those of you who were fortunate enough to be a part of Iz’s “cyber-ohana”
and chatted with him online from time to time 🙂


Craig from was kind enough to let me
know about an Iz feature on the site! Mahalo to Craig, not only for
featuring the Iz OST and Iz music on the site, but for providing such a
wonderful resource!

Don’t forget that you can still pass the Iz SlideShow to your own
“cyber-ohana.” Here’s that link again:


Iz Online Street Team Newsletter Vol. IV



I would wager that just about all of you own *at least* one Iz CD already.
In fact, I would be surprised if most of you didn’t own *more* than one
Iz CD! Since you are the fans out there who know Iz’s music better than
just about anyone, I’d like to invite you to take that expertise to and post your reviews of Iz’s albums. Let me give you an
example of an Amazon “customer review” of FACING FUTURE I found today:

“I’ve never been to Hawaii. Live in a small farming community. Never
heard of Iz, until I read a small article about him in city paper. I took
a chance, bought his CD. I can’t say enough positive things about this
man, his words, his music. It’s as if when I open my door in the morning,
the sunlight comes into my house, the birds singing, it’s what he says:
“Facing future, I see hope.” — Mary from Virginia

It’s a lot of fun to read over these reviews, as most of the folks who
have posted their thoughts on Iz’s music include a very personal reason
explaining how Iz has affected their lives.

HERE’S THE CONTEST: Everyone who posts a review to of an Iz
recording will win an Iz video (until I run out)! To win, just send me an
email at and let me know what member name you
used for your post (otherwise I won’t be able to find it and read what you
had to say!).


The Iz SlideShow we put together has been an incredible success! Mahalo
to for putting a link to it on their site! I hope
you’ve all had an opportunity to take a look at it and remember this
wonderful man, but in case you haven’t, here is the link:

Again, I encourage you to share this slide show and educate your
music-loving friends about Iz’s music and life story.

—-> IZ 101: INTRO TO THE MAN & HIS MUSIC, Part Three!

Gathering these Iz trivia snippets is something I look forward to every
week. I found a really interesting quote from an Iz review that I thought
I would share with all of you:

“In 1996, National Public Radio did a piece on IZ and played ‘Over the
Rainbow.’ Listeners called in; sales shot up. And music insiders like
Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon and Bette Midler were no longer alone in their
admiration for IZ. I read up on IZ, and learned IZ called his producer
and said there was a song he had to record. He showed up at the studio at
midnight with his ukulele — and, in 5 minutes, created “Over The
Rainbow/Wonderful World.”” — Jesse Kornbluth

Well, we all know that Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon and Bette Midler were
*never* alone in their admiration for Iz! He had all of you supporting
him and his music! It is hard to believe Iz’s cover of “Over The
Rainbow…” only took five minutes to record!

Another bit of trivia for you: “Police and Capitol guards said the
predicted crowd of 10,000 came true as people of all ages, Hawaiians and
their friends of all ethnic groups, paid tribute to the entertainer whom
they felt they knew and whose songs played in their hearts… The state
Capitol courtyard had been used for a public lying-in-state only twice
before…” — Mary Adamski, Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Truly a man who
inspired love in everyone. 🙂 Send me an Iz fact to share with the team


Iz Online Street Team Newsletter Vol. III



We’ve created an online slide show from some Iz photos and music. I took
a look around at all of the Iz tribute websites I could find, and asked
the webmasters if I could use their personal photos of Iz. Mahalo to
everyone who let me use a picture, and I hope you enjoy the results. This
slide show is a great way to introduce someone unfamiliar with Hawaiian
music to Iz. I think just about everyone out there has heard his version
of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” but most people just don’t know who the
voice belongs to. Help them make that connection! Here is the link:

I encourage you to share this slide show and educate people about Iz.
Although I don’t think there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t want to hear
Iz’s music, be respectful with where you share the link and please don’t
spam. 🙂 Reach out to new online communities that you feel would like to
hear about Iz. Let me know what people have to say after they’ve seen the
show! Email me at!

—-> IZ 101: INTRO TO THE MAN & HIS MUSIC, Part Two

Continuing from last week, I’ve pulled a few more bits of Iz and Hawaiian
music trivia that I think you’ll find to be interesting. 🙂

“In 1997 there were only seven weeks when Hawaiian musicians — citizens
of a state whose population is a fraction of all others — did not appear
on the Top World Music Albums chart.” — Doug Reece, Billboard Magazine

Did you know that Iz’s success in 1997 culminated in his being named to
the 8th ranked spot on the Top World Music Artists in 1997 by Billboard
Magazine? Iz is the only artist from Hawai’i to be so honored.

Another factoid for you: Fans of Iz’s music include Bette Midler, Sarah
Jessica Parker, Dean Koontz, Jon Favreau, New York Mets’ Benny Agbayani,
director Martin Brest, producer Zalman King, Japan sumotori Konishiki,
Akebono and Musashimaru! That speaks to the fact that Iz’s music appeals
to everyone, whether you’re fortunate enough to live in Hawai’i or not!
(And don’t forget me here in freezing NYC — I’ve been listening to Iz
nonstop for weeks now!)

If you’ve got an interesting Iz fact to share with the team, email me at
! I’d also love to hear your Iz memories and
share those with the team. 🙂


I’d like to take a moment to thank Steve at
for featuring the Iz Online Street Team on the news ticker at the site.
Keep checking back to the Hawaii Music Guide for more upcoming Iz


Iz Online Street Team Newsletter Vol. II



I just got this news today, and I wanted you to be the first to know.
Everyone who signs on to AOL on Sunday at 8 pm EST will be greeted with
Iz! I know there were some very immature posts from the last time Iz
welcomed AOL users, so I am asking those of you who subscribe to AOL to
sign on and check out what’s happening this time around. If you notice
people making rude comments about Iz, don’t be afraid to set them
straight! Send them a link to an Iz song and let the music change their
minds. Here are those links again, in case you missed them:

Iz – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World”

Iz – “Hawai’i 78”

Iz – “E Ala ‘E”

Iz – “Na Ka Pueo/Keyhole Hula”


I was happy to see mention the Iz OST on their
main page. I’ve been learning as much as I can about na mele Hawai’i from
this site and others. Mahalo to Keola,’s webmaster for his
encouragement. Keep an eye on for more
mentions of the Iz OST, thanks to their webmaster, Steve.


I’ve created a very cool tool to help you spread Iz’s music and message to
the rest of the world. It’s called a “SuperSig,” and basically it’s a
small banner you use as your email signature, with a photo of Iz and a
link to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.” This is an
excellent way to introduce people to Iz each time you send an email!
Please feel free to email me at if you have
problems with getting the SuperSig to work properly. Here’s the direct
link to the Iz SuperSig:

I encourage you to use the Iz SuperSig to help recruit your friends to the
Iz OST and to help those who are unfamiliar with Iz make the connection
between him an “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.”


I gave you the link to the Iz eToys commercial in the first newsletter.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look at it, we’re going to turn it into a
contest! To participate in the contest, just email the link to your na
hoa & ‘ohaha and make sure to send a copy to so
I can keep a tally of how many you’ve sent. Bonus points for posting a
review of the commercial to the AdCritic site. The person who gets the
link noticed the most wins an Iz prize pack! Here’s the link for you:


I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on to learn more about Iz.
I thought I’d reserve a spot in each newsletter to post a fact about Iz
that you might not have known or may have forgotten. Here’s this week’s

Did you know that in December of 2000, national best-selling author Dean
Koontz honored Israel on the first page of his new book, “From The Corner
Of His Eye?” Koontz’s quote pays tribute to Iz’s music:

“As I wrote this book, the singular and beautiful music of the late Israel
Kamakawiwo’ole was always playing. I hope that the reader finds pleasure
in my story equal to the joy and consolation that I found in the voice,
the spirit, and the heart of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.”

If you know a fact about Iz that you’d like to share with the team, email
me at

That’s all for this week. I’d love to hear from all of you — questions,
comments, critiques — email me at!


Iz Online Street Team Newsletter Vol. I



To start things off right, I’d like you all to refer at least five friends to the team. Here is a sample of what you might send to a friend, including links to streaming Iz songs: “Aloha! Help me spread Iz’s music and message across the globe by joining the Iz Online Street Team. Send a message to to join the team, and make sure you list me as your reference on the registration page — Listen to Iz’s music by clicking the following links.

Iz – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World”

Iz – “Hawai’i 78”

Iz – “E Ala ‘E”

Iz – “Na Ka Pueo/Keyhole Hula”


Everyone’s ohana seems to be spread out across the world these days, so
reconnect with someone stranded on the mainland with an email aloha about
the Iz OST. I know we all have friends who haven’t heard about Iz or
don’t think Hawaiian music is their “thing.” You can prove them wrong by
sending them Iz’s songs and inviting them to join the team. The person
who refers the most people to the Iz team will win an excellent Iz prize
pack. This pack includes an Iz baseball cap, an 8×10 photo of Iz, an Iz
sticker and an Iz promo flat.

Personalize your email however you wish, and send it to someone you know
who could use a little aloha in their day. (I think that’s just about all
of my friends!) 🙂

I’m sure many of you saw Iz on the AOL welcome screen this week. I also
know that many of you were unhappy with some disrespectful remarks that
were posted to AOL message boards and chats. The Iz OST can help educate
those people, helping them to understand that Iz’s heart was bigger than
he was, and that his music was a true thing of beauty. Counteract those
disrespectful messages with a message of your own. As a team, we can send
out a positive message about Iz that will overshadow the most immature of
posts. I’d like to hear about your efforts, so send me an email letting
me know how you’ve changed people’s minds about Iz.


We’ve all seen the eToys commercials featuring “Somwhere Over The
Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.” You can view one version of the
commercial at Here’s the direct link:
Send the commercial to a friend and let them know about the Iz OST!


I’ve found some truly touching memorials to Iz while looking around the
internet. I’d like to recognize all of them at some point, so if I
haven’t mentioned your site in this newsletter, or if you know of someone
else’s, please send me the URL.

Brudda Bu’s Ukelele Heaven – Dedicated to the Hawaiian Supah-man, Bradda

Pakaboy’s Iz Tribute!

Brudda Bu was kind enough to allow me to use some of his personal photos
of Iz for the Iz OST. If you have photos of yourself with Iz, I’d love to
see them.

His Life | Albums | DVDs | Books | Guestbook

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