Hawaii Film Blog

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hawaii Music in Movies and Media

Between Jack Johnson being commissioned to compose the score for recently released kid flick "Curious George," the Hawaiian Music Grammy category being added last year, and Iz's "Over the Rainbow" becoming ever more ubiquitous, there is ample evidence that music from Hawaii is infiltrating mass media.

The Mountain Apple Company, the label that distributes Iz's sweet lilting version of the song written for 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," has been overwhelmed with requests from TV commercials, TV shows, educational videos, and other forms of media to license the song. Mountain Apple's VP of Marketing told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "If you read Billboard magazine, it will tell you that TV is the new radio for music. That's where people are breaking records. As the (radio) play lists get shorter and shorter, a lot of records are breaking on TV." Early iconic uses of the song include eToys commercials and the "ER" episode in which Dr. Greene dies after making one last trip to Hawaii.

Jack Johnson uses less traditional Hawaiian instrumentation, but infuses his music with a folksy surfer vibe that connotes Oahu's North Shore, where he grew up. Some of his "Curious George" music was done with the help of pals including Hawaiian musician Kawika Kahiapo. The album also includes a kids' song--"reduce, reuse, recycle"--with a theme near and dear to Hawaii.

>> Nine years after Israel Kamakawiwoole's death, advertisers across the globe are lining up for his song "Over the Rainbow" [Star-Bulletin, 3/5/06]
>> Positive Jack suits 'Curious George' [Star-Bulletin, 2/7/06]
>> 'Masters' of the Grammy [Star-Bulletin, 2/9/06]

Kokua for Katrina Concert

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