Who knows why Kent Ghirard doesn’t seem to get the credit due for the contributions he made to Hawaiian music and hula?
Maybe it's because Ghirard came from a wealthy mainland haole family and produced hula shows on the mainland before he moved here in 1947. Maybe it's because he was most active as a promoter here back when hula was taught by teachers in hula studios rather than by kumu hula in hula halau.
Whatever the explanation, Ghirard introduced ideas in costuming and performance that have become traditional in Waikiki, and also made acetate recordings of the performers he worked with that document the music of the era.
This collection of recordings Ghirard made of Pauline Kekahuna and Her Hau‘ole Girls from 1953 through 1955 is an instant must-buy for anyone interested in Hawaiian music as it was performed in the mid-20th century. It includes the first known recordings of several Hawaiian songs that have since become standards, the first known recording by Nina Keali‘iwahamana, and the only known recording of her mother, Vickie I‘i Rodrigues, singing the lead vocal of “KHBC,” the song Rodrigues wrote in 1936 to commemorate the opening of a Big Island radio station.
These recordings should also rekindle interest in Kekahuna’s work as a performer and recording artist. Liner notes by Harry B. Soria Jr., and Keali‘iwahamana, the only member of The Girls still living, completes this welcome retrospective on Kekahuna and her girls. All going well Ghirard’s archives will be opened again soon.