Steel Trappings

On the Playlist

Sol Ho‘opi‘i

May 1, 2021 • Geronimo "Geri" ValdrizSteel Guitar History

"HAWAIIAN STEEL" is a weekly radio program that spotlights the Hawaiian steel guitar masters from the past to the present. "ON THE PLAYLIST" features the musicians heard on the program's playlist. This month we profile Sol Ho‘opi‘i!

Sol Ho‘opi‘i
Wikipedia
Sol Ho‘opi‘i
Imdb

Solomon Ho‘opi‘i Ka‘ai‘ai (1902-1953) is a name that is revered throughout the Hawaiian music world. Steel guitar buffs acknowledge him as the "King of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar." He pioneered new techniques and made improvisations on the steel that paved the way for future steel guitarists.

In 1924 he lived in Los Angeles where he formed his musical group the "Novelty Trio." The Trio played on the radio, live performances, studio recordings and motion picture movies.

Ho‘opi‘i applied bluesy and jazz toned licks to popular standards as well as Hawaiian mele. His peculiar rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic techniques influenced not only Hawaiian-styled musicians, but also country and western swing steel guitarists.

Ho‘opi‘i's virtuosity on the lap steel guitar is unequaled, and is often compared to the playing of Django Reinhardt, the famous gypsy guitarist who was his contemporary. Today, fans and collectors alike seek out the original 78 RPM recordings of Sol Ho‘opi‘i. His music is now available on CD to a new generation of steel guitarist who can appreciate this innovative and unique Hawaiian musician!

On the Playlist of Hawaiian Steel: Sol Ho‘opi‘i

Song CD Album
Opelu Na Mo‘olelo O Mele* (Cumquat Records/Australia)
Wang Wang Blues Radio Sol* (Omagatoki/Japan)
Farewell Blues Hawaiian Favourites
Hula Blues Master of Hawaiian Guitar vol 2
Kauoha Mai History of Hawaiian Steel Guitar

* Out of print but may be available on auction sites or streaming services.

"Hawaiian Steel" with Geri Valdriz is broadcast live every Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (HST) on Mana‘o Radio, Wailuku, Maui, Hawai‘i, KMNO, 91.7FM.

You can catch it on the air, or streaming live at www.manaoradio.com. Listeners can also access the online archives to enjoy previously recorded programs at your convenience. Just search "Listen on Demand" for past shows.

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