Steel Trappings

On the Playlist

Dick McIntire

July 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 Dick McIntire!

Dixon Ka‘aihue McIntire was born on April 6, 1902, in Hawai‘i. His mother was Hawaiian and his father was Irish. In 1919 he joined the U.S. Navy and went to sea. His brother Lani McIntire also joined the navy and the brothers formed a Hawaiian music band that was the envy of the Pacific fleet.

After leaving the Navy he began his musical career playing in Tijuana, Mexico. He later moved to Los Angeles, California where he and his brothers Lani and Al McIntire formed a Hawaiian trio.

Dick McIntire

In the 1930s Dick McIntire played steel guitar on his own live radio show called "Harmony Isle." He also opened several music studios in the Los Angeles area where he taught Hawaiian music and the steel guitar.

His group the "Harmony Hawaiians" featured brothers Lani and Al McIntire, and Danny Kua‘ana. They played at venues throughout Los Angeles including the famous "Hula Hut" and the "Seven Seas" nightclubs. In Hollywood, McIntire played in most of the Hawaiian themed films made at the time.

McIntire played the steel guitar on over 300 records, the majority for the Decca label. He recorded with the Harmony Hawaiians, Bing Crosby, Frances Langford, Ray Kinney, Lena Machado, and Dorothy Lamour, among others.

Listeners truly appreciate the beautiful tone, perfect intonation, and above all, the "heart and soul" that he put into his playing. McIntire's classic steel guitar instrumental recordings include "Hilo March," "South Sea Moon," "Twilight Blues," and "Aloha Tears."

In the late 1940s Dick McIntire moved to Arizona where he hoped to recover from a chest condition. On May 20, 1951 he passed away at age 49. During his lifetime McIntire was known for playing an early 1930s Rickenbacher A25 Frying Pan steel guitar, in the E7, C#m7 and F#9 tunings.

Today fans and collectors alike seek out the original 78 rpm recordings of Dick McIntire. He continues to inspire steel guitarists seeking to emulate his warm, fluid, Hawaiian style. His music is now available on CD to a new generation of steel guitar fans who can appreciate this innovative and unique Hawaiian musician!

On the Playlist of Hawaiian Steel: Dick McIntire

Song CD Album
Ai Kakou South Sea Moon* / Cumquat, Australia
Twilight Blues Royal Hawaiian Hotel* / Cumquat, Australia
O Ko‘u Aloha Hawaiian Favourites / Goldies Records
Pa`ahana On a Coconut Island* / Harlequin
Hilo March Kailua* / Cumquat, Australia
Sands of Alamosa The pick of the Crop* / Cumquat, Australia

* 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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October 16, 2021 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook and YouTube 3PM - 5PM HST

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October 23, 2021 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook and YouTube 3PM - 5PM HST

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