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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole



When I heard the different rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the movie “Meet Joe Black” I had to find out who did the song that way.  The story of the performer who did it was interesting and thought I would pass on the story.

From Wikipedia (where else?):

 Kamakawiwo'ole's recording of "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" was featured as a sound track in the movies Meet Joe Black, Finding Forrester, 50 First Dates and IMAX: Hubble 3D among others. "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" reached #12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004), and passed the 2 million paid downloads mark in the USA as of September 27, 2009.

On July 4, 2007, Kamakawiwoʻole debuted at No. 44 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart with "Wonderful World," selling 17,000 units In April 2007, "Over the Rainbow" entered the UK charts at #68, and eventually climbed to #46, spending 10 weeks in the Top 100 over a 2 year period.

In October 2010, following its use on a TV advertisement – for Axe deodorant (which is itself a revival of the advertisement originally aired in 2004) – it hit #1 on the German singles chart, was the number one seller single of 2010 and was eventually certified 2× Platinum in 2011

As of November 1, 2010, "Over the Rainbow" peaked at No. 6 on the OE3 Austria charts, which largely reflect airplay on Austria's government-operated Top 40 radio network It also peaked at No.1 in France and Switzerland in late December 2010. It also peaked at No.1 in Germany at November 3.On December 6, 2010, "Iz" was named one of the 50 great voices on National Public Radio

Throughout his life, Kamakawiwoʻole was obese and at one point carried 757 pounds (343 kg; 54.1 st) on his 6-foot-2-inch (1.88 m) frame (BMI = 97.05 kg/m He endured several hospitalizations because of problems caused by his weight, and beset with respiratory and other medical problems, died in Queen's Medical Center at 12:18 a.m. on June 26, 1997 Kamakawiwoʻole is survived by his wife, Marlene Kamakawiwoʻole, and their daughter, Ceslie-Ann "Wehi

The Hawaiʻi State Flag flew at half-staff on July 10, the day of Kamakawiwoʻole's funeral. His koa wood coffin lay in state at the Capitol building in Honolulu. He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official. Approximately ten thousand people attended the funeral. Thousands of fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Mākua Beach on July 12

P.S.
Couldn't help but notice two changes in the Sun paper this morning.  An advertising section that looked like the front page of the paper and the notice that the Sun will start to charge for more than 15 articles read online starting Oct. 10th.  The online world has caused the old media to "think outside the box."

1 comment:

jessie said...

Iz's "Somewhere over the rainbow" is one of my favorite-ist songs. I was humming it a few days ago and remembering when I first heard it and how I instantly loved it. :-) Thanks for the history and background on the song and singer.