Mel Amina, the bass player for the Sons at the time was so impressed with the song that he recorded it on a small cassette player as it was sung in the concert. The rest was history. I had always wondered just how the song got into the hands of the Sons. It was a complete mystery to me for many many years... and ironically I just found it out in October of 2003 when I met Mel Amina for the first time as he was backing up Brickwood Galuteria working the Brew Moon. In 1978 the song that would touch so many of us for generations to come was released under a new name, “Hawaii '78" ... and the rest... again, is history.

So why was the fact that 3 writers had a part in the song never known for over a quarter century? Back in the ‘70’s in the music business, at least on the Big Island, it was all “Brahda Brahda” when it came to songwriting credits. Many of the songs recorded by my artists were co-written by me in efforts to elevate a song to its potential commercial value... but I would refuse to attach my name to the song. It wasn’t important to me back then as my primary concern was just to help expose the great talent on the Big Island... so it was with the song “Hawaii ‘77”. So I ordered the printing of the 45’s of “Hawaii ‘77” with just Micky as sole writer.

Even more ironically, this great masterpiece inspired by a young construction worker had its second debut and ultimate fame with the wrong words to the chorus... yes, the wrong words. That’s how powerful the entity of the song was... so powerful in its entirety that even with the wrong words sung, it still touched so many lives. In the process of trying to pull the words off the cassette tape, the wrong words were interpreted inadvertently... words must have sounded like other words. The original version of the words I wrote and which appeared on the first version were as follows: “How would they feel... would they smile, be content, or just cry... cry for the Gods, cry for the people, cry for the land that was taken all away... and then... BID... GOODBYE... HAWAII”... words that are so critical to the true and sensible meaning of what I was trying to bring forth.


Copyright 2010   •  David Kawika Crowley
PO Box 4 Hilo, Hawaii 96720  •

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