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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Music » » Tropical Swing and Big Band Music
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Tropical Swing and Big Band Music
MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-23 10:43 pm   Permalink

Looking for a list of tropical themed swing and big band music from the 30s-50s. Not Exotica, I've got plenty of that

Pappa Loves Mambo - Perry Como 1954
Banana Boat Song (Day-O) - Harry Bellafante 1956
Rum and Coca Cola - Andrews Sisters 1945
Copa Cabana - Barry Manilow 1978 (yes, out of the time period but I think it was written as a retro song)
Iko Iko - Dixie Cups 1967 (technically New Orleans, not "tropical")
Maybe some songs from the South Pacific musical? (I've never listened to it)
_________________
"I want you to shake the freak tree and invite anyone that drops to the ground. Dwarfs and giants, magicians, Zulu tribesmen, contortionists, fire eaters... and priests. We're going to need to confess" Freddy Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody


 
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 996
Posted: 2018-10-24 11:16 am   Permalink

Have you heard Kahulanui? I saw them at Oasis this year and got a couple CDs - I think they fit what you're after. I like them a lot.


If you look them up on Amazon, you can listen to song samples.


http://kahulanui.com/


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HotelCharlieEcho
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 35
Posted: 2018-10-24 11:45 am   Permalink

I have a list of Polynesian-inspired songs by popular big band artists, if that's what you're looking for. They definitely have more of a pre-WWII Hawaii feel than a traditional swing/big band feel, but maybe they fit?

The list includes a number of Bing Crosby recordings - there is a whole album he recorded of such songs.

Sammy Kaye recorded a version of Harbor Lights with lap steel guitar that has a great South Seas feel.

Here's a few others on my list:
My Isle of Golden Dreams, by The Andrews Sisters
Pagan Love Song, by Glenn Miller
Good Night, Aloha, by The Andrews Sisters and Alfred Apaka
Diamond Head Sword Dance, by Sammy Kaye
Nalani, by The Andrews Sisters and Alfred Apaka
Down Among the Sheltering Palms, by Sammy Kaye
Red Sails In The Sunset, by Guy Lombardo
Makalapua, by Jerry Byrd
Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai), by The Ames Brothers


 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 622
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2018-10-24 11:47 am   Permalink

Mike, I've posted this here before, but bears repeating: The Great 78 Project has quite a huge selection of vintage Hawaiian songs (mostly hapa haole stuff) but also calypso, mambo, etc. There's a lot of stuff I consider period-appropriate for a tiki bar, and I like to go back every few months to see what new music they've added.

Note that these are recovered off vintage shellac records, so the sound quality isn't up to modern standards (even with top notch noise reduction software). I just say it lends to the period feel and go with it.
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-24 7:40 pm   Permalink

Thanks so much for your input guys!

HotelCharlieEcho wins the prize for deciphering what I was looking for without me really being able to express it
I was able to find most of your suggestions including a handful of Bing Crosby songs

Bamalamalu, Kahulanui is great. Sounds like they put on a good show

Prickli Pear, what a excellent resouce of good old songs!

Thanks again


 
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Hamo
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 22, 2016
Posts: 795
From: Colorado (via Iowa)
Posted: 2018-10-24 10:49 pm   Permalink

Rudy Valee’s version of Hawaiian War Chant is pretty “big band.” Bob Crosby did Pagan Love Song. The Mills Brothers’ My Little Grass Shack is great. Guy Lombardo did a whole album, Hawaiian Songs for Dancing; George Liberace and His Orchestra’s album Hawaiian Paradise might fit your criteria, and Lawrence Welk put out the album, Song of the Islands (although it’s pretty authentic, rather than champagne music). And Bert Kaempfert’s A Swingin’ Safari album is more African but incredibly plush.

 
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HotelCharlieEcho
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 35
Posted: 2018-10-25 10:47 am   Permalink

Glad I could be useful!

Here is my list of the Bing Crosby songs I referenced, although please note that the album track listings are not exhaustive as there is crossover between the albums listed (i.e., I listed each song only once even if it appears on multiple albums):

Singles
Begin the Beguine

From the Album "My Favorite Hawaiian Songs"
Hawaiian Paradise
Palace in Paradise
Dancing Under The Stars
Song Of The Islands

From the Album "Bing Crosby's Hawaii"
My Isle of Golden Dreams
Sweet Leilani
Blue Hawaii
Paradise Isle
To You Sweetheart, Aloha
Aloha Oe
When You Dream About Hawaii
In A Little Hula Heaven
A Song Of Old Hawaii
Sweet Hawaiian Chimes
Remember Hawaii
South Sea Island Magic
Now Is The Hour
Red Sails in the Sunset
Moon of Manakoora
Some Enchanted Evening
Trade Winds
Sail Along, Silvery Moon
Sing Me A Song of the Islands
Bali Hai
Harbor Lights
Beyond the Reef

From the album "Return to Paradise Islands"
Return to Paradise
The Hukilau Song
The Old Plantation (Kuu Home)
Lovely Hula Hands
Love and Aloha
Keep Your Eyes on the Hands
Adventures in Paradise
Frangipani Blossom
Forevermore
Farewell My Tane
Beautiful Kahana
Home in Hawaii (King's Serenade)
My Little Grass Shack
The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai
Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
Ukulele Lady
King's Serenade

I also think the following songs, while not Hawaii/Polynesia-influenced, have a sort of big band/tiki vibe that is hard to put my finger on:

Fever by Peggy Lee
Teach Me Tiger by April Stevens
Summer Samba by Billy May
Nature Boy by Nat King Cole


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-25 2:17 pm   Permalink

Wow great suggestions, thanks! I will see what I can find of those.
I think some of Don Ho's music will fit what I'm looking for also.
_________________
"I want you to shake the freak tree and invite anyone that drops to the ground. Dwarfs and giants, magicians, Zulu tribesmen, contortionists, fire eaters... and priests. We're going to need to confess" Freddy Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody


 
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TikiHardBop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 551
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2018-10-25 3:04 pm   Permalink

Big Kahuna used to great live shows back in the Swing Revival era:

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/big-kahuna-and-the-copa-cat-pack-mn0000064019/biography

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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-25 5:17 pm   Permalink

Teach Me Tiger!!! I need a cold shower! LOL
I will check out Big Kahuna, thanks


 
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HotelCharlieEcho
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 35
Posted: 2018-10-26 5:02 pm   Permalink

Since nobody has answered the South Pacific soundtrack question yet, I'll give my two cents on that topic too.

If you're looking for songs to add to a high-brow, literate tiki bar playlist, I think the whole soundtrack fits just fine. I know the musical isn't considered strictly tiki by purists (are there any tikis used in the movie? can't remember), but in my mind it's one of the three legs of the Hollywood stool inspiring the mid-century Polynesia frenzy that in turn pushed tiki culture to its golden era, the other two being From Here to Eternity (1953) and Blue Hawaii (1961). Tiki nerds will enjoy the reference.

But if you're looking for something to blend in with a more diverse playlist of Bing Crosby, Don Ho, etc., then in my opinion the only song from the soundtrack that really works is Bali Hai (a whole thread on the song here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=25123&forum=11&hilite=south pacific). That said, you don't want Bloody Mary's version from the actual soundtrack - you want one of the solid early covers that were done by Bing, Peggy Lee or Sinatra. For my money I would take Peggy Lee's, but I have always been a sucker for her music.

TL,DR: Your South Pacific soundtrack idea is a good one, and Bali Hai is the best of the bunch.


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Hamo
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 22, 2016
Posts: 795
From: Colorado (via Iowa)
Posted: 2018-10-26 10:07 pm   Permalink

I'm with HotelCharlieEcho. Bali Hai is the only South Pacific track worth including here. I haven't heard Peggy Lee's version (but now I want to). The Sinatra version is good, and I like Andy Williams' haunting take on it, too.

I realize there's a lot of Bing Crosby suggestions already (no such thing as too much Bing, in my opinion), but I don't see one of my favorites: Along the Way to Waikiki.

A few songs featured in the Betty Grable movie Song of the Islands might fit; my favorite is Down on Ami Ami Oni Oni Isle.

And here are a few by Louis Armstrong: On a Coconut Island; On a Little Bamboo Bridge; To You, Sweetheart, Aloha; and Hawaiian Hospitality. (The latter by Dorothy Lamour is another good option).

[ This Message was edited by: Hamo 2018-10-26 22:08 ]


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-26 10:15 pm   Permalink

Thank you for all your help. I had listened to the OST version of Bali Hai and didn't care for it. You were right, I found and Andy Williams version and it's a beautiful song.

Thank you all for your input, I have plenty of new and old Exotica but wanted a different vibe occasionally. Here's what I was able to find;
1.Andy Williams - A Song Of Old Hawaii (2:34)
2.Bing Crosby - Aloha Oe (3:17)
3.Andy Williams - Bali H'ai (2:59)
4.Harry Belafonte - Banana Boat (Day O) (3:04)
5.Bing Crosby - Blue Hawaii (2:05)
6.Barry Manilow - Copa Cabana (5:44)
7.Bing Crosby - Dancing Under The Stars (2:37)
8.Peggy Lee - Fever (3:21)
9.Sammy Kaye - Harbor Lights (3:23)
10.Bing Crosby - Hawaiian Paradise (2:44)
11.Ames Brothers - Hawaiian War Chart (2:29)
12.Elvis Presley - Hawaiian Wedding Song (2:51)
13.Dixie Cups - Iko Iko (2:01)
14.Elvis Presley - Ku-U-I-Po (2:22)
15.Mills Brothers - Little Grass SHack (2:35)
16.Bing Crosby & Andrews Sister - Mele Kalikimaka (2:56)
17.Marty Robbins - My Isle of Golden Dreams (2:45)
18.Andrews Sisters - Pagan Love Song (2:30)
19.Bing Crosby - Palace in Paradise (3:08)
20.Perry Como - Papa Loves Mambo (2:40)
21.Burl Ives - Pearly Shells (2:25)
22.Perry Como - Red Sails in the Sunset (3:09)
23.Andrews Sisters - Rum & Coca Cola (3:11)
24.Bing Crosby - Song of the Islands (3:15)
25.Bing Crosby - South Sea Island Magic (3:01)
26.Don Ho - Tiny Bubbles (2:49)
27.Andy Williams - To You Sweetheart, Aloha (2:50)


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9287
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2018-10-26 10:31 pm   Permalink

Hamo, those are some great suggestions too, I will check them out. Listened ti the Armstrong songs, they're great
_________________
"I want you to shake the freak tree and invite anyone that drops to the ground. Dwarfs and giants, magicians, Zulu tribesmen, contortionists, fire eaters... and priests. We're going to need to confess" Freddy Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody


 
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EnchantedTikiGoth
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Posts: 332
From: Calgary, Canada
Posted: 2018-10-27 08:44 am   Permalink

Hawaiian War Chant was one of the most popular songs of the time period. I love Big Band in general and have about half a dozen versions of it... One of my favourite is the hotter-than-hot version by Tommy Dorsey from the film Ship Ahoy (incidentally, if you're looking for another fun film from that period, Honolulu is one of my favourites). Dorsey also has a cooler version out there.

Thanks for posting your list... it gives me something to pilfer too!


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