There is one song that every time I hear it, it resonates over and over in my brain for sometime afterwards, it is that beautiful. I absolutely adore this rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It seems I’m not the only one. I first heard it on RTÉ.ie Radio1: The John Creedon Show and, as with the latter, being mesmerised by the song, so too was I. [There is another singer that J.C. finds very moving, his name is Jer Wolfe, I too concur, when I heard him sing Down the Curra Road.] I shan’t, however, go down that road on this occasion. It’s very saddening to know that the former singer has departed this world. His name was Israel Iz Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole. I went in search of information and discovered that he was an iconic figure on the island he came from – Hawaii.
“(Hawaiian pronunciation: [kaˌmaka,vivo,olay]) translation: “The Fearless Eyed”; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), also called Bruddah Iz (“Brother Iz”), was a Hawaiian musician.
His voice became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” was subsequently featured in several films, television programmes, and television advertisement commercials. Through his skillful ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres (such as jazz and reggae), Kamakawiwoʻole’s music remains a very strong influence in Hawaiian music.” Wiki.
I was astounded to see how many hits Iz got on just one YouTube video = 20,036,733. Gosh, there was an industry surrounding him, so John Creedon, whom I mentioned at the outset had the same gut feeling about him, as I did and millions more besides in the far outreachs of the world.
Am so glad to have made the discovery. I was of the impression beforehand that the singer was African American, jazz /blues because of the sound, but it appears that Iz was influenced by reggae, so I wasn’t far off the mark.