Palace in Paradise

2 02 2012

Palace in Paradise—Harry Owens, 1936 (Recorded February 2, 2012) I picked this song from Bing Crosby’s Decca version, which he recorded with Lani McIntire and His Hawaiians in about 1937. The song’s author, Harry Owens, was a Nebraskan by birth but got stuck on Hawaii when he visited the Islands and became music director for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in 1934. Owens’s best-known number is “Sweet Leilani,” which became a big hit for Crosby after it appeared in Bing’s flick, Waikiki Wedding. “Palace in Paradise” (and “Sweet Leilani,” for that matter) is considered a haole number, meaning it was not created by an aboriginal Hawaiian inhabitant but still possesses an Island sound.

I recorded this with the Earnest Instruments cigar box uke, straight up, and added a bit of reverb in the mix. On the instrumental break, I did a high falsetto yodel-like voice, and then beat the hell out of that with plenty of reverb, for that lonesome, cloud-covered pali feel.

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