Affectionately known as the Ambassador to Hawaii in his lifetime, Do Ho would be 90 years old today. For 40 years, his name was synonymous with Pacific Island leisure, as was “Tiny Bubbles,” his signature hit, which helped turn him into a national figure.
Today the Waikiki International Market Place is honoring HO with a special video seen below. It features archive footage, photos, and new interviews from friends and family. The shopping center also has a bronze sculpture of Ho that was designed by Oahu-based artist Kim Duffett.
Ho was often called the Hawaiian Elvis. In 1967, Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles” reached No. 8 on the Billboard charts. Other popular tunes recorded by Ho are “I’ll Remember You,” “Pearly Shells,” “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” “Hanalei Moon” and “Kanaka Wai Wai.”
He got the idea to have a music career was serving at Travis AFB. While there he purchased an electronic keyboard and that’s when it all started. Prior to that he graduated from the Kamehameha Schools in 1949, then played football for Springfield College and returned to the islands to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at the University of Hawaii in 1953.
Ho grew up in Kaneohe and started singing at Honey’s which was a restaurant and lounge owned by his mom. He exemplified the melting-pot ideal with his ethnic background of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and German descent.
Don Ho sadly passed away on April 14, 2007, at age 76. He will be forever missed.