Home > Music That I've Encountered > Johnny Ukulele, 1950’s TV Apperance As A Hawaiian Cowboy

Johnny Ukulele, 1950’s TV Apperance As A Hawaiian Cowboy

Uploaded by MindsiMedia on Dec 12, 2011

“You Asked For It” was an early “reality” tv show where people would send in requests to see strange things. We posted another clip from it that had a Theremin player on it. In this one a woman from Texas writes in wanting to see one of these Hawaiian cowboys her husband had seen while in the service. This leads to Johnny Ukulele’s spot. He is from a noble Hawaiian family and as a teenager traveled to America to play in a band touring with famed surfer Duke Kahanamoku.

He liked it so much he stayed for thirty years touring the country spreading the sounds of the islands. He spent a lot of the time in the midwest and one of his biggest fans was Al Capone’s brother Ralph who gave a suite in one of the mobs hotels.

Johnny was also an expert swimmer who competed against Johnny Weismuller and Buster Crabbe and others. He cut one lp on Capitol in the late 50’sit wouldn’t be until 1961 that he would finally return to Hawaii. After returning to the mainland he became a fixture in Vegas until his death in 1971.

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