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Biographies - Don Ho
Don Ho
Image Source: Hawaii Travel Letter
Don Ho
Born: August 13, 1930
Died: April 14, 2007
Hawaiian musician and entertainer. In the fall of 1966, Ho released his most famous song, "Tiny Bubbles", which charted on both the pop and easy listening charts and caused the subsequent "Tiny Bubbles" LP to remain in the album Top 20 for almost a year.


Links: Don Ho Official Web Site
  Don Ho at the Internet Movie Database

Don was born in the little Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, German parentage but soon moved to Kaneohe. Dons climb to todays heady heights began in a cocktail lounge in the windward Oahu town of Kaneohe called Honeys, named after his mother. After returning from the Air Force, Don took over Honeys in Kaneohe, Hawaii. "When I took it over, the place was empty," says Ho. It was packed everyday during the war years. My dad said Son, you go make music." Ho gathered a couple of friends who knew how to play musical instruments and started a band. "I was terrible," says Ho. "So, I just played very softly." Needless to say, business boomed.

Playing and learning from the talented musicians he hired for shows, Ho created his own musical image. In 1962, Ho began playing at Dukes in Waikiki. "Thats when things started happening for us with records, TV shows and everything," says Ho. These were the days of Dons greatest development as an entertainer and a star. Backing him were the sensational five Aliis, playing piano, drums, two guitars, xylophone and doubling on half a dozen other instruments. Don presided at the organ, a glass of scotch in his hand, a cigarette burning in the ashtray. (He quit drinking and smoking in 1990) The music was outstanding; the humor was fast and snappy. Tourists came, but so did locals and, after a while, visiting Hollywood stars--any of whom might take to the stage. Raising his glass in salute, Don would urge the audience to "suckem up," and they did.

Those rowdy, rollicking years brought stardom to Don and made Dukes Hawaiis most popular nightclub. Don, the Aliis, Duke Kahanamoku, Kimo McVay, young singers like Robin Wilson, Angel Pablo, Sam Kapu and everybody else on stage had a ball every night. The audience felt it and shared it and kept coming back for more. During his years at Dukes, Don literally erupted on the national show biz scene, first and most suddenly in a two-week engagement at Hollywoods ultra-posh Cocoanut Grove in 1966. His opening night was a triumph, breaking all previous attendance records, and he went on to play to turn-away crowds nightly.

With such a "debut," other star turns naturally followed: return engagements at the Grove, feature spots at the Sands in Las Vegas, Harrahs at Lake Tahoe, the Palmer House in Chicago, the Americana Hotels Royal Box in New York, TV guest appearances with Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop and Art Linkletter, and his own hour-long color TV special--not to mention a clutch of best-selling LP record albums for Reprise. From his home based in Hawaii, Don launched out to discover old and new fans all over the country.

Ho had ten children.[5] His daughter, Hōkū, performed with her father in his Waikīkī show and in 2000 went on to become a nationally known recording artist in her own right.

Ho was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2005 and had a pacemaker installed. He contacted Theravitae, a biotechnology company specializing in treating heart conditions with adult stem cells working in conjunction with Dr. Amit Patel, a cardiac surgeon and pioneer of the use of adult stem cells for heart disease. On December 6, 2005, Ho had his own blood-derived stem cells injected into his heart by Patel with his surgeons in Thailand. The treatment went without incident. Later in the month, Ho said, "Im feeling much better and Im so happy I came up here to do it."

In September 2006, Ho married Haumea Hebenstreit, who produced his show at the Waikīkī Beachcomber. Although he had a new pacemaker installed on September 16, 2006, Ho died in Waikīkī from heart failure on April 14, 2007.

Bio Source: Don Ho Official Site®    Introduction    Privacy Policy    Conditions of Use    

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