Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Over The Rainbow
by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole

I was searching for nice song to sing with a ukulele and then I remember, years ago, hearing a version of Judy Garland's 1939 song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung buy a man with just a ukulele as accompaniment. So here I found it and I am glad to have learned about the man behind this beautiful rendition.

Iz Kamakawiwo'ole, born May 20, 1959, was an American musician from Hawaii. His music became famous outside his homeland when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" was featured in a number of movies, TV series and TV ads. It had millions of paid downloads, climbed international charts from 2004 to 2010. (It might have not gone mainstream in the Philippines?). Fourteen years after his death he was honored with a German national music award (Echo) in March 2011.

Aside from being a singer/songwriter and a skillful ukulele player he was also known as a promoter of Hawaiian rights and Hawaiian independence. He is loved by many and thousands of people gathered to pay their last respect to the man as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Makua Beach in July 12, 1997. He was 38. You'll see that event in this video. Give it a listen. Quite relaxing. 

I'm just gonna look for the lyrics and chords...

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