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Sunday, November 12, 2023

Polynesian Holiday - Harry Owens


Come Back To Rarotonga

Polynesian Holiday
Harry Owens And His Royal Hawaiians 
Cover Photo by James Knott, from "The Tahitian"
Capitol Records T804

From the back cover: The jaunt that Harry Owens made through the golden triangle of Pacific Islands known as Polynesia was a full 19,000 miles long. By flying boat, outrigger canoe, inter-island pig boat, yacht, catamaran, raft, and surfboard, he traveled from British Fiji on the west, to French Tahiti and the Tuamotu Archipelago on the east, then back to Polynesia's norther top: American Hawaii. His experiences were many. At a kava-drinking ceremony in the Fiji Islands he was made leader of a Fijian clan. In Pago Pago, capital of American Samoa, he was declared an honorary tribal chief. In Bora Bora, French Oceania, he was an honored guest for a week in the thatched hut of a native priest.

The purpose of his trek, besides the sheer pleasure of visiting the South Seas, was to make movies for the new Harry Owens television show, "Polynesian Holiday," But Harry, whose love affair with the South Pacific has never been a secret, just naturally started writing songs too. For besides being a famous exponent of Polynesian music, he is one of the most prolific writers of its songs. Years ago he wrote Sweet Leilani to honor his first-born daughter, and in the last war, he heard his To You, Sweetheart, Aloha being sung by marching Anzacs from "down under."

It's little wonder, then, that he wont up his hard-working holiday with a wonderful batch of brand-new compositions. He found inspiration wherever he visited: varied scenes of tropical beauty, a moment of contentment contrasted with the sudden fury of the elements, the golden laughter of South Seas life, the vast and lonely ocean, the lush islands, barren atolls, and always the singing and dancing that are so rich a part of Polynesia. The songs that resulted are fresh testament to Harry Owens' love and understanding of the islands, his kinship with the carefree natives who live in a peace, friendship and brotherhood unparalleled in history.

This album presents twelve of these new tunes, arranged by Harry Owens and performed by the Royal Hawaiians and Polynesian Choir, along with Harry's featured vocalists. Here, to be enjoyed again and again, is the enchanting music of a Polynesian holiday.

Tradewind - Barbara Ames and Bob Marlo. 
Lovely Tahiti - Eddie Bush
Bora Bora
Cruel Relentless Sea - Barbara Ames
More - Bob Marlo
Isa Lei
Come Back To Rarotonga - Bob Marlo
Where East Meets West - Barbara Ames
Hawaii, My Island
Polynesian Holiday
Iaorana (Yo-rah-nah)
Samoan Farewell

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