Are you a music aficionado with dreams of visiting Hawaii? People from all across the world associate Hawaii with its lush flora, dazzling blue oceans, and many waterfalls. Hawaii native Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo`ole represents popular conceptions of Hawaiian music. Hawaii’s musical history is hardly confined to IZ’s dulcet tones and soothing ukulele, however.
In fact, tourists may be surprised to learn that the King of Rock n’ Roll himself loved Hawaii; Elvis performed many live concerts and even filmed three movies there (including the iconic Blue Hawaii). What is the history of Elvis Presley and Hawaii, and how do many continue to honor Presley’s affection for the islands today?
Elvis Chooses Hawaii for the First Ever Internationally Televised Concert
In a press conference, Elvis announced that he would perform the very first concert aired on televisions worldwide on January 14, 1973. Viewers in 40 different countries enjoyed Elvis’ live performance — dubbed “Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite.” The concert earned $75,000 in profits for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. Elvis Presley’s official website describes the event, “Never has one performer held the world’s attention in such a way. Elvis was in top form physically and vocally. This is probably the pinnacle of his superstardom, one of the all-time great moments of his career.”
Elvis Performers: An Ongoing Hawaiian Legacy
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ famous concern, “Aloha From Hawaii.” Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Theatre hosted a competition to determine the best lookalike and soundalike, according to Hawaii News Now. Other artists strive to capture a more authentic Elvis show. These shows typically celebrate Elvis’ music, success, and overt affection for Hawaii and its inhabitants. Performers do not simply mimic Presley’s stage performances.
Hawaii has much more to offer than bright green foliage. Tourists can relive the excitement of Elvis’ greatest performances and gain some insight into the late King’s love of Hawaii.