Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Posted: March 4, 2008 in music
Tags: , , ,

The Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of Somewhere over the rainbow and Wonderful World. With an animation / slide show done by klet makulet? Any time you just want to sit back and relax or groove on a wonderful sound, listen to this track.
In case you have been under a rock somewhere and don’t know who Iz is, Wikipedia has this information.
Israel “Iz” Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole (May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997) (pronounced [ka-maka-vi-vo-ole]) was a Hawaiian musician.
He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 with his medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”, which was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and commercials.
From childhood, his family called Israel by his Hawaiian middle name, Ka’ano’i, the “beloved one”. His name would later become the title name of his first solo album, Ka’ano’i, and also foretells the greatness of this “cherished one”. It is interesting to note here that part of his name, ano;i, when simplified to no’i may be a contraction of the Hawaiian word, nohi. Nohi means “bright-colored, vivid, as the rainbow” (see Hawaiian Dictionary, Pukui and Elbert). Nohi, rainbow, beloved one, and cherished one are powerful symbols in his life. Iz’s recording of the song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” would become renowned throughout the world and continues to garner high acclaim. The song has come to be known as Iz’s “signature song”, the most renowned of all his songs.
Kamakawiwo’ole was nicknamed “The Gentle Giant” by his admirers. He was described as always cheerful and positive, and he was best known for his love of the land and of the people of Hawai’i. Through his consummate ukulele playing and incorporation of other idioms (such as jazz and reggae), Iz remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music over the last 15 years.

As good as the versions by Eva Cassidy, Judy Garland and even Katherine McPhee were, they surely do not hold a candle to this version. Just unbelievably beautiful.


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