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1996 Hall of Fame Honoree

Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs


Composer, singer, musician, band leader and recording artist, Alvin K. Isaacs left us a legacy of more than 300 songs including the comic "No Huhu" and "Ho`omalimali" and the lilting "Analani E", and "Mama E". Reportedly, His "Nalani" was first recorded by Alfred Apaka singing with Randy Oness' Select Hawaiian Serenaders. Many of Alvin Isaacs songs are popular standards today.

Alvin Isaacs taught himself to play most string and wind instruments before the age of 10. He formed his own orchestra at age 13 and began his successful song writing career a year later, composing the still-popular "Kau`ionalani". When his mother used war stamps to buy him a cheap "cracker-box guitar", he successfully converted it into a workable steel guitar.

Alvin Isaacs began his full-time music career by accident. His daytime job as a motorcycle patrolman for the Honolulu Police force came to abrupt end when a traffic accident hospitalized him for a year and left him with permanent leg injuries. Soon after, in his mid-twenties, he organized his first group, the K.M.M. Syncopators, made up of friends. He formed the original Royal Hawaiians, and then several groups of his own. Alvin Kaleolani & the Royal Polynesians supplied music for the nation-wide program "The Voice of Hawai`i" on NBC. It was his quartet, the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders, however, which made musical history at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Recordings and four mainland tours which broke attendance records at leading West Coast hotels brought him to the attention of Bing Crosby and Hollywood.

The third of ten children, Alvin Isaacs was a dedicated family man with ten children of his own. He was an active member of the Musicians Union, ASCAP and the Hawaiian Professional Songwriters' Society. His legacy of Hawaiian songs and musical entertainment has lived on through his sons slack key virtuoso Leland "Atta" Isaacs, musician and singer Norman K. Isaacs, and the late steel guitarist Alvin K. "Barney" Isaacs, Jr.

Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 4717, Honolulu, HI 96812-4717
Phone: (808) 372-8921
Fax: (808) 596-8680
Email: HMHoF