Top positive review
1,233 people found this helpful
Something's gotta a hold on me......
on February 22, 2001
Last year, I saw an etoys commercial that began with a boy chasing fireflies and ended with his wise and loving father ordering a firefly 'kit' from etoys. It was a good ad, but what made it great was the music --- someone playing a 4-string ukulele and humming.
It was the oddest thing. Every morning this commercial ran on the 'Today' show, I'd get....misty. Without a word, the music generated pictures of home and love and security --- images of a world in which everything works.
I mentioned this commercial to others. They also had noticed the music and had been moved by it. But no one knew who the singer was.
Then a colleague quietly played a CD in her office: the soundtrack of the Sean Connery film, 'Finding Forrester. And along came this song. Its title: 'Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World.' The singer: a Hawaiian named Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who, as a quick Web search revealed, had died in 1997 at the age of 38.
I read up on IZ, and learned IZ called his producer and said there was a song he had to record. He showed up at the studio at midnight with his ukulele -- and, in 5 minutes, created "Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World."
In 1996, National Public Radio did a piece on IZ and played 'Over the Rainbow.' Listeners called in; sales shot up. And music insiders like Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon and Bette Midler were no longer alone in their admiration for IZ.
The following year, when IZ died, it was clear that he was the Bob Marley of Hawaii. His casket lay in state at the Capitol, and 10,000 fans came to say goodbye. The next day, friends paddled a double-hulled voyaging canoe into Makua Bay, where IZ and his friends had camped out and played music over the years. It was in this bay, in l982, that IZ had scattered the ashes of his brother Skippy, who had died of a heart attack; now the brothers would be united.
There was thunderous cheering as IZ's ashes were poured into the water. It continued for an hour. To be with IZ one last time, family members and friends ran into the ocean. And the music continued into the night.
It still does.