Hal Aloma

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Hal Aloma
BornHarold David Alama
(1908-01-08)January 8, 1908[1]
DiedJune 26, 1980(1980-06-26) (aged 72)[1]

Hal Aloma (January 8, 1908 – June 26, 1980)[2] was a Hawaiian steel guitarist, singer and bandleader.


Aloma was born on January 8, 1908[2] in Honolulu[3] as Harold David Alama.[4] He changed his name in the 1930s in response to the movies Bird of Paradise and Aloma of the South Seas.[3] Aloma joined Lani McIntyre's band as steel guitarist. He began his musical career with his brother, Sam Alama at the Alexander Young Hotel and the Moana Hotel.[5] Under his own name, he recorded three sessions for Decca records between February and April 1944.[4] In 1944, when McIntyre left a four-year booking at the Hawaiian Room in New York's Hotel Lexington, Aloma formed his own band and took over the engagement.[6] MGM booked him for two sessions in 1952, resulting in eight sides which were later compiled into an LP album.[4] He first recorded for Columbia Records in August and September 1953, resulting in song appearing not only on U.S. Columbia, but on Japanese Columbia and Philips in the Netherlands.[4] He was featured on the Ed Sullivan Show on June 19, 1960 in a segment in tribute to Hawaii's statehood.[7] When Disney's Polynesian Village Resort opened Aloma was the bandleader.[3] Aloma died on June 26, 1980.[2]


Aloma was accounted as a "typical" traditional Hawaiian singer, although he recorded tracks that were intended to appeal to currently popular tastes.[8] His original band's instrumentation had more in common with the big band of the day than with traditional Hawaiian music.[6] Nevertheless it was accounted to be smooth "island music" even though it also performed current American pop music.[6] In addition to musicians, his touring band also employed young women as hula dancers.[9] Billboard stated that "Hawaiian music at its best is expected" of Aloma, describing his music as authentic and charming.[10] He composed more than 65 songs.[5]

Partial discography[edit]


  • King's Serenade - Decca A-429. (1946)[11]
  • King's Serenade Volume 2 - Decca A-506 (1946)[4]
  • A Musical Portrait of Hawaii - Columbia CL 538. (1950s)[12]
  • Hal Aloma Sings Hawaiian Songs - Dot 3451/25451 (1962)[8]
  • Hawaiian Dreams - Dot 3758/25758 (1966)[10]


  1. ^ a b "Hal Aloma". IMDb.com.
  2. ^ a b c "Hal Aloma". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  3. ^ a b c Ruymar, Lorene (1996). The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and its Great Hawaiian Musicians. Anaheim Hills, California: Centerstream Publishing. p. 82. ISBN 1-57424-021-8.
  4. ^ a b c d e Rockwell, T. Malcolm (2007). Hawaiian and Hawaiian Guitar Records: 1891 - 1960. Kula, Hawaii: Mahina Piha Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780615149820.
  5. ^ a b Todaro, Tony. "Hal Aloma". Squareone.org. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Ross, Paul (November 11, 1944). "On the Stand: Hal Aloma". Billboard. p. 18 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Inman, David M. (2005). Television Variety Shows: Histories and Episode Guides to 57 Programs. McFarland. p. 95. ISBN 9781476608778.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews of New Albums". Billboard. August 25, 1962. p. 36 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Imada, Adria L. (2012). Aloha America: Hula Circuits Through the U.S. Empire. Duke University Press. pp. 191, 193. ISBN 9780822352075.
  10. ^ a b "Album Reviews: Special Merit Picks". Billboard. December 10, 1966. p. 46 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Smith, H. Royer (May 1946). "Vocal". The New Records. Vol. 14, no. 3. Philadelphia, Pennsylviania: H. Royer Smith Company – via archive.org.
  12. ^ Phillips, Stacey (2016). The Art of Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Mel Bay Publications. p. 53. ISBN 9781610654753.