Napua Stevens

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Napua Stevens
Napua Stevens.jpg
Stevens presenting the annual Kamehameha Day for KITV in the 1970s.
Born Harriet Daisy Kawaiala Kao'ionapuapi'ilani Stevens
August 31, 1918
Died January 7, 1990
Nationality Hawaiian, Irish, English
Spouse(s) Gordon Hunter Poire

Napua Stevens Poire (born Harriet Daisy Kawaiala Kao'ionapuaopi'ilani Stevens, August 31, 1918 – January 7, 1990) was a well-known Hawaiian entertainer, singer, hula dancer, musician, teacher, radio-TV personality, producer and author. Noted for her hits such as "Beyond The Reef" and "Hawaiian Hospitality" in the late 1940s, in the 1950s and later embarked upon a successful media career as a radio DJ for her own show KTRG and presenting her own TV cooking show Napua's Kitchen in the 1960s. She made two guest appearances in the popular series Hawaii Five-O and also presented the Aloha Week and Kamehameha Day hula shows.


Stevens was born on August 31, 1918 in Hawi, North Kohala, Hawaii. She was a descendant of Charles Stevens, an American whaler who arrived in Hawaii in the 1840s.[1] She was born one of six children of Robert Naea Stevens and Julia Kaaoaolahilahiokeohokalole Bell. Her name Napua was a shortened version of her name Kawaiala Kao'ionapuaopi'ilani which means "the perfumed water" and "the finest flower in the bouquet of Pi'ilani.[1] She was of Scots and native Hawai'ian ancestry.[2] Her great-great-grand-grandmother was a descendant of ancient native Hawai'ian kings.[3]

In 1949 she recorded Beyond The Reef on the Bell Records label (like her other hits), written by Canadian Jack Pitman.[4] It was later recorded by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and The Ventures. [4][5][6] Other notable hits include "Hawaiian Hospitality", "I Want to Learn to Speak Hawaiian", "Pretty Red Hibiscus", "May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii" and "What Aloha Means".[3] In the hit "Hawaiian Hospitality" she sings of meeting a handsome dark-eyed local on Waikiki beach and his Hawaiian hospitality. In "I Want to Learn to Speak Hawaiian" she sings of her desire to learn the Hawaiian language so "she can say the sweetest things and do the hula too."

In 1948 she joined the Aloha Week organization and was responsible for producing and narrating hundreds of hula shows, with performers such as Daddy Bray, Bill Ali'iloa Lincoln, Vickie I'i Rodrigues (her cousin) and others. In the 1950s she hosted her own radio show KTRG and presented her own TV cooking show Napua's Kitchen in the 1960s for eight years. Stevens later made some appearances as an actress, including two episodes of Hawaii Five-O (1969–1973).[7] She also narrated television coverage of the annual Kamehameha Day parade for years into the 1970s for KITV. Stevens was also talented at the crafts and in 1971 authored a book The Hawaiian Quilt which was an instruction/guide manual to the Hawaiian quilt.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

In her prime she was described as being particularly physically attractive with one person commenting that "Napua was the loveliness of all Island girls in one, a ripe-mango beauty with raven hair and ivory skin".[10] She was a cousin to Bill Ali'iloa Lincoln, another noted hula musician. Several people related to Napua Stevens are also successful musicians or entertainers in Hawaii.[11]

She died on January 7, 1990 at the age of 71.[12]


  1. ^ a b Bergin, Billy (2004). Loyal to the land: the legendary Parker Ranch, 750-1950. University of Hawaii Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8248-2692-5. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Media/scope. 1962. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Hopkins, Jerry (January 1982). The Hula. Apa Productions. p. 169. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Neale, David (15 September 2003). Roots of Elvis. iUniverse. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-595-29505-0. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Prigozy, Ruth; Raubicheck, Walter (November 2007). Going my way: Bing Crosby and American culture. University Rochester Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-58046-261-7. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Halterman, Del (1 July 2009). Walk-Don't Run - The Story of the Ventures. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-557-04051-3. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Rhodes, Karen; Freeman, Rose (February 2007). Booking Hawaii Five-O: An Episode Guide and Critical History of the 1968-1980 Television Detective Series. McFarland. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7864-3108-3. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Threads magazine. Taunton Press. 1987. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Brandon, Reiko Mochinaga; Woodard, Loretta G. H. (2004). Hawaiian quilts: tradition and transition. Honolulu Academy of Arts. ISBN 978-0-8248-2928-5. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  10. ^ One Sunday morning. Island Heritage. 1971. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Allen, Henry Kaleialoha (17 May 2008). How To Play The Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Mel Bay Publications. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-56647-864-9. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "DEATHS". USA Today. January 12, 1990. 

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