Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Nov 13, 2006

A friend made me a CD a few weeks ago and included a sublime rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, but he didn’t know who the artist was. I heard the same song on a commercial for Rice Krispies today while watching CNN. I quickly went to my computer and used Google to dispatch a query through the tubes of The Internet which led me to this Yahoo! Answers page that solved the mystery. Apparently the song was also featured in 50 First Dates.

The song is by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who is certainly not who you’d expect if you hear the very ethereal nature of his rendition. Iz, made numerous albums in the style of his native Hawaii often advocating Hawaiian independence. His music features a lot of ukulele, much like Jake Shimabukuro, who has also grabbed my interest recently.