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Hawaii's Top 40 Hits: 1950s to 1980s

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UPDATED MAY 24, 2008

Liz Damon & the Orient Express first album covr Welcome to the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide's page of Hawaii Top 40 Hits: 1950s to 1980s. This page will present in a tabled format a list with hotlinks to songs that were popular radio hits mainly in Hawaii and not on the U.S. mainland. The genres of music listed may include rock, pop, R&B, soul, disco, dance, Hawaiian, island, reggae and country. Various artists from the genres are represented, many of whom never made it to the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

This does not mean that Hawaii artists did not make the Billboard Hot 100. Far from it. A rather large handful of Hawaii's most well known artists have had at least one hit single listed on the Hot 100.

Hawaii artists who have made the Billboard Hot 100 include Yvonne Elliman, Glenn Medeiros, Don Ho, Arthur Lyman and Bette Midler. Some of them went all the way to the Top 10, a few making it to #1.

Other Hawaii artists never had a record go near the Hot 100 or even "bubble under" that chart. That does not mean their records were not good. Fact is Hawaii people have a connection to a lot of local music that never make it on the mainland. Artists in this catergory include well known luminaries such as Cecilio & Kapono, Kalapana, Peter Moon and Gabby Pahinui. All very popular, none going to the Hot 100.

Island Summer 60s & 70s One of them was Sonny Geraci and Climax's "Precious and Few" which was a huge #1 hit in Hawaii about six months before it broke into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Glenn Medeiros won the old KIKI "Brownbags to Stardom" contest with his cover of George Benson's "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You." That record was played on Hawaii radio long before it became a nationwide top 20 hit.

Many hits by mainland and foreign artists were hits only in Hawaii and not on the mainland. One of the most well known is The Rascals' "My Hawaii" which was an album track on their 1968 release Once Upon a Dream. The beautiful ballad was never released as a single but became a perennial radio favorite over the years and got listed on several local radio station charts as one of Hawaii's all time favorites.

Several songs have now been released to the Neos Productions compilation, Island Summer 60s & 70s.

There are many others, some of which are listed below.

You will notice that some songs are highlighted with hot links while others are not. Some artists are also hot linked while others are not. Clicking on a song title link will bring up information about the song. Clicking on the artist link will bring a link to a compact disc on which that artist's song is available. Those songs and artists without links have no current information or lacks availability on compact disc. The list will be periodically updated.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: MEL'S 45 RPM HEAVEN | POLL RESULTS

DISCUSSION TOPICS: HAWAII MEDIA FORUM | HAWAIIPEOPLE.NET | GOOGLE NEWSGROUPS

CHARTS: KPOI TOP 300 - 1972 | KPOI TOP 300 - 1973 | KCCN TOP 150

STREAMS: I webcast several streams that feature some of the songs listed below. Check them out:

  • Finetune.com: Class of 1975 - Oldies from 1964 to 1975.
  • Finetune.com: Solid Gold Oldies 1960 - 1963
  • Finetune.com: Memories Are Made of This
  • Finetune.com: Classic Rock Volume 1
  • Finetune.com: The Ultimate 70s Mix
  • Finetune.com: Suddenly the 80s
  • Oldie45s.Muxtape.com: Records That You May Have Forgotten...
  • These playlists are occasionally updated, so check back from time to time. Enjoy the music.

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    HAWAII'S TOP 40 HITS: 1950s to 1980s*

    Song TitleArtistYearHot 100
    Happy Hawaii Abba 1977 DNC
    Morning of our Lives Arkade 1971 #60
    Yellow Bird Arthur Lyman Group 1961 #4
    Love For Sale Arthur Lyman Group 1963 #43
    Taboo Arthur Lyman Group 1959 #55
    Sunshine Ship Arthur, Hurley & Gottilieb 1973 DNC
    Lovers and Friends Audy Kimura 1982 DNC
    Life Is You Batdorf & Rodney 1976 DNC
    Somewhere in the Night Batdorf & Rodney 1975 #69
    Beast of Burden Bette Midler 1984 #71
    Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B Bette Midler 1973 #8
    Do You Wanna Dance Bette Midler 1972 #17
    Friends Bette Midler 1973 #40
    From a Distance Bette Midler 1990 #2
    The Rose Bette Midler 1980 #3
    Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler 1989 #1
    Beach Rock Blue Finn 1982 DNC
    We Were Always Sweethearts Boz Scaggs 1971 #61
    Lowdown Boz Scaggs 1976 #3
    Harbor Lights Boz Scaggs 1976 DNC
    What Can I Say Boz Scaggs 1976 #42
    Someone, Someone Brian Poole & the Tremeloes 1964 #97
    About You Cecilio & Kapono 1975 DNC
    Friends Cecilio & Kapono 1974 DNC
    Goodnight & Goodmorning Cecilio & Kapono 1975 DNC
    Gotta Get Away Cecilio & Kapono 1974 DNC
    I Love You Cecilio & Kapono 1977 DNC
    Sailing Cecilio & Kapono 1977 DNC
    Searchin' Cecilio & Kapono 1976 DNC
    Song For Someone Cecilio & Kapono 1974 DNC
    Summer Lady Cecilio & Kapono 1975 DNC
    Sunflower Cecilio & Kapono 1974 DNC
    Sunshine Love Cecilio & Kapono 1974 DNC
    Caroline This Time Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1972 DNC
    Child of December Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1971 DNC
    Life & Breath Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1972 #52
    Precious & Few Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1972 #3
    Rock n Roll Heaven Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1973 DNC
    Walking in the Georgia Rain Climax featuring Sonny Gerracci 1973 DNC
    Come Run With Me Copper Nickel 1971 DNC
    Walk Close To Me Copper Nickel 1971 DNC
    If That's The Way That You Want It Diamond Head 1973 DNC
    Three Cheers For Love Dick Jensen 1971 DNC
    Tiny Bubbles Don Ho & The Ali'is 1966 #57
    I Hear Those Churchbells Ringing Dusk 1971 #53
    Blue Hawaii Elvis Presley 1961 DNC
    Can't Help Falling in Love With You Elvis Presley 1961 #2
    Ku'uipo Elvis Presley 1961 DNC
    I Love You For All Seasons Fuzz 1971 #21
    All I'm Missing is You Glenn Medeiros with Ray Parker Jr. 1990 #32
    Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You Glenn Medeiros 1987 #12
    The Long & Lasting Love Glenn Medeiros 1988 #68
    Watching Over You Glenn Medeiros 1987 #80
    She's Ain't Worth It Glenn Medeiros & Bobby Brown 1989 #1
    Me - U = Blue Glenn Medeiros with The Stylistics 1990 #78
    Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone Glenn Medeiros 1987 #67
    Song For Anna Herb Ohta 1976 DNC
    Pipeline Sequence Honk 1972 DNC
    Summer Sun Jamestown Massacre 1972 #90
    Guilty of Loving You Jerry Fuller 1961 #94
    Cheryl Moana Marie John Rowles 1971 #64
    Juanita Chiquita John Rowles 1973 DNC
    She's All I Got John Rowles 1972 DNC
    Big Yellow Taxi Joni MItchell 1970 #24
    Life is That Way Jose Feliciano 1971 DNC
    (For You) I'd Chase a Rainbow Kalapana 1976 DNC
    Black Sand Kalapana 1976 DNC
    Dorothy Louise Kalapana 1976 DNC
    Girl Kalapana 1977 DNC
    Lost Again Kalapana 1976 DNC
    Many Classic Moments Kalapana 1978 DNC
    Moon & Stars Kalapana 1976 DNC
    Naturally Kalapana 1975 DNC
    Nightbird Kalapana 1975 DNC
    The Hurt Kalapana 1975 DNC
    You Make It Hard Kalapana 1975 DNC
    Honolulu City Lights Keola & Kapono Beamer 1978 DNC
    Pretty Lady Lighthouse 1973 #53
    1900 Yesterday Liz Damon & the Orient Express 1970 #33
    Just Another Morning Liz Damon & the Orient Express 1971 DNC
    Me Japanese Boy (I Love You) Liz Damon & the Orient Express 1973 DNC
    Sing Me (I'm a Song) Liz Damon & the Orient Express 1974 DNC
    Lahaina Loggins & Messina 1973 DNC
    Orange Skies Love 1966 DNC
    Do You Wanna Dance Love Society 1968 DNC
    Suavecito Malo 1972 #18
    Mandrill Mandrill 1971 #94
    Quiet Village Martin Denny 1959 #4
    The Enchanted Sea Martin Denny 1959 #28
    Martinique Martin Denny 1959 #88
    A Taste of Honey Martin Denny 1962 #50
    Love Can Make You Happy Mercy 1969 #2
    Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep Middle of the Road 1971 DNC
    Louisiana Mike Kennedy 1972 #62
    Road To Hana Mu 1974 DNC
    I Want You to Know New Colony Six 1969 #65
    Long Time To Be Alone New Colony Six 1971 #93
    Ku'u Home O Kahalu'u Olomana 1976 DNC
    Can't Find the Time Orpheus 1969 #80
    Island Woman Pablo Cruise 1976 DNC
    Fate Yanagi Rap Reiplinger 1978 DNC
    Room Service Rap Reiplinger 1978 DNC
    Circle Game Rick Ely 1971 DNC
    Morning Girl Rick Ely 1971 DNC
    Smiling Islands Robbie Patton & Stevie Nicks 1983 #52
    Susie Darling Robin Luke 1958 #5
    Chatto Matte Kudasai Sam Kapu Jr. 1971 DNC
    You're My Everything Santa Esmeralda 1978 DNC
    Follow Your Road Seawind 1977 DNC
    One Sweet Night Seawind 1978 DNC
    The Devil is a Liar Seawind 1977 DNC
    Whatcha Doin' Seawind 1980 DNC
    I Think We're Alone Now Shnazz 1980 DNC
    99.8 (Love Fever) Society of Seven 1974 DNC
    Frisco Bay Society of Seven 1971 DNC
    Howzit Brah Society of Seven 1971 DNC
    My Special Angel Society of Seven 1973 DNC
    We Can Make It Girl Society of Seven 1971 DNC
    Remember Mary Sweet Marie 1970 DNC
    Stella's Candy Store Sweet Marie 1972 DNC
    Stuck in Paradise Sweet Marie 1971 DNC
    Honolulu City Lights The Carpenters 1981 DNC
    I Found Someone of My Own The Free Movement 1971 #5
    I'm So Proud The Main Ingredient 1970 #49
    You Make Me Feel So Good The McCoys 1966 #53
    The Pushbike Song The Mixtures 1971 #44
    I Dig Everything About You The Mob 1971 #83
    Groovin' (Out on Life) The Newbeats 1969 #82
    My Hawaii The Rascals 1968 DNC
    Theme from "The Endless Summer" The Sandals 1966 DNC
    Ebony Eyes The Stylistics 1972 DNC
    Star on a TV Show The Stylistics 1975 #47
    Smoke Two Joints The Toys 1983 DNC
    Hawaii Five-0 The Ventures 1969 #4
    Love Song The Vogues 1971 DNC
    Sunlight Three Dog Night 1970 DNC
    Forevermore Tokyo Happy Coats 1970 DNC
    Here is Happiness Tokyo Happy Coats 1971 DNC
    Palolo Valley Girls Wili Moku & the Mokettes 1982 DNC
    Everything's Alright Yvonne Elliman 1971 #92
    Hello Stranger Yvonne Elliman 1977 #15
    I Can't Explain Yvonne Elliman 1971 DNC
    I Can't Get You Outta My Mind Yvonne Elliman 1981 DNC
    I Don't Know How To Love Him Yvonne Elliman 1971 #28
    If I Can't Have You Yvonne Elliman 1978 #1
    Love Me Yvonne Elliman 1976 #14
    Love Pains Yvonne Elliman 1979 #34
    Moment By Moment Yvonne Elliman 1978 #59

    * Links to online music shopping sites do not constitute an endorsement by this site, but are provided to the users as an informational reference point. Hawaii Radio & Television Guide does not collect any royalties or payment from referenced sites should users decide to purchase a CD linked from this page.

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    Comments, contributions and corrections? Send them to macpro3000@yahoo.com.

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