April 14, 2007

RIP - Don Ho

Hawai'ian entertainer Do Ho passed away this morning. From the The Honolulu Advertiser:
King of Waikiki entertainment dies
World-renowned entertainer Don Ho died this morning, officials have confirmed.

He was 76.

Ho suffered a heart attack about 10:15 a.m. at his Waikiki area home, and was transported in critical condition to The Queen's Medical Center,officials said. He died at the medical center, officials said.

In late 2005, Ho underwent an experimental stem cell procedure in Bangkok to strengthen his heart.

Ho's health improved after the surgery and in October, 2006 was able to return to the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, where he performed twice a week.

Ho, a 1949 Kamehameha Schools graduate, got his start at Honey's restaurant in the 1960s to attract customers to his mother's waning Kane'ohe business.

He gained prominence while singing at the now-defunct Duke Kahanamoku's in Waikiki from 1964 to 1970. The lounge was a hot spot for local and visiting entertainers, who would stop in to watch Ho perform or join him on stage.

His fame spread to the Mainland after he appeared at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles in 1966.

His sold-out shows led to appearances at the Sands in Las Vegas, Harrah's at Lake Tahoe and at hot spots in New York and Chicago. He also made guest appearances with Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop and Art Linkletter.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said this afternoon, "Don was a personal friend of my family because I come from a family of musicians," Hannemann said. "He was definitely an icon. He will be sorely missed."
One of the great ones... Posted by DaveH at April 14, 2007 6:27 PM | TrackBack