Jazz musician brings familiar sounds back to life (part one) - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Jazz musician brings familiar sounds back to life (part one)

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(HawaiiNewsNow) - For 79-year-old musician Henry Allen, music has practically been his whole life, having performed for more than 60 years.

Allen is the last Hawaiian Steel Guitarist for the world famous "Hawaii Calls" radio broadcast show. During the early Hawaiian Territorial days, he has played with local artists such as Alfred Apaka and René Paulo at renowedn clubs like Trader Vic's, the Banyan Court, the Orchid Room and the Shell Bar.

Polishing his jazz guitar talents in Los Angeles in the midst of the swing days of Hollywood, Allen was scouted as the lead singer for the Martin Denny band. He also contracted "Big Shows" at the Brown Derby, General Lee's and the Seven Seas.

His music encompassed the movie industry in TV shows such as "Blue Hawaii" and "Hawaiian Eye." He was also a featured guest on "Rosie O'Donnell" and NBC's "The Today Show." Allen's talents even extended to Las Vegas and the "Greek Theater" in Los Angeles, where he arranged and produced a 56-piece orchestra to open for the Don Ho show.

His love of the islands took him to Maui where he produced and starred in his own productions in all the major hotels and resorts in Hawaii. On a different note, he also arranged and produced textbooks. He was then recognized for being "The Master Artist" of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Hawaiian music by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists.

Allen's latest CD releases include "Step Into My Life" and "Lei of Stars."

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