Hali`a Aloha
Fondly Remember

Braddah Iz with Uncle Charlie

To recollect thoughts about that boy (Bradda Iz) is recalling some pleasant thoughts.

In the early 70's, I was fortunate to be involved with a lot of entertainers, as we used to use Radio Station KCCN to promote our cause, which at that time was reparations for the Hawaiian people from the U.S. Government for the Illegal Overthrow (now officially recognized as illegal) of the last Queen of Hawaii Liliuokalani. Everyone thought we were crazy except our Hawaiian people and especially our entertainers. I became good friends with Don Ho, Zoulu, Danny Kaleikini, Moe Keala, Gabby Pahinui, his sons, Sonny Chillingsworth, his wife Kiki, Myra English, Billy Huland, god I could go on and on. But every time I would be in Honolulu, I would go walk into to KCCN (it was only AM at that time) and with Krash Kealoha, The Honolulu Skylark, Jackie Rossiti, my cousin Kimo Kahoano, Sam Kapu and a whole slew of part time "jocks". Who ever was on the board that day, would drop what they did and talk about Hawaiian issues. On one of these times, I first met Skippy and Israel at the Station. We spoke about the overthrow, the movement that we were pushing in Congress and only Skippy was really interested. Israel somehow was young and not interested and very jokey. He was the one used to talk a lot on stage and keep the group going but when Hawaiian issues came up, Skippy was the one that really had a grasp of what the issues were about. Israel would "make fun" of everything.

I remember after they released the song "Hawaii '78", some friends and I just returned from Washington D.C. and since I missed my flight to Maui, we went to Chuck's Cellar in the International Market Place where the Makaha Sons Of Niihau were playing. The minute we sat at our table, Skippy said, "Uncle Chaus, this song for you" and they played "Hawaii '78". We really had a good cry and when the song was over, he asked me to come up and talk about the Hawaiian Movement. I spoke about the hardships we were going through and how we were part of a suit to stop the bombing of Kahoolawe, which I started a year ago. It was the first time I noticed that Bradda Iz was really listening. After Skippy past away, I noticed that Bradda Iz would be really involved in the Hawaiian movement. Whenever I would be in the news or on T.V, he would call me and say "eh Uncle Chaus, right on." [See his beautiful words to "Living in a Sovereign Land."]

We became really close when I use to call him live on my radio Show, "Uncle Charlie's Drive Home Show". People would really enjoy his conversations on the radio. I use to tape him for birthday and anniversary dedications and the listeners would request his recording. Once in a while I would call him live and wish the person on the air a happy birthday. Sometimes I would have the person on the telephone and I would call bradda and we would have a conference call going with all the listeners. I also helped him when he was deciding to split from the Makaha Sons, that was hard. When I got my computer, he use to send me messages and help me on line, by calling me by phone and making sure I got it right. [He also sent me this little cyber-makana - he called it "i`a stew"...]

Braddah Iz with Uncle Charlie

In November 11, 1993, our Halau brought Bradda Iz and his group to do a concert and it was awesome. Marlene and Wehe came and I made a 30 lb. laulau for Bradda. He could not eat too much as he was on a diet.

My recollections of Iz is all love and the joy and sharing. He took pleasure in watching people that he entertained happy and his biggest gift in return was the love that he received from everyone. He might have been big in stature, but his love and aura encompassed the very space with his presence. History will show that in death, Israel Kamakawiwa'ole will be bigger than in life. "His legacy will never die."


"The Legacy Of Brudda Iz"

Although his physical voice was silenced by death, his legacy and presence will always be with us. Not only in the songs that he recorded and mana`o (thoughts) on numerous subjects, but his effect on the multitude of people that heard him, came to watch his concerts, saw him on television , "talked" to him in "Cyber Space", or knew him personally.

Isreal Ka`anoi Kamakawiwo`ole could easily be coined "The Voice of the Century" and this fact was proven as he lay in state at the Capital Rotunda, with Hawaii's top musicians filling the Capital Building with sweet music and Hawaiian Pageantry.

Brudda Iz was the common people's Ali`i (high Chief), and they came out by the thousands (at least twenty thousand) to pay homage to a person that touched their hearts and spoke their language and said what was in their hearts and minds. They came to honor someone who came from "humble beginnings", tried everything good and bad, then became a powerful spokesman against drugs, youth gangs, and promoted non violence and the pursuit of the Hawaiian Culture and Self-determination in the form of Sovereignty.

Through his music, the basic needs of his people were expressed and the strong desire to malama the aina (take care of the land). His songs contained subtle messages to the future generation of what was important to our ancestors and what should be preserved for the future.

It was a privilege to have been close to Brudda Iz in the Rotunda and watch these thousands of people say Aloha, some talking to him, some crying and some praying. It was amazing to see Na Kupuna (elders) and mothers with children in strollers and toddlers hanging on. Every ethnic back ground was represented, which clearly showed that Brudda Izís message was heard by everyone.

From Governor Cayetano, to former Governor John Waihe`e, the Speaker of the House, numerous politicians, policeman, fireman, taro farmers, fisherman, businessmen and the maka`ainana (common people), they all came to pay tribute to Brudda.

History will show that on the evening in July, 9th 1997, from 5:00pm. to 10:00pm. all focus were on the State Capital, by radio, television, newsprint, and in person, everyone honored this man who is now, "bigger then life" and among the great legends of Hawaii. I am so proud to have called him my friend.

Mahalo a nui loa Brudda Iz. Aloha, Uncle Charlie


by Iz Kamakawiwo'ole
(performed with the Hawaiian Style Band)

(This Song is for the People of Sovereignty Now)

  1. There's a Celebration On the Palace Grounds
    People Need To Know...Just What's Going Down
    There's A Proclamation From The Powers That Lead
    Says Our Island Nation Has Got To Be Free!
    Living In A Sovereign Land
    Living In A Sovereign Land

  2. Island People Come Together As One
    For Future Generations under the Sun
    Singing Songs of Freedom
    Singing Songs of Love
    Living In A Sovereign Land
    Living In A Sovereign Land

    Our Children Deserve To Know
    What Went Down A Hundred Years Ago
    You Can Pay The Man, You Can Take The Land
    But You Can't Take The Truth Away! E Ola
    Living In A Sovereign Land

    Repeat Bridge:

    E Ola, Living In A Sovereign Land...
    E Ola, Living In A Sovereign Land

  3. Brothers And Sisters, Brown, Yellow and White
    Its Time To Do What You Know Is Right
    Whats Been Taken Must Be Returned
    Give Our Children What They Deserve
    E Ola, Living In A Sovereign Land
    E Ola, Living In A Sovereign Land

Ho`iho`i Mai