Episode 89+ A bonus show for these trying times
[03.20.20] Yes some of us are now shut-ins with thsi Corona virus sweeping the world. It has even touched the Quiet Village. That, of course, means everyone is staying at home in their hime tiki bars mixing cocktails. Episode 89 is now out with rare tracks from LP's that I finally got around to digitizing. So there is some stuff in there that you may not have heard before.
Also, While most of the world seems to be in lockdown mode because of Corona virus, I descided to make a bonus, all music, episode to help calm the savage nerves. I mixed soft slow exotica with jungle birds, gentle rain and distant thunger in a single 90 minute mix with no talking. Tune in and drop out for while. Take care of yourselves. Regular excursions to the Quiet Village will resume shortly.
Subscribers to the podcast feed will see both in their list. Or you can listen directly from this web site by going to the Podcast page.
And remember QUIET VILLAGE RADIO is still broadcasting tiki music 24/7
Episode 86: Universal Fire and Ghosting Martin Denny
[06.25.19] The newest episode of the Quiet Village Podcast is now available. This episode features music by an artist new to the Exotica scene, Don Nuzzo. Also featured is news about the 2008 devastating Universal music vault fire (that many have never heard about) that destroyed priceless original master tapes and production memorabilia from artists as diverse as Tom Petty and Gene Rains. A sizable portion of Decca Records' Hawaiian music was lost as well as the majority of DOT record's masters. Plus, listener Kerry Brynes shares a portion of memoirs in which he talks about his long close friendship with Martin Denny. During his many visits with Denny in Hawaii, Karry learned that many of Denny's later album releases were "ghosted". Find out what that means in Episode 86.
Episode 85 feat. interview with Thomas Mackay & Augie Lopaka Colon, Jr. of the bank IntoxiKA
[05.29.19] The spirit of Aloha is something that is bandied around quite a bit with the Tiki set. This past week I got a huge taste of real aloha by spending the weekend at Tiki Caliente 11 in Palm Springs. This is a yearly event put on by Rory Snyder (Wildsville Man). This year it was great to see all my old Tiki friends and make a few new ones! Mahalo to all of you I got to see.
Another big scoop of Aloha comes by way of Thomas Mackay and Lopaka Colon from the bank IntoxiKA, hailing from Honolulu. It was truly a pleasure and fun time talking with these guys about their music and their new debut album. Talking to these guys was like talking to friends I have known all my life. Mahalo to you Thomas and Lopaka. I felt the Aloha Spirit and I'm confident you will too when you listen to Episode 84 of the Quiet Village Podcast.
Also a big shout out to Kenneth C. who continues to turn me on to new tunes and new bands. Keep writing in!
Episode 84 feat. interview with artist and author Darren Long
+ The tiki music way-back machine
[01.22.19] Nashville based artist, musician and author of the recent book on the Omni Hut restaurant, Darren Long stops by the Quiet Village to talk about his book and musical endeavors.
In addition to the interview, this episode features an archive from UC Santa Barbara that seeks to preserve Edison Wax cylinders. Their site has over 100 preserved and digitized Hawaiian music recordings from the early 1900's. And Hawaiian music is only the beginning. There are numerous genres and speeches recorded on Edison was cylinders going back over 100 years. This is an amazing historic collection of recordings.
And as if that weren't enough, this episode also features tracks from the online exotica resource, The Exotica 45 Project. This site has 100 45 RPM records of rare exotica digitized and categorized for your listening enjoyment.
International Bossa Nova artists Lisa Ono visits the Quiet Village
[12.29.18] I've played her music many times on the show and now we get to hear from Lisa Ono at the Quiet Village. She came to Los Angeles in October of 2018 for her first show on the West Coast. Lisa is a huge star in music around the world and just beginning to gain notoriety here in the U.S. In episode 83, Lisa talks about being born in Brazil of Japanese descent and moving to Japan at age 10. She continued to study Brazilian music and her career has spanned some 30+ albums and included collaborations with Antonio Carlos Jobim and almost every icon of Brazilian music in the 20th Century.
This is a very special interview and a very special show. I hope you all enjoy this show as much as I did in creating it.
Be Part of an Art Exhibit from Paradise
[5.8.18] Quiet Village listeners have been invited to be part of an upcoming art exhibition called Postcards from Paradise. Just send a post card, stating where in the world you are writing from and a blurb on what YOUR idea of paradise is. That's it. Couldn't be easier.
The exhibition will premier in London June 21st and will feature artwork and a TIKI BAR (yay!) displaying all of the received postcards from people all over the world!
Just mail your post card to :
Postcards from Paradise
The Essential School of Painting
London E2 0PT
Christmas with Tiki Joe's Ocean Vol. 2 album release
[12.6.17] Quiet Village Radio is pleased to announce the release of Tiki Joe's Ocean long awaited follow up to their enormously popular "Christmas with Tiki Joe's Ocean". This time, Volume 2 has some wonderful arrangements of Holiday classics--all with that Tiki Joe's Ocean quirky touch. The album features me, Digitiki on vibes, Alika Lyman on guitar, Jack Aldrich on lap steel guitar, and Andy Nazzal on all other instruments. Also featuring beautiful cover art by Clee Sobieski.
Hear tracks from the new "Christmas with Tiki Joe's Ocean Vol. 2" album on Quiet Village Radio this Christmas as we broadcast 48 hours of solid Tiki, Lounge and Surft Christmas music starting midnight on Christmas Eve!
"Leis of Jazz, Vol. 2" by Alika Lyman Group
limited edition Purple vinyl LP
Dionysus Records is proud to present this limited edition clear purple vinyl LP edition of Alika Lyman's tribute album to his Great Uncle Arthur Lyman. This edition of the album features extended liner notes by Exotica authority and author Jeff Chenault and comes on a very special purple clear vinyl. Only 500 copies will be produced in this gorgeous color which matches the hues of the lei on the cover art.
In addition, the LP jacket sports a faithful recreation of the original Hi Fi Records' foil "High Fidelity" sticker and the LP center label also brings back the "vibe" of the original Arthur Lyman LP's of the 1960's. Every purchase of the LP comes with a secret code to download high resolution MP3's for taking the music with you on your iPod or smart phone.
Click HERE to purchase the LP directly from Dionysus Records.
Diana Lai: First hostess of Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room passes
[3.13.16] Episode 76 of the Quiet Village show is yet another one dedicated to the passing of one of our Tiki ancestors. Miss Diana Lai, was the very first hostess for Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room. She was groomed personally by Walt Disney to host the attraction as well as take dignitaries on tours of the inner workings underneath the show's main hall. Even though Diana's young adulthood tenure with Tiki is of particular interest to those of us into the vintage aspect of all things Tiki, her life was so much more. She was a much loved and lauded music teacher for years. Miss Lai passed in October of 2015. I was saddened by the news from her son Dan, who originally contacted me about doing an interview with her in 2009. She will be missed.
But Miss Lai's passing prompted me to remind us all of what he have and what we've lost. in 2015 alone, we in the Tiki community lost Robert Drasnin, Ernie Menehune and Diana Lai. We truly are in a unique time--with one foot in the future and still with the ability to connection personally with the past. There are a precious few of those original Tiki pioneers still with us. I was recently looking up information about Korla Pandit and found that he had passed in 1998 (not long ago). Also an iconic keyboardist idol of mine, Walter Wanderly, who worked with Astrud Gilberto and Brazil '66 and created many of the iconic organ sounds synonymous with the 1960's Brazilian sound, passed in relative obscurity in San Francisco. Also, the iconic Ultra Lounge composer & arranger, Juan Carlos Esquivel also passed in relative obscurity and virtually penniless. Tiki originators Paul Conrad (keyboardist for Gene Rains), Rene Paulo, Harold Change (percussionist for Arthur Lyman) are still with us. And they are all still performing! I'm sure there may be more with us that we may not know about.
So my word goes out to all of the event producers out there: Invite these precious people to be a part of your event. I'm sure all of us would love an opportunity to talk to them, hear their stories. Can you imagine going to the evening performance of Rene Paulo, performing selections from his iconic album "Black Coral" live in front of your eyes? Imagine having the chance to meet him at a meet and greet event later that weekend. Amazing! So let's celebrate these people while they are with us. And lets remember, with great fondness, those who we wish were still with us.
The Real Grandfather of Exotica - He Really Was an Enigma
[01.30.16] The term "exotica" conjours up images of far away and strange lands, different people, strange food, weird and unusual sounds. All of those things are personified in the musician known as Korla Pandit.
Korla Pandit was a turban-clad Indian man who mesmerized early television watchers in the early 1950's as he stared silently into the television while playing very exotic music on the organ--that's all, nothing else, just him and an organ. Korla Pandit was a man of firsts. He was a huge phenomenon in the 50's and 60's. He personified the word "exotic". Yet, he had a deep secret that he revealed to no one, not even his own family.
In Episode 75, John Turner, creator of the documentary film "Korla" talks about Korls Pandit, the enigma, the music, the persona and the real man under that iconic bejeweled turban.
The new film "Korla" is playing around the world to enthusiastic audiences. Check the movie's Facebook page and official web site to see when and where you can view with film.
2015: The Year In Tiki (by Atomic Grog)
[1.14.16] A good buddy of mine, Dave Cohen aka Squid was in on the Tiki resurgence years before me and certainly many more years before it was on the radar of most people. Squid was and is one the most prolific tiki mug sculptors and artists who was in on the scene back when even the largest Tiki themed events only pulled a couple hundred people at most. He remarked to me about 5 years ago that he thought that Tiki craze would have burned itself out a long, long time ago. But he was amazed at how the "Tiki thing" was constantly and steadily growing in popularity.
2015 was a banner year for Tiki in all aspects of it - Music, Art, Events, Personalities, etc. My buddy over at the Atomic Grog blog did an excellent job of summing up the year in Tiki that was 2015.
Visit the blog and relive 2015's Tiki side here.
Robert Drasnin Passes
[04.25.15] For those of you who are regulars at the Quiet Village you know all bout the Exotic sounds of Robert Drasnin. Mr. Drasnin's claim to Tiki fame is that he penned one of THE most iconic albums of the original Tiki era, "Voodoo". The sounds are still as fresh to day as they were way back in 1959 when the album was released on Tops records as an answer to the growing Martin Denny craze.
But what most villagers may not know is the Bob Drasnin was the Music Director at CBS Television for years. He scored countless TV shows and movies in is long career At CBS he scored the incidental music for such iconic shows at "Wild, Wild West", "Lost In Space", "The Twilight Zone", "The Man Frum U.N.C.L.E." and many, many more. Around 2008, Bob found himself in the middle of Tiki music revival when he was tapped to perform at Tiki themed events. That's where I first met Bob.
I had volunteered to help out the artists for Hukilau several years ago. Bob Drasnin was one of the artist and I was charged with finding the musicians and orchestra instruments in Florida to meet his music's requirements. I remember having dinner at the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale with Bob, his lovely wife, Jeff Chenault and some of the musicians who were going to perform with him. It was a sublime moment when I stopped sipping my delicious cocktail from a coconut husk and took in the fact that I was having dinner at the Mai Kai with one of the greats of Exotica. I worked with Bob several more times and got to experience that same Tiki nervana of having dinner with an Exotica great in the Kon Tiki in Tucson.
Robert Drasnin passed on May 13th. He was a gracious, kind and very talented man that I am so happy I got to know and work with. Aloha Mr. Drasnin. As my good friend Jeff Chenault quipped, "Heaven just got a little more exotic."
If you have not yet, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of Robert Drasnin's "Voodoo" and is 2007 follow up album "Voodoo II".
Ernie Menehune Passes
[4.21.15] As America's original Tiki movement continues to fade into the history books, we are in that crux of time where the past begins to take on the sweet patina of distance and yet still has the closeness to make it very tangible for those who choose to really look for it. Today we (the tiki ohana) revel in the past, celebrate it; collect it; idealize it; pretend we are living in it. That is why it is all the more special when you find something, and more precious of all, someone from that era who is still with us. There are precious few.
Now, there is one less. Ernie Menehune was the classic entertainer from the America's mid-century club scene. He was the Hawaiian guy out there performing in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and elsewhere in the Southwest in the 60's and on thru until 2015. Yes that's right, up until April of 2015, Ernie Menehune could still be seen, albeit much more rarely, performing his music/comedy stage act. Menehune was born Ernie Rivera in Hawaii. A man of small stature, his stage name was Ernie Menehune, a name he had legally changed. His brother was Larry Rivera, the famous Hawaiian crooner who is still living and performing on The Islands today. Ernie performed at every major Vegas hotel in the 60's and often was in the small lounge opposite Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the biggies of the era. He was also a huge draw at the Spanish Trail Hotel in Tucson. The shell of the hotel is still there, decaying as a skeleton in the desert sun.
Ernie's stage show was pure Tiki, with hula dancers, Hawaiian classics crooned by the master vocalist and the occasional comedy bits thrown in for good measure. He was enormously popular on the club circuit. Ernie produced 6+ LP's--most of which can still be seen occasionally listed on Ebay, and most are autographed. His voice was a lilting instrument that he could take to a smooth Hawaiian falsetto effortlessly.
I was fortunate enough to, not only see Ernie perform at the Kon Tiki in Tucson, but I got to attend his annual Luau at his ranch outside Tucson and got to meet and interview him for the Quiet Village. He was a gracious host, and a person whom you could only describe as "full of life." In 2009, I witnessed him perform at his Luau in front of a large crowd of friends and invited guests for well over an hour. He never lost a beat.
If you want to hear about Ernie in his own words, check out episode 27 of the Quiet Village. The show features my 2009 interview with Ernie.
Episode 72 is a tribute show to Ernie.
Aloha Oe. 'Til we meet again Ernie.
Alika Lyman Group Nominated for Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts, Best Jazz Album of 2015
[04.21.15] Congratulations to the Alika Lyman Group. The band's album has been nominated for the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for the Best Hawaiian Jazz Album of 2015. The Na Hoku Awards are given out each year by the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts. I am so happy to have been a part of this project. The Na Hoku Awards are announced in May of 2015.
Alika Lyman Group headlining HUKILAU June, 2015
[02.21.15] THIS IS THE ONLY SCHEDULED MAINLAND PERFORMANCE FOR 2015!!!
Direct from Honolulu, the Alika Lyman Group has be headlining the wonderful Florida event "Hukilau" in June, 2015. In case you may not be aware, Hukilau is the largest east coast Tiki-themed event in the U.S. Four tiki-filled days of fun with the highlight being an evening at the inbeleivable Mai-Kai restaurant.
The Alika Lyman Group will perform for the Hukilau's Friday Night main event and then a special intimate performance INSIDE THE MAI-KAI ITESLF!! Come see the ONLY scheduled mainland performance of the Alika Lyman Group. And this is the ONLY chance to see the Alika Lyman Group performing cool exotica and jazz in the ultimate Tiki setting of the Mai-Kai.
Stories from Honolulu: Paul Conrad Visits the Quiet Village
[11.20.14] Every once in a while this show affords me the privilege of hearing some really amazing stories. I'm reminded of my wonderful visit with Diana Lai, the first hostess at Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room to name a few. Everyone has a unique story. I'm fascinated by every individual's story. And behind every record and every song, there are stories.
Episode 70 of the Quiet Village features an interview with Paul Conrad. His name might not be the foremost in your mind, but I bet his work in the world of Exotica and Hawaiian music. Paul was the original piano player in the Gene Rains Group as well as the chief arranger for their first LP "Lotus Land." I bet you didn't also know that Paul helped his friend Arthur Lyman with the charts and was present for his first LP recording, "Taboo." Conrad also worked with Ethel Azama, Alfred Apaka, Webley Edwards from Hawaii Calls, Anita O'Day, and a very young Bette Midler, just to name a few.
If you love the personal stories of people who were "there" and were part of "it", then you will love this new episode. I invite you to take a journey with me as Paul Conrad takes us back in time.
Gene Rains Copilation CD!
[6.26.14] For years I've been spinning the records of the Gene Rains Group from Hawaii. Released in the late 50's, Rains' only produced 3 LP's but each one was a classic example Exotica. All that time I've been lamenting that fact that we have seen Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and a score of other Exotica artists from America's Mid-century released digitally, but no Rains. Finally the Rains came! Now Real Gone Music has come out with a compilation of Gene Rains that is truly something wonderful. Nineteen tracks altogether drawing from all three of his classic LPs.
If it sounds like I'm fawning over this release, you are right. The folks a Real Gone contacted me to help with the production of the release. So I am thrilled that Gene Rains is seeing an official CD release AND that I've been a part of it.
On my show I always let listeners know the quality of a release. I want to let everyone know off the bat, that this Gene Rains compilation is sourced from vinyl--my vinyl to be exact. The folks at Real Gone Music made very effort to locate the master tapes. As it turns out Universal Music now owns the Decca catalog. As it tuns out, Universal claims all the Gene Rains master tapes were destroyed in a fire. There is a notorious archive fire decades ago that in fact did wipe out a sizeable portion of the catalog from several smaller labels like ABC and Dot Records as well as several master prints of movies. It is possible that the Rains tapes were in that blaze. However, it is also possible that Universal just didn't want to be bothered with finding the tapes. My mind goes back to the story that Robert Drasnin once told me about his own 1959 Voodoo reissue. Dionysus records was in the process of reissuing "Voodoo" when the rights holding company told Drasnin himself that his master tapes were destroyed. Immediately after the Dionysus CD was reissued, the company miraculously found them and a second "Voodoo" was released with hi resolution digital transfers of the original master tapes. Who knows. Only time will tell. The best news of all is that the folks at Real Gone are not ruling out the possibility of future releases of each of the Rains albums in their entirety.
In the mean time we have the great compilation mastered from my very clean LP's, all of which are stereo copies. Enjoy
Alika Lyman Releases Landmark Tribute Album To His Great Uncle Arthur Lyman!
[4.30.14] DigiTiki productions has teamed up with Great Nephew of Exotica music legend Arthur Lyman for an historic tribute album. The album is appropriately entitled "Leis of Jazz, Volume 2" and is an exotic/jazz tribute to the jazz album by Arthur Lyman of the same name, released in 1959. The 13 songs of "Leis of Jazz, Vol. 2" span the gamut of swing combo jazz to deep exotica--complete with bird calls. It is a fitting tribute to Alika's "Uncle Ata." The CD even sports an amazing cover photo by the multi-talented Kari Hendler that pays homage to the original "Leis of Jazz" album cover.
You can be the first to own this landmark CD release. The official release date is May 20th. But you can pre-order NOW at a discount and FREE SHIPPING (withing the US).
And see the Alika Lyman Group's West Coast debut at Tiki Caliente, May 17th in Palm Springs. We will be performing songs from our new album for the first time. I will be on vibes and piano. You will have a chance to see the band in an intimate Tiki setting and schmooze with the band afterwards.
You can also pre-order the official Alika Lyman Group commemorative mai tai glasses along with your CD for a special price. The glasses feature original lei artwork by Eric October in white and purple, along with the custom cocktail "Leis of Jazz" created by Tiki Caliente event producer Rory Snyder exclusively for this album release and debut performance.