Thursday, May 21, 2009

Loyal Garner - City Lights  (Hawai'i Today, 1977)

What do shaved ice and blind men in bleachers have in common? Besides being the favorite snack foods of Melissa Gilbert, they were also the subjects of the biggest hit songs of Loyal Garner, known as Hawaii's "Lady of Love" (though she was "Grandma Lelo" to her family). Garner got her start leading a group called the Local Divas, and she learned how to handle a crowd and headline a showroom by watching Don Ho. After a successful solo career that included concerts from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo, Garner died of colon cancer in 2001. According to her fellow diva, Melveen Leed, the ever-loyal Garner "was there through all my marriages, and her favorite words were always 'I told you so'". This song really captures Garner's heart and soul -- you can feel her radiance and her mana'o and imagine her loving smile.